Life of Black Tiger – Is the quality of the PSN slipping?
Gaming sites have been running a news article over the last few days about quite possibly the worst video game trailer of all time. The trailer for Life of Black Tiger appeared on the official Playstation YouTube channel on the 12th of January, and since then has caused quite a buzz. It really is quite incredible, in the weirdest of ways.
At time of writing, the video has brought in over 450,000 views in three days, which is almost 10x the number of views for the latest big budget Styx: Shards of Darkness trailer. Essentially, Life of Black Tiger has become a minor-meme due to just how bloody awful it looks. Before we proceed, check out the trailer below.
Yeah… that was… odd.
Trailers and games of this alarmingly low quality are dime a dozen over on Steam, where the process of ‘quality control’ has given way ‘publish every piece of shit possible’ in recent years. The interesting part of this news story is that the trailer is for a game about to grace the Playstation Network, where Sony’s quality assurance and vetting methods have helped to keep the store savoury and absent of true shovel-ware; there are no early access titles begging for your money, nor ports from iOS for the most part.
The trailer for Life of Black Tiger, in which a PS2-era black and white tiger clumsily plods across terrible looking environments and attacks groups of badly animated and awful looking wild life, is broaching on “so bad its good” territory. Its surprise appearance on the official YouTube channel for Sony’s gaming goliath had me scratching my head and asking if this were a real thing, and not some elaborate joke. I glance at my phone to check I hadn’t awoken from a three month slumber to find myself on April 1st. Nope, that’s not it.
With that option out of the window, I considered if it were some ambitiously ‘meta’ advertising campaign from some eccentric auteur – Hideo Kojima? Suda 51? It has got to be a reference to something I am missing, and it must give a clue about something much larger and more exciting.
So I googled it. The game came out a year and a half ago on Android and iOS. This was real.
From the developers site,
“The story of the game is about a black
tiger, born as a variant and abandoned by
his parents and brothers, fights against
human and shows his love to his family.
Born as a black tiger, I was abandoned
by my parents from the time I was born.
I’ve been alone and nobody was at my side.
Whatever things I find are all my enemy.
I will make all of you scared of me.”
I felt like I have stumbled onto something bigger here, deeper down the rabbit hole into the fever-dreams of over enthused black tiger enthusiast who had written me a stream of consciousness poem about the prejudices inherent in some imagined Tiger society.
It is easy to point the finger and laugh at a piece of low quality copywriting, especially when it was probably pieced together by the work experience boy at a studio where English is not their first language. The budget is more than likely so low that employing a freelancer to look over the work and sharpen it for a larger audience is just not an option. So in short, yes, I am swiping at low hanging fruit to garner a laugh. I feel no remorse.
But let us take a step back from the meme-quality of this whole affair. Where is Sony’s quality control? What on earth is happening here? The problem is, Life of Black Tiger isn’t the only reason for concern. On my adventures, I stumbled across this trailer posted on the 10th of January:
This title looks to be of a considerably lower quality, even when compared to Life of Black Tiger. However, instead of taking a game trailer and casting final judgement, we here at Voletic are willing to give these titles a chance to shine. Many are dismissive of tiles like Always Monsters and Deadly Premonition at first glance too, and those are rough gems worthy of your time. Perhaps Skylight Freerange 2: Gachduine has something more profound to say about the human condition than we are giving it credit for.
It is for this reason that we have reached out to 1Games and Dragoon Entertainment to review these titles and bring a first-hand impression of them to you, for your reading pleasure. We have also approached Sony for comment on the quality of these games and their trailers. We will update you as we get more information.
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