VIDEO GAME CLONES THAT ARE CAUSING AN UPROAR

VIDEO GAME CLONES THAT ARE CAUSING AN UPROAR

February 13, 2020 10 By Sebastian Fry


When a piece of media is beloved enough to
sell well and snag critical praise, whether it’s a movie, TV show, or even a video game,
it’s only a matter of time before the imitators come along. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent,
and upcoming, video game clones and figure out what all the fuss is about. Announced in June 2019, Genshin Impact is
an upcoming open world RPG from developers MiHoYo. The game has drawn criticism for its obvious
similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both in art style and gameplay. When the first gameplay trailer for Genshin
Impact debuted at ChinaJoy, a Chinese gaming conference, the backlash began almost immediately. Most famously, one disgruntled fan protested
the game by publicly smashing his PlayStation 4 following the announcement of Genshin Impact’s
release for that console. Though it remains to be seen how Genshin Impact
may set itself apart from the game that has clearly inspired it, Plagiarism Today cut
to the meat of the matter when they succinctly pointed out that the main issue seems to be
more than just the similarities. Gamers seem to mainly take issue with the
apparent, quote, “attempt to recreate Breath of the Wild rather than take the best elements
of the game and create something new with them.” Upon first glance, you’d be forgiven for mistaking
Left Alive as another spinoff of the Metal Gear Solid series. However, Left Alive was in fact an offshoot
of the popular Front Mission series of sci-fi strategy games. Left Alive traded in the franchise’s usual
gameplay for a more stealth-oriented approach. Continuing to take cues from Solid Snake and
company, Left Alive’s developers hired Yoji Shinkawa, an artist most commonly linked with
the design aesthetics of the Metal Gear franchise, to design the characters for the game. The result is a game that looks and feels
like a Metal Gear Solid wannabe. In fact, when Left Alive’s first trailer dropped,
VG24/7 commented that it looked, quote, “a lot like a Metal Gear sequel with mechs.” “Don’t worry. I got this. It ain’t gonna be pretty though.” Sadly, the game didn’t live up to those expectations. Tech Raptor’s review stated: “Don’t let the Yoji Shinkawa artwork trick
you. Left Alive isn’t the Metal Gear Solid revival
you’ve been hoping for. Nor is it a quality entry in the Front Mission
series. It’s a clumsy trainwreck of a stealth-action
game that does neither franchise justice.” Yeesh. This one might be “Left Alive,” but suffering
reviews like those is a fate worse than death. In development from Xixo Games Studio, Enchanted
Portals is a cutely animated action-adventure title that has kicked up quite a bit of controversy. Fans of Cuphead were quick to point out the
similarities between that game and Enchanted Portals. Though games imitating the art style and whimsy
of classic cartoons is nothing new, the run-and-gun gameplay also closely resembles that of Cuphead. The composer and artist for Enchanted Portals
responded to the criticism in a surprising and upfront way, admitting that Cuphead was
a major influence on the property. The artist, who gave her name as Gemma to
Polygon, said: “We wanted to make something similar [to Cuphead],
but always from a place of respect and admiration for the original…We were prepared for some
backlash.” Though Xixo originally planned to raise funds
for the project through Kickstarter, the developers have revealed that they are in talks with
a publisher to finance and release the game. Whether that means the project’s aesthetics
will change remains to be seen. Devolver Bootleg may be the strangest game in this video, because this one isn’t a case of a developer attempting to ape someone else’s
style. No, Devolver Bootleg is a compilation of games
that are presented as knockoffs of titles from Devolver Digital, the folks who released
Hotline Miami and Ape Out, that are actually released by Devolver Digital. That’s right; Devolver put out a parody collection
of their own games. “Introducing Devolver Bootleg.” “Whoa…Wait, what?” “The world’s first official gray market game
launcher that exclusively rips off our own games!” “Holy…” In this collection, Hotline Miami becomes
Hotel Milwaukee, and Enter the Gungeon becomes the awkwardly titled Enter the Gun Dungeon. These parodies evoke a classic 8-bit style,
complete with a fun retro soundtrack that Rock Paper Shotgun cited as the highlight
of the collection. While the games are short and simplistic,
perfectly fitting the old-school arcade aesthetic, Gaming Trend’s review concluded that, quote,
“fans of Devolver Digital will get a kick out of this, if only for a short moment.” If nothing else, it’s nice to see that some
companies can still poke fun at themselves, and that not every “bootleg” is malicious. Disc Creatures is an indie RPG that definitely
wears its inspirations on its sleeve, with PC Gamer saying that it feels like, quote,
“a lost Game Boy game, devoted to a very particular look and type of design.” The game follows a young protagonist on a
quest to collect and train numerous creatures. These creatures can be used in battles and
stored in computer databases, where they will rest until they are again chosen by their
trainer. As they battle, they level up and learn new
skills. Sound familiar? This one is an interesting case in that it
doesn’t feel like a malicious ripoff of Pokémon, but rather a loving tribute to a game series
that the developers clearly hold near and dear. However, its future may be a little rocky. As Bleeding Cool put it: “It’s all an obvious homage. It’ll be a miracle, we’d say, if it doesn’t
get hit with some sort of lawsuit with just how incredibly similar it is to Pokémon.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more SVG videos about your favorite
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