When we first saw Wonderbook crash and burn during Sony's E3 press conference earlier this year, I'm sure much of the gaming world wrote it off as just another bad idea that Sony would be sweeping under the table in the next few months. I still have my doubts about the thing, but have to admit I became slightly more interested in the idea when I saw the trailer for Diggs Nightcrawler.
It certainly could have just been all the puns being thrown at me, or it could have been the slightly more mature aspects of a crime noir book starring a freaking inch worm. I'm not quite sure at this point, but at least the trailer got me to thinking, "What if the Wonderbook isn't just for kids? Where can Sony go to really get an audience?"
Atlus Is King When It Comes To Storytelling
I was trying to figure out just who could make the Wonderbook a must-buy peripheral when the obvious brick hit me in the form of Persona 4 Arena. Don't mistake this purely for a fighting game, because it clearly isn't. The fighting is just there to move the story along.
If the Persona series can translate so well into a fighting game, who's to say they couldn't do the same with a point-and-click adventure? They already have the perfect Wonderbook setup with the Persona Compendium (I'll talk about this more in a bit) The main problem however is the gameplay aspect of it all.
I couldn't find a good image of the Persona Compendium, so here is Margaret holding it.
My answer to this lies in Persona 3 Portable. Unlike the Playstation 2 version of the game, P3P required the player to interact with different static points in the game world instead of walking around as the player. If they could apply this same setup to monster fights, then I see no reason why it shouldn't exist.
While Atlus doesn't pull the biggest sales numbers, its hard to argue against the niche following that they do pull in. The people that buy the Persona games would kill for a more expanded Universe. Just look at the sales for P4G. Imagine what that fan base could do for the Wonderbook.
A Freaking Tactics Game (Come On!)
Come on people, this should have been done years ago! What goes into the usual tactics game? A lot of talking, menus, and grid based combat with intense unit management. Games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea would work perfectly with the Wonderbook's setup and show off the peripheral's neat little gimmicks. Maybe even games like X-COM could make an appearance.
Why couldn't a Valkyria Chronicles battle take place on this?
The game's grid based combat would fold out of the book and spread across the floor, you would point towards where you wanted them to go, yadda yadda yadda. We all know how it works. Stuff like this was even teased during the original Move demonstrations all those years ago. Nothing ever came of it, but the Wonderbook would be perfect for it.
Turning the book around to get a better look at your enemies or to follow characters that have gone behind barriers, I don't care how it gets done but the Wonderbook needs a game like this. Instead of just showing off a bunch of books with waggle function they really need to start showing off games that make use of the book gimmick instead.
Just Think Of The Collector's Editions
I mentioned the Persona Compendium earlier, and for good reason. I'm sure you've all seen the Wonderbook peripheral itself. Its just a large black book with an AR image inside it. Not really something that would make people want to buy it. But with the recent announcements of the Journey art book and the Persona 4 Solid Gold Edition it all hit me.
You see, the Persona 4 Solid Gold Edition sold out in as quickly as two days after it was announced. There are still a few places you can get them, but they aren't going to hold out for much longer. People are pretty crazy when it comes to collector's editions, so why shouldn't Wonderbook have them too?
Great. Now I want one of these.
Sure it wouldn't be anything special, but wouldn't a Persona Wonderbook game be even better if it came with a book cover that resembled the Persona Compendium held by Elizabeth and Margaret in Persona 3 and 4? Now let's move on to the Journey artbook. In the book you'll find AR images spruced about, just like what you'll find in the Wonderbook.
You point a special camera at the image and bam, an animated scene will appear. The Wonderbook could take this one step further and add in interactive artbooks to their different collector's editions. I'm not entirely sure how this would work but I'd imagine it would be things like model viewers and special scenes from the game.
Of course, everything I just talked about is wishful thinking on my part. The Wonderbook still has a long road ahead if it ever hopes to be taken as a serious peripheral in the eyes of Playstation gamers. But if Diggs Nightcrawler has proven anything, it shows that the Wonderbook at least has a chance. As always, thanks for reading.