I've been away for about a month now, and to be honest, I don't have a reason for this. I might end up changing my previous article release schedule a bit as well, but I'll be sure to post an update with my next article if I have a plan by then. I've had a bit of writer's block about doing articles as of late while also working towards setting up and getting a roll on a YouTube Let's Play channel with a few friends called Valiant Attempt Gaming. Feel free to check it out if you like.

 

That said, it's the first Friday of the month, and that means I have another installment of Have You Heard Of? for you all today. Last month, I did a deep dive into the first six months of the year and an entry for October, that being Elex. This month, I'll be focusing more on a single smaller title, that being Super Lucky's Tale coming for the Xbox One. However, I will probably be doing something slightly different this time around.

 

Instead of my usual discussion related to the games Development, Gameplay and Story, I'll be talking about a slightly problematic situation related to gaming. I warn you now; this article might get a bit preachy, and will potentially come off as nitpicky or just plain complainy, two words that don't exist but I need to use to get my point across. I will still discuss the Story, Development and Gameplay, but they will more be a section of the overall discussion for this article.

 

I apologize in advance to anyone I personally offend, but let me be clear; much of the opinion's I'll be stating in this article are my own personal opinion, cultivated over several years of being an avid gamer, working in the service industry selling games for GameStop, and in various talks and discussions with many friends and colleagues. These opinions are not meant to skew anyone's personal thoughts or opinions, and only potentially help to inform them.

 

With all that out of the way, let's start with the usual Have You Heard Of Shtick.

 

GAMEPLAY

I'm starting with Gameplay because this is one of those games that looks pretty simple on the surface, and ultimately is, but should be seen as such. Super Lucky's Tale has you playing as Lucky, a cute Tails like Fox with only one tail, in a traditional 3D/ 2.5D style platformer where you collect things, jump over other things, and take out enemies with a unique set of moves. All things said, this could fit easily alongside Banjo Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon, or the more recent Knack as a Platformer, but one major thing comes into play with this, and I'll get to that with Development. Let's move onto Story.

 

STORY

The story of Super Lucky's Tale, a sequel to Lucky's Tale, has you playing as the titular ever-optimistic and lovable fox on a quest to find his inner strength and help his beloved sister rescue the Book of Ages from the nefarious Jinx. Jinx is a scheming and mysterious villain trying to reshape the world, but the reason for this is largely kept a mystery. Let's move to Development, shall we?

 

DEVELOPMENT

As I've already mentioned, Super Lucky's Tale isa sequel to Lucky's Tale, originally a 3D platformer exclusive to the Oculus Rift. Developed by Playful Corp. and being made exclusively for Xbox One and Windows 10. I honestly don't know much more than that, but that's not the reason I'm bringing this game up today. What I have shown you here with the traditional Have You Heard Of stuff, so let's move on to why I chose this game for this month.

 

WHY SUPER LUCKY'S TALE?

In the month of November, we have huge titles like Call of Duty WWII (Hey, that's out today!), Star Wars Battlefront II and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, it also has a few smaller potential gems. Black Mirror, The Inpatient, Sonic Forces and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 could all fit the bill for this entry, but I chose Super Lucky's Tale for a few reasons.

 

The first being...No one wants to give this game a chance. When I was watching the E3 press conference this past year (2017), I saw plenty of high profile and fantastic games on display. In the midst of all this, however, we received an announcement for Super Lucky's Tale, and much like E3 2015's announcement of Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, I saw on the Twitch stream I was watching at the time a plethora of people simply passing this game by, or worse, asking why this game would ever need to be made in the first place.

 

Super Lucky's Tale deserves to be a game just about as much as any other; the problem here is the platform it will be launching on. While just about any game under the sun these days that isn't made by a platform exclusive company makes it's way to PC, this will be launching on November 7th (Hey, that's Tuesday!) for Xbox One. Many of the compalints I've seen related to this game is that it's a kids game...what's it doing on Xbox One?

 

I hate this mentality with gaming; gaming is a medium that should be accessible to anyone, regardless of race, gender, age, religion, and yes, platform preference. I am one of those people who owns all three of the major consoles for each of the games that are exclusive to the platform. I own an Xbox One for Cuphead, Sunset Overdrive and Halo; I have a Switch for Super Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda and Splatoon 2; I own a PS4 for Uncharted, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Ratchet and Clank. Having a console you enjoy playing games on is not a problem; I mention that I have these three consoles and the games I have them for to accentuate the point that I usually am on my PS4, likely playing Fortnite, Minecraft or Overwatch, which I could easily play on other platforms.

 

One of the main problems I see Super Lucky's Tale facing is this; Xbox One is consistently seen by gamers at large as a more Sports, Shooter and Action based console, while PS4 can be for anyone and Nintendo is more seen as for kids. For Microsoft to glorify a game that is not among what I have commonly seen as the three main facets of it's life shows that not only does Microsoft have faith in the game, but in the community as well.

 

THE MICROSOFT RISK

Microsoft ultimately spent the vast majority of their time on stage at E3 2017 talking about popular titles, returning franchises, exclusive content and mostly mature content. With the exception of Forza and any of the Indie titles, much of the show emphasized that point I made earlier about the common perception I've heard related to Microsoft's console; simply put, Super Lucky's Tale is not a Shooter, Action or Sports game, so what's it doing on Xbox One?

 

Well, it's a rick that the owner's of Rare need to take. Nintendo makes it's fortune off of some of the most beloved “kid” franchises of all time, and Sony has a healthy mix of mature and child friendly franchises under their belt. Microsoft is mostly known in the exclusive efforts with Halo, Forza and Gears of War, two of which are Mature rated, and the other is a car simulation game. Sure, they have produced products exclusive to their consoles over the years that are more Kid friendly like Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved, Ori and the Blind Forest and a number of titles from Rare like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Viva Pinata, but simply looking at the numbers, they don't stack up to anything Sony has to offer, let alone Nintendo.

 

So why Super Lucky's Tale? Well, it's not just because it's a cutesy looking platformer starring a character that looks like he'd fit right at home as a Nick Jr. cartoon. Remember that comparison I made earlier to Tails from the Sonic the Hedgehog games? That wasn't just for the sake of a joke; people will associate, on a subconscious level, Lucky with Tails as a cute, innocent and fun character that resonates with their past. Whether or not this was the intention of the character designer for the game I have no idea, but what I do know is that someone at Microsoft did. They might not have had that exact thought, but they had a similar one, that being that the design of Lucky is eye catching and instantly seen as child friendly, a far cry from other Xbox exclusives Halo or Gears of War.

 

This holiday season, Microsoft is launching the Xbox One X. Alongside it on store shelves, parents will also see the Xbox One S Minecraft bundle, a game that just about anyone these days is familiar with thanks to it's massive popularity. Odds are, when a kid is begging to be an Xbox One, they will lean more towards the familiar, and this is where Lucky comes in. Parents looking to make sure their child has good games that are meant for their age will undoubtedly look towards Nintendo, or even Sony, but then they might see that display box for the Minecraft Xbox One. If the sales associate does a good job, they will also lead that customer towards Super Lucky's Tale, simply because it's a game that literally anyone can play, and even more likely, someone who plays Minecraft will if nothing else try.

 

TOXICITY IN THE GAMING COMMUNITY

This is a discussion I've been wanting to have for a while, and I'll probably do just that at some point soon, but I have to bring it up here because it's an integral part of all of this. Gaming is filled with toxic men and women who are constantly seen as anger filled monsters willing to throw around racial slurs and threats of death or rape like they are recommending a new YouTube channel to someone they just met. (Check out my new channel, Valiant Attempt Gaming!...Shameless plug over, moving on)

 

The aspect of toxicity I want to focus on here is on of fanboy-ism, or the notion that one console, movie franchise, book series or whatever is better, and you only support that piece of medium to the death, often times with bursts of anger towards anyone who disagrees with you. I will go out of my way right now to say that I will defend Ratchet and Clank, Firefly and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Book series and film) to the death, but I would never go so far as to tell someone to die over my personal devotion to these franchises.

 

The Xbox One is, from what I've seen with my limited Midwest view, a console made up of mostly people playing Call of Duty, Madden, Halo and Forza. They are angry, loud mouthed, and often times underage, and pretty much every other negative stereotype levied against those who enjoy this medium outside of passing fascination. When the reaction to a game like Super Lucky's Tale on a console supposedly dominated by these stereotypes is as little as harsh criticism without much backing and as troubling as death and rape threats towards anyone showing even a passing interest of this game meant for younger audiences (I saw both of these on the Twitch stream I was watching when they announced this).

 

Gaming is community where anyone can be just about anything. On nay given day, I can go from being a member of Overwatch to the New Kid of South Park and finish the day with a joy ride around a museum of Disney's Toys-to-Life franchise Disney Infinity. In film, you are sitting down and observing; with books, you're entire engagement is based on your mind creating imagery for you. Since gaming is much less of a passive medium, we are more likely to be highly defensive of it. The experiences we have within the game are our experiences, and anyone who does not agree with them is wrong or we might misconstrue as being condescending against something we enjoy.

 

In my opinion, there is not reason to be this harsh over something meant to entertain. I am all for criticism and for analysis (just look at some of my other articles for that), but they have to have some basis to draw from, otherwise it will simply be seen as complaining, whining people on the internet who are ardently defending something they love, but blinded by rage, can't let go.

 

DEFEATING HATE

I won't get political here, though I very easily could. What I will say is that in order to make our community better, in order to make gaming a better place for everyone, we need to make it that way. I personally go out of my way to do just this; I never intentionally put someone down for their favorite game. I will go out of my way to find out why it is their favorite game and have a discussion with this person, even if it's a game I do not enjoy.

 

When I receive a message on PSN from someone yelling at me for playing a game in a way they don't agree with, I don't respond back with an intention to anger, but more to give my case, lay out my arguments, and leave the conversation with a mention that this person should try to do the same. Spreading hate does not help anyone, not even the people spreading it.

 

My opinions are vastly different from yours. Sure, you might agree with what I have to say, but it's just as easy for those opinions to inspire you to hate. And this is where Super Lucky's Tale comes in. Super Lucky's Tale, a small platformer coming to Xbox One, has somehow managed to garner hate from a community of people who will likely never play it. Much like The Wii U, Knack, Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved and so many others, people will have their own history to draw from when making choices about whether or not to play something, and sometimes that means they draw conclusions to something without ever having using or playing it.

 

Super Lucky's Tale will be wrongfully judged by many as just another kids game trying to cash in on the popularity of Mario, Pokemon or Sonic the Hedgehog. Without looking into it or even giving it a chance, many will simply put it aside and never have a second thought about it. I personally think there are no games that are not worth playing; every game was made with some intention to entertain or make a statement, anywhere from indie game jams all the way up to AAA titles. And Super Lucky's Tale is another in a long line of games that has done the same.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Super Lucky's Tale is fun looking platformer coming out for the Xbox One and Windows 10 on November 7th for $29.99. It will be available digitally and on physical disc at retail stores, and I recommend checking it out. While it might look like any other platformer out there, it has a fun art style and cool idea behind it, and for having started out as a Rift exclusive game, the simple fact that it's made it's way to Xbox One speaks bounds to me.

 

 

Anyway, that's that. I hope you enjoyed this article, and I apologize again for breaking away from my usual Have You Heard Of formula to talk about some more serious subjects like toxicity and hate. That being said, I'd love to know your thoughts on what has been said here. And if you have time, check out my new YouTube channel, Valiant Attempt Gaming (The one I've plugged here only about thirty five times...) Thanks for reading, and I'll be back with more soon. Hopefully my next article will be a bit happier than this was, but we'll see. I'll see you then!