Fire Emblem: Fates appears to be doing well in America, despite the wishes of a small, yet loud minority of consumers who use social media to harangue Nintendo of America, hoping to boycott the game and see it fail, operating under various protest hashtags. Of course, after the massive success and nearly nationwide sellout (which I can attest to as copies were at the time of writing incredibly hard to find, even in my rural area) they’ve switched gears into becoming “awareness campaigns,” because if it’s one thing Twitter needs more of, it’s useless hashtag slacktivist nagging.
I played about 5 hours of Star Fox Zero today and I’m just so excited that I have to write out these impressions and clear up some things about this game immediately. There’s a lot of confusion going around about the controls and quite frankly, it’s all fucking bullshit. Game journalists spinning this propaganda are a bunch of IDIOTS who can not be trusted to form an opinion, let alone provide one to the masses. Kotaku, IGN, Polygon, the usual clusterfucks that everybody should know to avoid by now have all given this game bad reviews because it threatens their 2 dimensional way of thinking. It’s the same fucking bullshit ZombiU and The Wonderful 101 endured, they see this game as a threat because it’s another heavy hitter on the Wii U that threatens to take their normal games away. I want to throw that mindset in the bin and fucking burn it. There is room for every game to be beautiful. The controls in Star Fox Zero are outstanding, and this game is absolute quality.
Recently EA have spoken in secret about the Nintendo NX and their lack of plans to develop for it. They outlined a bunch of things that Nintendo is required to do in order to be blessed with EA’s fantastic library of quality games. To sum it up, they want Nintendo to “provide a market for sports games” by throwing millions of dollars on sports advertising. They just want a userbase that will buy sports games. Sound fair?
There’s quite a lot of discussion on the internet in the past few days concerning the censorship of video games, pressure from so-called “Social Justice Warriors,” and pressure from so-called “GamerGaters.” The crux of this discussion appears to center around the latest installment of the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Fates, although there has been other recent controversies concerning games like Dead or Alive Extreme 3 and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water.
Concerning Fire Emblem: Fates, a subquest involving a character named Soleil, who seems to be a female of a bisexual orientation (1 of 3 possible for humans, at least before Tumblr existed), could be romanced by an avatar character of the player’s design. The context of this romance appears to be that Soleil seems to get weak-kneed around cute girls of her type, which lessens her effectiveness in war and impedes her quest to become “smooth,” in her (fan translated at this point) words. The player character concocts a magic potion that makes the imbiber see people in opposite genders (1 of 2, at least before… oh, I already did that joke…) causing Soleil to see people in the opposite gender that they are. This medicine is supplied to Soleil in clandestine means, which to say, her drink was spiked. Hilarious hijinks ensue. This is obviously squarely in 90’s sitcom territory, or something out of the romantic comedy manga Ranma 1/2. The outcome is comical, and at the end the misadventure allows the player avatar to get closer to Soleil and say that she finds interacting with the player character “fun,” regardless of the unawareness of her medication. Who could possibly object?
Minecraft has been announced for Wii U! Finally! Weeeeeee! Woohoo!! GET EXCITED. Finally this game comes to a console that makes sense. With a second screen and giant touch interface on the Wii U GamePad, Minecraft will finally be playable on consoles in an intuitive way.
The build up to E3 this year saw the hype train going at full speed. With Nintendo’s show being a big secret, everybody had their own wild predictions. However we saw one name mentioned more than most: Metroid. It just felt like it was “time” with Retro Studios project being a secret, and no real Metroid being released in almost a decade. I was hyped for this too, because why else would Retro Studios open a Twitter account right before E3? The gaming media also helped set up the disappointment, with articles like “Why Metroid should be announced” and “Metroid Prime devs tease E3” right before E3. It wasn’t “Donkey Kong devs tease E3” despite that being their most popular, and most recent game. So when you deconstruct this hype, it didn’t follow much solid logic. Does it ever? Regardless, expectations were set to Metroid and hopes were high. Then we got this…
Videogame banter used to be simple. Whether it was opinions on a game or straight console war shitfights, people said what they were thinking. Xbox is a poorly made piece of shit. GameCube is a purple lunch box for babies. Playstation games are ugly like your Mum. Now days, you get banned for that kind of stuff on forums and that’s fair enough. It’s never nice to insult people or trash talk for the sake of it. However I’m beginning to feel the landscape of passive-aggressive assumptions we have now is even more toxic. There’s this illusion that things are more “civilised” in the gaming community, created by ever growing concern for social issues and a set of universal standards games are being judged on. As a result of this social narrative becoming popular and generating clicks, every game coming out is being judged by the same set of rules, regardless of whether or not it makes sense in the game’s own context as a playable videogame.
As a follow-up to my previous E3 scan, here’s some subtle marketing Nintendo spread around E3 2001, again, on the back of the E3 Show Daily magazines. Checkout the “interesting” front covers, too, and maybe you’ll question how there could be any excitement for such an unappealing video game industry at the time (as presented by the magazine). “Doug Lowensteins’ State of the Industry 2000-2001 Report: IDSA findings indicate games are fully mainstream…” Yes!…? Wait, is that really a good thing or a bad thing?
Continue reading “Part of the Nintendo Difference: E3 2001”
It’s been a while since I’ve done a rant, which means a lot of rage has built up. I’m going to deliver it to you right now in the form of a reality check on the state of the gaming industry. It’s gotten to such a bad state in the past few years I’ve just avoided talking or thinking about it and happily played my games. Iwata was right in 2000-2004 about graphics not being important. In 2015 he’s still right. He’s been right every time he’s opened his mouth and prophetised games declining in value (aka the end of the world) which IS NOW UPON US.
I’m sick of seeing this cycle of shit all over the web. Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony announces they lost a bunch of money or employees. Half the comments are “oh well they’re doomed snurf durf“, and the other half is “no, they’re not. here’s the math and here’s my dick.” Both sides need to shut the fuck up and realise you have nothing to do with any of this. One side looks stupid for being bitter against a piece of plastic, and the other side looks stupid creating problems and defending thin air around the plastic.
2004, Nintendo is struggling with the GameCube and losing the support of third parties. Game Boy Advance is doing well but the future is in doubt as the threat of a competent Sony handheld looms. After a kiddy Zelda game (that will never get a remake) gamers were desperately clinging to the hope of a proper “realistic” Zelda. A poor marketing campaign for Super Mario Sunshine didn’t help matters, where are the traditional Mario games? The future of the system was dependent on instant megaton announcements that didn’t happen, and Resident Evil 4 which was no longer an exclusive game. E3 2004 changed everything, with the introduction of a new system and a new attitude.
Nintendo DS was unveiled and Reggie’s confidence and the promise of a new Metroid title brought excitement to the terminally-hip crowd. However, as the dust settled, sites began taking the mickey out of Nintendo and this was the predicted downfall of the company as the unstoppable Sony showed off their new handheld, the PSP. Comparisons were inevitable and many people thought Sony would carry PS2’s success into the handheld arena. Here’s an article from IGN from just before DS and PSP launched, very clearly stating their mindset. It’s the best article I could find because they are trying to be open-minded, but it’s almost eerie how wrong they were. Here’s some quotes that highlight the apathy of DS’s unveiling.Continue reading “2004 – Nintendo Is Doomed”
It’s no secret that Nintendo struggled in 2013. Despite the continued success of 3DS, Wii U sales were significantly lower than expected and profits are down. Instead of trying to cover it up by selling buildings and firing 10,000 employees, Iwata has come clean and said he needs to do better. The Blame Game has now become front-runner for GOTY 2014 with everyone becoming an expert on how the company should be run. Blah Blah Blah marketing. Hurp Durp Burp profits and IPs. Luigi should step down. There’s too much Mario. Pikmin is too weird. Iwata should be fired. The bottom line is; the world has changed and Nintendo should adapt.
So what should they turn into, this?
Oh hey, guess what folks? The ‘true’ next-generation game systems arrived last month, but unlike most people who are absolutely convinced these are the best systems EVAH, I’m going to put out some more depressing realities that we could face. After all, didn’t you all like my last one?
No? Well shit.
Ahead of its enhanced 3DS launch next week, Japanese site GAME.Watch recently held an interview with Daisuke Yamamoto, producer of the moderately successful mobile title Puzzle & Dragons. Described by leading shampoo scientists as an ineffective cure for dandruff, the free-to-play iOS/Android release has become the highest grossing app of all time, earning roughly 35 cents for developer GungHo Entertainment.
Puzzle & Dragons Z for the 3DS looks to expand upon the game’s addictive hybrid of match-three puzzle/RPG gameplay with a greater focus on its story mode. There’s also some new and exclusive monster designs for Pixiv fanart-fuel. Plus, the fact that it’s now a full price (¥ 4,400) packaged release results in less intrusive in-app purchases. Players can now access the title screen without having to pay off an additional home loan, for example.
Below is a faithful English translation of the interview. Continue reading “An interview with the creator of Puzzle & Dragons Z”