✏️ From the Author
Eyy, it’s the end of the week! I’m not sure if I’ll be returning next week or not, but regardless, it’s been a blast to write this newsletter for you once again.
I hope you’re finding value from it, in spite of the scheduling issues we often have. It feels like we’re doing good work here, and I think there’s a solid future for TGO, even in some small capacity.
Stay well, and please reach out any time :)
📰In The News
Lost Judgment Review Roundup
The sequel to 2018’s Yakuza spin-off Judgment will be releasing next Friday, and some reviews of the game are now available.
By and large, reviewers are happy with the game, and say that this title is exactly what you would expect from the franchise. It has over-the-top drama, weirdly in-depth side stories, and satisfying beat-em-up combat. If that’s all you need to hear, then you’re good to go. If you’ve never played a Yakuza game before though, you might not want to start with this one.
A fairly common narrative from critics was that the game’s combat and side stories outshined the main plot line. The game introduces a new type of fighting, Snake style, which is given the same praise as all the other games in the franchise. Here’s IGN’s thoughts on the side quests:
“In all, there are 10 different school societies to be infiltrated and investigated, combining to add more than a dozen hours of compelling casework to the package. It’s shocking to me that these are all entirely optional, since I found them to be far more engaging and mechanically diverse than anything offered by the main story. This is despite the fact that, since they’re treated as ‘side missions’, they’re sadly not given the same level of slick presentation gloss as the fully-voiced cutscenes that flesh out much of Lost Judgment’s main mystery.”
Gameplay aside, I feel it important to mention the review by Polygon’s Kazuma Hashimoto. He echoed many of the sentiments shared by reviewers mentioned above, but brought up some important details regarding the game’s story. I’ll allow them to explain:
“A rotting corpse lies undiscovered in a derelict building in Isezaki Ijincho, Yokohama. Meanwhile, a police officer goes on trial for sexual harassment in Tokyo. Over the course of Lost Judgment, Takayuki Yagami of the Yagami Detective Agency slowly uncovers how these two events are related.”
“Regarding its most sensitive subject matter — the depiction of sexual harassment — Lost Judgment fumbles and oftentimes spectacularly fails. One specific instance effectively undermines survivors of sexual harassment speaking out against abuse, all for the sake of a twist.”
While most other reviewers didn’t touch on this topic specifically, it was fairly common to hear that the story gets too bloated and tangled by the end, and the game succeeded in spite of that.
Deltarune Chapter 2
The second chapter of Deltarune is releasing tomorrow on PC and Mac, per the announcement by creator Toby Fox. There hasn’t been any word about when Chapter 2 will also be on consoles or if it will be free (as the first was). Those details will likely be available very soon, so if you’re invested keep an eye out.
For those out of the loop, Deltarune is the follow-up to hit indie title Undertale, and is being broken up into installments over multiple years. The first chapter came out for free in late 2018, and it was received extremely well.
This is a mega franchise from a solo developer, which means a lot of anticipation is built behind someone who needs the time to create their work. It took three years to get between Undertale and Deltarune, and then another three to get between the two chapters. I’m intrigued to see if the latest game will leave a similar legacy.
Ex-Bungie Composer found in Contempt of Court
Bungie’s former composer for Destiny, Marty O’Donnell, has been found in contempt of court for using assets he was ordered to surrender.
In 2014, O’Donnell was fired and required to return all of his music related to Destiny (to quote Eurogamer, “Bungie said "all material" includes not just Music of the Spheres in their final state, but all versions, components and variations of the tracks”).
In 2015, there was an injunction to block him from sharing or performing any of those pieces.
In 2019, he uploaded videos related to those pieces to YouTube and Bandcamp, where users could pay him an optional fee.
It took a while to go through the legal system, but last July the court agreed with Bungie that O’Donnell had violated his court order. As a result, the court have enforced multiple sanctions on him — a third-party is allowed to examine his electronics and delete the assets, he has to publicly declare that he did not have legal authority to share the assets (he still hasn’t done this), and he cannot comment publicly on the situation. Oh, he also has to be pay Bungie close to $100,000.
Not sure how O’Donnell thought he’d get away with this one, but copyright law is no joke.
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Thanks for the read <3