You know how it is. You have a busy week filled with anime titty and other such pleasures of the modern age, and before you know it, it’s Friday. “Oh no!” you think. “I haven’t had a chance to catch up on my correspondence!”
This is how it is every week here at Rice Towers; we have so many exciting things going on in our amazing lives all the time that we sometimes don’t get all the time we’d like to respond to your comments and questions in the moment. So that’s what the new Friday Letters Page feature is all about!
By making use of the handy “Write to Rice!” widget that you should see floating majestically on the right-hand side of your viewport to the Information Superhighway, you can send us a letter for inclusion in the next Friday Letters Page. Volume of contributions permitting, we’ll give you a nice public answer or response — or at the very least publish your letter if there’s just something you want to say or share with the community. All we need is your nom de plume — there’s no other personal information you need to share, don’t worry!
(I should probably note that this isn’t a support service; if you have a query relating to orders from the Rice Digital store, please contact the Support department directly and they will be able to help you out. They’re lovely people.)
To get us kicked off for this inaugural installment, we reached out to family, friends and online acquaintances to send us a few initial letters. But next week it could be your name in print, so don’t be shy — write us a lovely letter!
Let’s get physical
I enjoyed your recent articles about game collecting, even though I tend to go digital these days to save space. One thing that bothers me a bit about physical editions is what you do about patches and DLC, though. Do you think there’s an ideal solution, or is digital-only really the future?
Well, Logy’s Waifu (excellent husbando taste, by the way, I wouldn’t kick Logy out of bed), it’s a bit of a difficult one because there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to make everyone happy.
For me personally, the optimal solution given the current way things work would be for games to release digitally first, then only put out a physical version when the whole “roadmap” — patches, DLC and all that gubbins — is complete. This is basically what most of the limited press companies do, and I find it to be a good approach.
The downside, of course, is that this approach means if you want a physical copy, you often end up having to wait until a long time after the game has released, meaning you don’t get to join in on the initial online buzz surrounding it. You could always double-dip, but that can get pricy and doesn’t really send a message to developers and publishers that you want “finished” games right away.
Of course, the truly optimal solution would be for developers and publishers to only release games when they’re finished and don’t need patching, but I think we all know that’s a thing of the past for the most part.
How come you don’t cover Xbox stuff?
Hi John, a valid question there. The simple answer is that a lot of the stuff we tend to specialise in here on Rice just doesn’t come out on Xbox! The Xbox platforms have never been super-friendly towards Japanese games — or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that the Japanese market has never been super-friendly towards Xbox — and so a lot of noteworthy Asian games just don’t come out on Xbox. Gal*Gun Returns is a good example from recent history.
That said, that doesn’t mean that there’s never been any good Asian stuff on Xbox consoles. Most 360 enthusiasts know about Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, for example, and we even did a feature on some of the best Japanese games on Xbox 360 a while back. And, of course, the Resident Evil series is all on Xbox, too. If the platform gets the games, we’ll cover ’em! Until then, uh, buy a Switch?
Go west in the open air
I know your focus is on Japanese games, but I was wondering: what are some of your favourite western games that have come out of late?
Great question! A lot of people assume that all we play around here is Japanese games, but there’s some great stuff available from the west, too. In fact, there’s even some great western stuff that looks, feels and plays very much like Asian stuff, as we saw in a recent feature.
For me personally, I enjoy playing Deep Rock Galactic with friends, as it’s a fun cooperative experience, and I’ve just started getting into SnowRunner, a game which is about driving at 10mph through deep mud. It’s more fun than it sounds.
Down the (V)tubes
I see you’ve been covering VTubers a fair bit recently. I don’t really get the whole thing myself, but then I don’t watch a lot of streams. There seem to be a lot of Vtubers around, though. Do you think the bubble is going to burst at some point, or do you think they’re here to stay?
I think if there’s one thing the global COVID-19 situation has shown us, it’s that you can do a whole bunch of things from the comfort of your home that you’d previously have to have gone out to do. And while this obviously doesn’t apply to streaming, the general shift in positive attitudes towards doing things from your own home has empowered a lot of people to see what they’re capable of. That, I think, has played a role in the rise of VTubers in particular.
The other interesting thing about VTubers is that it allows people who might previously have been somewhat camera-shy for one reason or another to develop their own distinct persona that they’re completely comfortable with. And from there, from behind that cute anime facade, they can gradually reveal their “real” self to their audience and discover that they are loved and accepted for who they are — not just how impressive their Live2D rigging is. Conor discovered this when he looked into Ironmouse from VShojo this week. Poor man’s never been the same since he joined the Precious Family.
To answer your question, I think they’re here to stay. They’re a new, popular means for people to express themselves, and they work well for that purpose; they’re more than just a gimmick. On top of that, they’re providing a lot of work for artists and other specialists online, which is a great thing in an age where it can be tricky to find a job in the first place, let alone hold it down.
You’re a very interesting person. So interesting that I can’t even keep up. I’m sure that you’re a good person at heart. Your belief is to put your Rice into everything, but I can’t understand that. Rice this, rice that, it’s ridiculous. You should learn to limit yourself. Life’s limited in time. Please practice moderation. Being too curious will end up taking your life. Goodbye.
Yes, yes, yes, very clever, we all enjoyed Root Letter too.
Got something you want to get off your chest? Click the “Write to Rice!” button over on the right of your screen and pen us a letter. The best (or most hilariously worst) will make the next installment of The Rice Digital Friday Letters Page.
Until then, uh, tiddies or something.
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