Paper Mario Sticker Star; Is Level Based (Plot details inside)

Well, it looks like those of you a bit worried the game will be overly linear and mission based rather than in the style of the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube title have a bit more fuel to add to the fire, since Nintendo Power has apparently confirmed it’s broken up into levels accessed via a world map.

As for the story… well, it doesn’t seem particularly deep so far, although a few things about it open up possibilities for a mysterious non Bowser influence or villain behind the scenes.  Basically, there’s this event called Sticker Fest where a mysterious Sticker Comet flies by the Mushroom Kingdom.  You know, kind of like Mario Galaxy’s story I suppose.

Bowser goes for this comet but ends up smashing it to pieces when he hits it, spreading the pieces across the Mushroom Kingdom.  He also ends up with a crown somehow falling on his head and making him more powerful, so he decides to kidnap Princess Peach again.

It doesn’t seem like a particularly deep story to be honest, just another ‘find the pieces of the broken mystical object and stop Bowser’ one, but I guess it does sort of make sense as a Paper Mario plot and isn’t that terrible.  I mean, Bowser breaking the comet accidentally due to his brash actions and idiocy is very much in line with his generally moronic RPG series characterisation.  And there are hints a deeper story could be found here, the fact the pieces were randomly shattered rather than specifically ‘stolen’ leaves room for non Bowser affiliated forces to have comet shards in their possession, and the mysterious crown that falls on his head seems awfully suspicious even from the text summary given online.

But putting that to one side a minute, back to the level progression thing.  Apparently, yes it is split into smaller levels like in the standard Mario games, and a certain level (1-3) has a waterspout in the style of Bowser’s head you have to find a way past.  Oh, and you get comet pieces for beating each ‘level’, which makes me wonder how common they actually are this time around (since the map seems to leave room for far more than the standard seven areas).

Well, that’s the latest info on Paper Mario Sticker Star supposedly.  Probably not what fans of the first two titles wanted to hear, they were probably after something more like an open design world and a new villain, but it seems okay enough regardless.


Glory Days III Heading to 3DS eShop?

It’s still only a rumour so far, but it seems like it could very be legit, especially considering it’s mentioned as such on the official website for Odenis Studio, the game’s developers.  You can  see a picture showing what I mean here (at the top), or see it for yourself on their official website:

Seems good if it’s legitimate, my searches for information on the older games in the series led to some fairly decent reviews of them, implying that this game is likely to be at least decent.  And we all want more decent games on the 3DS eShop, right?

Game Freak wants Rhythm Hunter to come to the West?

They’re currently discussing the best way to localise the game with Nintendo themselves, but thankfully it does seem like a US or European release is on the cards and likely to come some time in the nearish future.  Here’s the quote from producer Junichi Masuda, taken from an interview with IGN:

In terms of a North American or European release, it’s definitely something we’d like to do, but we’re working out the details with Nintendo now and seeing what would be the best way to get that to players.

However, that’s not the only thing this interview seems to have made public about the company and what it’s like to work there.  Apparently, they also seem to have a Valve style system for smaller projects.  Basically, employees can come up with original ideas for games, and if they can find three co workers who can vouch for it and say they want to work on it together, they can proceed with that project.  Again, here’s the quote:

Within Game Freak, we’ve implemented a kind of new system where employees can come up with original ideas for their games. If they can find at least three co-workers to jump on the project and say they want to do it together, then they’ll be able to proceed with that project

I have to say, I think it’s a pretty neat idea if I say so myself.  It’s definitely a good thing to let employees work on their own projects in staff time like this, it reminds me a lot of how Google let their employees work on projects then turn them into company products, or how Valve’s management structure works.  Maybe Nintendo themselves should try something similar?

So yes, chances of Rhythm Hunter getting a US and European release seem fairly good if this interview is to be believed.  You can find the full thing here:

Epic Mickey the Power of Illusion; Aladdin Level Screens!

Yes, it looks like Castle of Illusion on the Megadrive/Genesis won’t be the only Disney game getting a shout out here, the design of these levels seems very much inspired by the two different Aladdin games released on the SNES and Genesis, and there seem to be quite a few references to the movie including the main character himself.  Here are the screens:

So yes, as you can see the Aladdin themed level in Epic Mickey the Power of Illusion is looking fantastic, and very much in the style of those classic platformers released on 16 bit systems in years gone by.

New Ecco the Dolphin game on the way?

Well, here’s a franchise revival you never expected to see!  Apparently, the creator of the Ecco the Dolphin series is going to meet with SEGA to discuss the possibility of a new game in the series, and that the original game’s composer could also be onboard with the project.

Now, it’s not quite confirmed, game creator Ed Annunziata did only say on Twitter that he’s convinced SEGA to discuss the idea of a new game, not that one is already in development or has already been greenlit.  Still, it’s always a good thing to see another classic series get revived like this, right?

Here’s the original Tweet:

Ecco fans, I need you to follow & tweetthank @scottfoe, he convinced SEGA to meet with me now chances of a new Ecco the Dolphin X100!

What do you think? Is this a good thing, to have a new Ecco game on a current gen console? Think SEGA will approve such a project?