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Prima Games is Shutting Down

If you’re a long time gamer, you’re no doubt aware of Prima Games. Responsible for the strategy guides released alongside every major game in the last decade, the company has basically become the last man standing in their space, with even Nintendo giving them the official licenses after Nintendo Power went kaput.

Zelda Guides
Example Prima guides for some of the Zelda series

But it seems there’s those days are now coming to an end. Why? Because as the title suggests, Prima Games is shutting its doors, with Penguin Random House’s Dorling Kindersley division saying it was a hard decision brought about by a significant decline in the physical game guide sector.

Which makes sense really. Unfortunately for those who like printed works like this, the internet has basically killed physical video game related books and magazines, with everything from Nintendo Power to Official Magazine and NGamer biting the dust in the last decade or so. There’s just no reason to buy these things any more. GameFAQs, YouTube and wikis have made the guides obsolete, whereas news sites and YouTube channels have done likewise for printed magazines.

Zelda Dungeon Guide
Sites like Zelda Dungeon have generally made Prima’s work obsolete.

Regardless, all operations will cease by Spring 2019, and any remaining Prima staff have been reassigned to the company’s current projects. So you can expect their Smash Bros Ultimate guide to get released as normal, even if basically everything else is on shaky ground.

But yeah, Prima Games is now officially closing down, it’s 28 year legacy finally having come to a close. So what do you think about it all?

Are you disappointed that Prima Games is soon to be no more?

Or do you feel printed video game walkthroughs have lost their usefulness a long time ago, and that this change was always inevitable at some point in the near future?

Tell us your thoughts on the matter (and more) in the comments below or on the forums today!

Source:

Strategy Guide Prima Games is Shutting Down after 28 Years (Nintendo Life)

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Direct Reveals New Characters, Spirits Mode and More!

Earlier today, Nintendo aired a new Nintendo Direct presentation for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Clocking it at 40 minutes in length or so, this presentation included information on every last member of the roster, plus all manner of modes, extras and side stories available in the title.

And as per usual with these things, we’ve decided to give our thoughts on the whole affair. So here’s the presentation in its entirely in case you missed anything:

As well as our thoughts on the entire thing, in recap form. Sitting back comfortably? Good, it’s time to delve into Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s final presentation, piece by piece…
our thoughts on the presentation, or just read a quick recap of everything announced in it.

Starting with the last two playable characters. Yep, as made clearly very shortly into the presentation, this Direct was going to be last time Nintendo announced new fighters for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, at least outside of the DLC.

But there are no surprises in this line up, since the final two fighters were two characters predicted by almost half the internet. Namely, Ken from Street Fighter and Incineroar from Pokémon Sun and Moon:

Incineroar Artwork

Ken Masters Artwork

They’re about what you’d expect really, and in our own opinions, pretty decent choices for newcomers overall. After all, Ken is almost always present alongside Ryu in crossover games, so having him as an echo fighter seems like a logical move.

Meanwhile, despite Incineroar not really being the most popular Pokémon in the world (or heck, one with any previous spin off appearances under that belt), he makes a lot of sense in Super Smash Bros regardless. I mean, he’s a wrestling heel. His whole gimmick and moveset revolves around using wrestling moves with fire themes.

That makes him ideal for a fighting game like this, and makes for a nice contrast to Greninja, another Dark type starter Pokémon introduced in Super Smash Bros for 3DS/Wii U.

Either way, they’re both decent enough characters and both act exactly as you’d expect them to, so let’s move onto something else.

Aka the Spirits mode thing, which is in an interesting beast in of itself. Put simply, it’s what you get if you mix adventure mode (or the Subspace Emissary) into a blender along with classic mode and the trophy collecting from the earlier games.

Or more precisely, it covers two connected modes with the same name. The trophy replacement has you collect characters from throughout Nintendo’s history and use their abilities to power up your fighters in battle. For example, collecting Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey gets you increased throwing power, and Princess Shokora from the Wario Land series gives you the Super Leaf effect in battle. Basically, in that sense it’s kinda like the stickers from Brawl mixed with the upgrades from the last game’s Smash Run mode.

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Is Adi Shankar in Talks to Produce a Legend of Zelda TV Series?

Over the last decade or two, Nintendo hasn’t exactly been willing to loan out their characters to other characters for adaptations. Indeed, after the 80s/90s and the disastrous Super Mario Bros movie, it seems Nintendo’s willingness to allow for adaptations into other media has mostly stopped with Pokémon and the odd animated short, with longer projects on par with the Super Mario Bros Super Show being non-existent.

But things are changing. Not only has Detective Pikachu got a movie in the works, but there’s a Mario movie in development too, with a Nintendo World section at Universal Studios in the pipeline. And now, it seems the Legend of Zelda may well be the next series to get the adaptation treatment.

That’s because Castlevania series producer Adi Shankar is teasing an upcoming project that he’ll be announcing on November 16th. This project is apparently one he’s working on with an iconic Japanese gaming company to adapt one of their iconic franchises into a series, with no more details given beyond that.

However, it seems that series may be the Legend of Zelda. That’s according to The Wrap anyway, whose anonymous sources have supposedly said the series Shankar is adapting is Nintendo’s legendary franchise.

This would line up quite nicely with Shankar’s wording in the original statement, and provide a neat follow up to the (highly acclaimed) Castlevania follow up.

And it’d also likely provide Zelda fans with a decent cartoon too. After all, Castlevania is the best received video game adaptation in history, with both the public and critics loving the serious storylines and fantastic animation of the series. That’s good news for Zelda fans worried about an adaptation, especially given the absolute disasters that were previous attempts at adapting the series in this format (glares at the 80s Zelda cartoon).

Above: Or the CD-I games, which used a similar animation style to the cartoon show

But is it true? How would said series adapt the Legend of Zelda series?

Well to be honest, it’s hard to tell for the first point. Again, The Wrap is going on anonymous sources with this story, and said sources haven’t seemingly talked to other publications about the rumours. Meanwhile, Nintendo’s own response is the usual vague ‘we have no plans to announce at this time’ malarkey, which means they can’t back up or deny the rumour either.

So it’s not really possible to judge the first part. As for the second?

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A New Super Smash Bros Ultimate Nintendo Direct is Coming this Thursday

A couple of days ago, we posted about a Super Smash Bros ‘leak’ going around online. Featuring such characters as Banjo-Kazooie, Shadow the Hedgehog and Mach Rider, the leak was based on a ‘promotional image’ posted on Snapchat, and appeared to give away the entire roster for the upcoming game.
However, there was no proof either way as to its validity. Oh sure, it looked legitimate enough from a distance, but there was evidence both for and against it found easily online, and the whole thing could just as easily have been a hoax as a legitimate leak. Based on that, we just had no way of knowing the situation.
Until now. Because as the title suggests, a new Nintendo Direct for Super Smash Bros Ultimate has been announced for this coming Thursday, and it promises to blow the lid off all manner of Smash Bros Ultimate reveals and inclusions. Here’s the tweet about it from Nintendo of America’s official Twitter account:

As well as similar tweets from their counterparts around the world:

In addition to a list of times for the event:

RegionTime
US (PT)7 am
US (ET)10 am
UK2 pm
France3 pm
Japan11 pm

As you can see, there’s no denying this is gonna be a big deal. It’s being talked about everywhere, it’s getting a ton of press, and it’s got 40 minutes to fill with Super Smash Bros Ultimate announcements and reveals. That means the likelihood of at least two or more characters being revealed for the game is extremely high, and given the situation (last Direct before launch), even means it’s possible we’ll see every single remaining character announced as well.

And that means it’s judgement day for the ‘grinch leak’. Will Banjo-Kazooie get its protagonists as newcomers? Will Mach Rider make his Smash debut?

If so, then the leak was probably legit, and we can add it to the ‘actual leaks’ list along with the Paper Mario and Pokémon ones of years past. However, if no one like this does get revealed (or worse, they’re revealed as Assist Trophies or background characters), then we consider it dead, and the whole affair a complete waste of time and effort.

It’s all to play for, and it’s this Nintendo Direct that’ll be the deciding factor. Let’s see what Thursday brings!

More Super Mario Odyssey Concept Art Reveals Early Designs for Cappy, NPCs, Enemies and More!

A couple of months ago, a couple of pages from a book called The Art of Super Mario Odyssey were posted online. These featured everything from an official Bowsette to a cartoony version of New Donk City, and gave a ton of interesting insights into the changes the game went through in its development.

Yet as interesting as that selection was, it turns out it was only the tip of the iceberg where ‘beta’ content and unused ideas was concerned. That’s because a Twitter user by the name of Akf̶a̧m̡ilyhom̴e̴ bought the book recently, and the pages he’s been posting online show even more interesting ideas from Odyssey’s development cycle. Like say, these early concepts for Cappy, showing even more possibilities for his design:

Early Cappy Designs

They’re pretty cute really, especially the crow like one in the bottom left and the penguin/mouse esques ones above it.

And it seems Cappy and the Bonnetors weren’t the only ones to get a design overhaul either. No, the citizens of Bubblaine (aka the Seaside Kingdom) went through a fair number of changes in their designs too, ranging from regal squids to Mario & Luigi Dream Team inspired sea snail people:

Bubblaine NPCs

Same goes for the New Donk City NPCs as well. Those guys went through literally hundreds of redesigns over the course of the game’s development, with some of the older variations taking a fair bit of inspiration from Stanley and other characters of the 8-bit arcade era.

New Donk City NPCs 1

New Donk City NPCs 2

Which us make us wonder whether the game may have worked out better had they stuck with the older variations. After all, the current citizens of Bubblaine look a bit plain all things considered, and the realistic humans in New Donk City seem extremely jarring in a Mario game like this. Perhaps the older ones would have fit the universe better, and given the game even more charm?

It’s hard to tell. Regardless though, what definitely would have worked better are the characters in this artwork:

Doki Doki Panic References

Why?

Because they seem to be inspired by the original cast for Doki Doki Panic, aka the game that became Super Mario Bros 2. To see them in Odyssey would have been a fantastic call back to the 80s, and nicely tied Doki Doki Panic into the Mario universe, confirming its status as a Mario title in all but name.

Still, I guess the theme for the world worked against that idea. Remember, Odyssey’s desert world isn’t your typical Mario desert world, it’s a Central American one with a Day of the Dead style populace. The Arabian characters wouldn’t have fit well in this area, and given the choice between ‘Mexico’ and ‘Middle East’ for their desert region’s inspiration, it’s likely Nintendo just thought the former made for a more interesting level.

But there’s no reason certain other ideas shown in this book couldn’t have been used in the game. Like these cats, which were clearly meant to be a part of New Donk City’s landscape at some point in development:

Cats

Bit disappointing to see those didn’t make it in really. Dogs are already present in many kingdoms (and the Odyssey itself in the postgame), so a few cats in the alleys of New Donk City wouldn’t have gone amiss here. Nor would Bowser’s trenchcoated design for the same area:

Bowser in Trenchcoat

Indeed, can you imagine if Bowser had a different design for each world? That would have been a great idea to include here, and (given Peach’s tendency to dress for each kingdom she visits in her postgame tour with Tiara), would have worked wonders for the globetrotting aesthetic this game was going for. Imagine Bowser wearing samurai armour in his own kingdom, or dressing like a Communist leader/Russian tsar in the Snow Kingdom! That would have been awesome.

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