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Our exclusive editorials about the 3DS and its games, as well as Nintendo as a whole.

Opinion: The Seven Most Controversial Video Game Announcements

Apparently one of the Paper Mario videos was stolen, so I’ve updated it to the latest version. Thanks to the Loney Goomba on Twitter for making the video in question! And to main_gi for reporting it!

Usually, most criticism of a game or show tends to happen after it’s been announced for a while. Like say, when a new trailer shows off a character that everyone immediately dislikes. When the game is released and turns out to be broken to hell and back. Or heck, when the game just turns out to be utter crap and doesn’t live up to early expectations.

But then, you have the times where it all goes pear shaped right off the bat. Where for good or bad, the fanbase/public/internet immediately hates a new game the minute it’s been announced. Maybe it doesn’t look very good and people’s expectations are sent crashing through the floor. Maybe it’s nothing like the original and the fanbase now wants to storm the developer’s office in an angry vigilante mob. Or hell, maybe the reveal was done in such a batshit insane, stupid way that marketing experts worldwide are smashing their heads into the wall at just how poorly thought out the trailer was.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQa9zWK5XJA

Above: Just your stereotypical angry mob!

And that’s what this is about. Here are the six most controversial video game announcements. The games whose trailers and announcements were so poorly done that the internet collectively lost it minutes afterwards.

Wii Music

So let’s start off with an extremely infamous game. Back in 2007 to 2008, the Wii was on top of the world. Super Mario Galaxy and Mario Kart Wii were doing great, Super Smash Bros Brawl had been released to mass critical acclaim and well, everyone thought E3 2008 was just going to continue the trend. Afterward, we’re on top of the world! What could possibly go wrong?

This.

After one hell of a boring, mostly uninspired E3 presentation, Nintendo announced a mystery game.

Cue Wii Music. Or more accurately, cue a ‘band’ of Nintendo employees badly trying to play the Super Mario Bros theme by waving Wii remotes around on stage:

In one foul swoop, any chance of Nintendo doing well at E3 that year was blown straight out of the water. They’d do better in the next one (thank you Donkey Kong Country Returns!), but in 2008, Nintendo was the laughing stock of E3.

Oh, and what become of Wii Music?

Not much. No one really gave much of a damn about it, it got discontinued really quickly and as of now, even Nintendo has basically forgotten that it even exists.

Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts

Which brings us onto this game. One which a significant portion of the Banjo-Kazooie would prefer to forget. And to be honest, it all came down to one thing:

Bad expectations.

Basically, trailer 1 for ‘Banjo-Threeie’ promised a normal Banjo-Kazooie game. Okay, we never got to see any real game footage, but it showed Banjo and Kazooie using their special moves to try and break into a locked room and gave glimpses of a HD version of Spiral Mountain:

Unfortunately, that’s not what we got. Instead, we got this:

Oh boy. Suddenly, our (maybe second) favourite platformer star was driving vehicles and doing random missions in strange and somewhat generic worlds, with the actual platforming few and far between.

That didn’t go down well. Why? Well, imagine if you saw a new Metroid game announcement, and then it turned out it was Metroid RC Car Racing. And was an online only, multiplayer focused title.

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Above: We’ll get to that.

Of course, the controversy when the game actually came out (hello LOG basically saying old school Banjo was crap and that kids nowadays would never play it) made the trailer controversy look tame, but it wasn’t well received regardless.

That still, it still got better received than…

Young Conker

Two Rare series in a row? Yep, and if you think what Rare did to Banjo was bad enough, just wait till you see what they did to poor old Conker:

Seriously, what the bleeding hell is that thing? It looks like a dehydrated rat in a space suit! That’s not Conker! It’s got the same voice, sure. But the game doesn’t look to play like a Conker game, the characters look horribly off model and absolutely no one thinks it’s a good idea.

And if you think I’m exaggerating here… well, just look at that dislike counter. 1000 or so likes compared to nearly 25,000 dislikes. That’s not so much a vocal hatedom as much as just about everyone’s who watched it thinking it’s terrible! Even die hard Rare fans couldn’t manage to defend this thing!

On a more positive side, some negatively received games can turn out to be really good…

Continue Reading…

Pokemon Sun and Moon; Predictions

Wait, the new trailer for Pokemon Sun and Moon has barely been out half a day, and you’re already making predictions? Isn’t that a bit premature?

Well yes, and no. Yes I’m making predictions, and no it’s not really that premature. After all, others were posting their predictions back when all we knew about the game was the logo and a few bits of concept art. At least this article is being posted after an actual trailer!

Either way, I like predictions. They’re a sort of game where I try to outdo the analysts and insiders through sheer common sense. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lost, it doesn’t matter anyway. So let’s get out the trusty old crystal ball, and see what the future might hold for Pokemon Sun and Moon!

Prediction 1: There will be more new Pokemon

So let’s start with an obvious one, shall we?

Basically, I predict that Pokemon Sun and Moon will have a lot more new Pokemon species than X and Y. The reason?

Because the team doesn’t need to spend as long remaking old content. Indeed, why did X and Y get so little new Pokemon? Because the series was moving to 3D for the first time, and that necessitated remaking everything single model of every single older Pokemon. So as well as just repeating the existing Pokedex, they needed to remake all the region specific forms, as well as the numerous Unown and legendary Pokemon variations.

unown

Above: All that for a Pokemon gimmick no one cares about.

In addition to this, they then had to remake all the people and items too. So all those Poke Balls needed a new design, all the trainers needed new models, all the recurring building designs needed updating… it was a lot of work for a new game, especially when said game had a release date set in stone.

But that’s all done now. The trainer classes can be mostly reused from X and Y (who cares the Cooltrainers look slightly old fashioned now?), the minor formes can be brought from the last generation without too many complaints (oh no, Unown ? looks worse than the new Pokemon!) and the old Pokedex is all done and set. The result? Plenty of time to spend on new Pokemon species rather than updated reskins of the old ones!

As a result, I’m predicting we’ll get at least 100 new Pokemon species in Pokemon Sun and Moon.

Prediction 2: The region with involve multiple islands

Well yeah, a pretty obvious prediction this one. The pictures we’ve seen of the Alola region show a fairly small landmass with closely grouped together landmarks. Like the one below:

Alola

Above: This can’t be all of it, right?

As a result, it seems almost inevitable that the game will not be restricted to this tiny area. Instead, I foresee extra islands to the North, West and South of the map, which might end up being the location of further gyms, towns, sidequests and legendary Pokemon.

To support this prediction, note the small blue building in the bottom centre. Looks a lot like a dock of some kind, doesn’t it? What’s more, you can see a boat inside said building too.

So I predict this will be how you initially travel to the nearby islands, until a point later in the game when Surf becomes available as a HM and you can travel the seas at your leisure.

Prediction 3: The villains will try to make day or night eternal

Because hey, most villains tend to base their plans around the cover legendaries for a generation. For example, Team Magma wanted to expand the land and Aqua expand the ocean. Team Galactic wanted to remake the universe in their own image, and Team Flare wanted to use Xerneas/Yveltal to power the Ultimate Weapon and either make themselves immortal or destroy all life in Kalos.

Hence based on that logic (and Sun/Moon’s legendaries representing the sun and moon), I’m going to guess the evil plan involves time. Maybe the team wants to use Solgaleo to constantly force the world into an endless day, as part of a plan to ‘stop’ time from progressing and destroy the sleep of people and Pokemon. Or maybe they want to use Lunaala to cover the world in a dark, dreary night, to kill off plant life and bring about thousands of years of darkness.

pokemon moon legendary

pokemon sun legendary

Above: Guess what they’ll be used for…

Yes, I know they’re not the most original plots. Yes, I also know the ‘endless night’ one was done in The Powerpuff Girls. But we’re talking about games called Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon here. What do you expect the evil team is going to be up to? Harvesting Pokemon ivory, poaching rare fish and running an illegal diamond mine under the starting town?

It’s going to involve day and night in some way. Let’s leave it at that.

Continue Reading…

Where’s the 3DS’ Successor?

It’s common knowledge now; the Wii U is being phased out and replaced by the Nintendo NX. Yes, it’s coming in March 2017. Yes the Wii U is likely being discontinued the year after. We know it’s coming and that the ninth generation of video game consoles has nearly begun.

But while everyone knows about the Wii U’s successor, that still leaves one obvious question. One that’s been bugging me for quite a while now…

Namely, what’s going to succeed the Nintendo 3DS?

Because let’s face it, by all rights, the 3DS should be getting a successor. It’s been out longer than the Wii U and has at least matched the lifespan of the Game Boy Advance. It’s gotten almost all its major games already (Mario Kart 7, Zelda A Link Between Worlds, Pokemon X/Y) and a whole ton of unexpected surprises (Luigi’s Mansion 2, Majora’s Mask 3D). And both sales and third party support have been at a low point in recent years, with the latter being virtually non existent from companies outside of Japan.

So, where is it?

Where’s the next generation of Nintendo handheld system?

Is it the Nintendo NX? That sounds unlikely, especially with the level of power hinted at by the leaks and rumours. A console with higher specs than the Playstation 4 probably won’t be very portable. And that rumour about a future GamePad acting like a remote play device has been rather thoroughly debunked by this point.

Has Nintendo outright given up on portable systems? That’s another possibility, given how much smartphones seem to be cannibalising their market and how a lot more focus seems to be going to smartphone apps now. But Nintendo makes money on hardware as well as software, and a 200 quid handheld games system with 50 quid games makes a lot more money than no new hardware and free/cheap mobile apps.

Nintendo 3DS

LinkBetweenWorlds3DSXL2

2DSSystem

newnintendo3ds1

Above: Especially if they can sell people multiple versions of the same system.

Are Nintendo planning to keep the system going, even as the Wii U gets a successor? Well, that’s certainly possible. There are major 3DS games in development right now, and some of those haven’t yet been announced by Nintendo. But how much longer can the system survive on odd Nintendo spinoffs, Pokemon and eShop titles? Nintendo’s highest sellers have already been released on the system, and it’s unlikely they’ll get sequels on the exact same system. Mario Kart 9 or 10 will probably not be heading to the 3DS any time soon.

Metroid Prime Federation Force

Above: This is not exactly going to send 3DS systems flying off store shelves…

So just what is going on here? Where is the Nintendo 3DS’ successor, given that the Wii U is getting its own? And how much longer can the 3DS hold out before Nintendo moves onto greener pastures?

This Paper Mario Comic Based on Luigi’s Adventures is Amazing!

Back in Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door on Gamecube, you could encounter Luigi at various points throughout the game. There, he would mention his quest through the Waffle Kingdom to save Princess Eclair from the evil Chestnut Kingdom.

It was an interesting story (to the point it got an in-universe book written about it), and the various partners he was with seemed like fascinating people. But there was one issue.

We never saw any of it. We saw the outcome, with Luigi and his partner of the chapter. We got a small taster in some (highly exaggerated) in game books. But no one did we actually get to see or play through Luigi’s quest. So for years, the Marvelous Compass, Jazzafrazz Town and all that cool stuff were unseen subjects that the fans could only imagine.

But now this isn’t the case! Thanks to the wonders of the internet, a webcomic series has started up about Luigi’s adventures through the Waffle Kingdom, showing exactly what scrapes Luigi and his partners may have gotten into! Named Super Luigi, the series follows the basic outline of the original story while adding all kinds of new characters, places and jokes into it to make it more entertaining as a Paper Mario story. Here’s the link:

super luigi title

Super Luigi and the Marvelous Compass – Tumblr

As well as a quick preview:

super luigi preview

Above: Image from the comic, used to illustrate its concept. If anyone knows who exactly to credit, tell me via contact form or social media.

Interestingly, the art style isn’t the traditional Paper Mario style, but a cross between that and the rubberhose limb stylings of classic Disney cartoons. It’s an odd style to get used to at first, but it suits the story very well and gives it a certain charm that sprite edits wouldn’t have achieved.

Unfortunately, there’s just one snag here.

Despite being around since late 2014, the comic is only up to chapter 2. What’s more, it was last updated in February 2016, so it seems like updates for the story might be few and far between. Which frankly speaking, is an utter shame. It was fun to read, the art style look cool and damn, the little jokes and details and expansions on the original plot were really amazing. And in a time like this where Paper Mario fans have the horrors of Colour Splash to look forward to? This sort of story could be just the thing to cheer them up and bring back memories of the good old days.

Still, if you’re a Paper Mario fan, go ahead and read what’s there right now. You probably won’t regret it, and it’s a million times more interesting than Sticker Star ever was.

Source:

Super Luigi and the Marvelous Compass – Tumblr

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (and other Nintendo NX Rumours)

Corrected point about PSP sales. That said, the point is still a valid one for the most part; handheld consoles which are designed specifically for smaller, more ‘portable’ games (and which focus on things like decent battery life) tend to outsell portable versions of home consoles with home console style games. It’s why the Game Boy never lost to any of its competitors, despite them often having better technology and home console style games.

With E3 just a couple of months away, you can’t go anywhere without coming across rumours about the system and its future games.  There’s been talk of a hybrid home console/handheld setup.  There’s been speculation that Zelda U will move to the NX.  Virtual Reality has been mentioned in the context of the Nintendo NX. Basically, if there’s any possible NX related idea you can think of, someone is claiming it’s coming to the new system.

And straight from NeoGAF, here are another few rumours about the system!  Are they true?  Are they likely?  Well, let’s find out!

Like last time, I’m using the tiered rumors where a T1 means one source told me, T2 means two, Tier 3 means 3, and Tier 4 means four or more (there are no T4 this time). I will reiterate this, I am not the source of any of this information. I am simply passing along what I heard. It should all be taken with a grain of salt and not be taken as gospel. Don’t cry and flame me if by June none of this is true.

We’re off to an ‘promising’ start folks. Apparently, the person posting these rumours has so little confidence in some of them that he classifies them as T1-T4 based on how many of his ‘sources’ say they’re true.

The names also sound like codenames for Terminator models, but hey, that’s just a random thought. So moving on…

T3 Rumors

The NX gimmick. I uh….was told not to post this part by some people. As usual, take it with a grain of salt (although I don’t know why I would be warned if it was false) I’m not under any NDA though, and well, it could end up being false. But I was told a variation of this by three different sources. I don’t believe they have a reason to lie to me. Here goes….

I have no idea if I’m right, I’m probably not, this could be fake and my sources may be lying. But hey, I’ll post it anyway!

That’s not very inspiring, is it? Then again, nor’s this part of the rumour…

The NX is going to have a screen controller (whether it’s optional or standard I don’t know) and can be used anywhere to play your home console games. The controller itself will not have any processing capabilities, it’ll essentially be a dummy vita.

So we’re going down the Wii U route here, with a GamePad controller. Somehow I doubt this, especially given how much money and time went into the controller when the Wii U was being developed. It stopped the system being as powerful as its competitors and jacked the price up really high too.

It’ll likely have basic OS functions to access the NX console from anywhere, like a tiny cpu. Nintendo will use enhanced Wii U gamepad streaming tech, and allow the controller to be taken anywhere, connect to the NX console at home (likely through Wi-fi or personal hotspots and the NX console will likely have to be in stand-by mode). Basically, it’s remote play built into the box and won’t require a $200 add-on to experience it.

And here’s where it falls apart.

Remote play for games… is not quite ready to be feasible yet. Something similar works moderately well for office work (using Teamviewer to access remote computers and do stuff on them), but games require a rock solid frame rate and the bare minimum of lag.

Unfortunately, that’s not where the world is at the moment. We have terrible internet infrastructure across much of the planet, and outside of certain areas (South Korea, Silicon Valley, buildings with dedicated fibre connections), internet speeds are not as great as they should be. Want to know why always on DRM is hated?

Because for much of the planet, it’s not feasible. Having you booted out of a game every few minutes because your connection drops off or slows down would make playing video games into complete and utter hell.

This idea would fail for the same reasons. Or heck, even more so, because if your connection to your console slows down or drops out, you are probably going to lose the game you’re playing.

Imagine trying to get through this level:

And then your internet starts lagging or you leave the coffee shop/train pulls into a tunnel.

Your poor Kongs are going to go flying into an obstacle and explode with the rocket barrel. Or worse, you’ll do what’s needed, it’ll look like you’ve bypassed the obstacle, but then have the console sync up and play the ‘life lost’ screen straight afterwards.

Put simply, internet connectivity is not good enough for a gimmick like this to work well as the main draw of a system. You might as well go one step further and have them send the instructions by post:

Above: God Dr Ashens and Guru Larry are awesome!

This is likely what Kimishima meant in his interview with Sankei (http://www.sankei.com/west/news/1601…030012-n1.html) “different way to play with a dedicated machine” and the whole “new way to experience games” mantra that’s been going around Nintendo PR.

Yes, it really is a whole new way play. Or not play, if you’re in a ‘first world’ country with great internet infrastructure.

It also opens up a few censorship questions, but more on that another time.

Speculation: Nintendo could also sell personal hotspot usb adapters to get internet anywhere and plug either directly into the controller or a wall outlet to not drain the controller battery.

I don’t get it, how would this help? You’ve got a personal hotspot, it’s called a smartphone. It still doesn’t help that much if the infrastructure is bad, and hey, if you’re on mobile data, then it most definitely is.

Note: This does not mean there will not be a handheld. This isn’t meant to be a replacement for the handheld as there will still be limitations and the controller won’t have a full OS or the capability for physical game media (discs or cartridges). The needs of a handheld won’t be fully met with this feature. It’s just a nice add-on.

Which makes complete and utter sense. A good home console and a good handheld console are incompatible ideas.

The former needs:

  1. Decent amount of power
  2. Interesting, fully featured games with deep and immersive gameplay
  3. A comfortable, well designed controller
  4. A setup which is compatible with a TV screen or monitor

    The latter needs:

  1. Good battery life
  2. Simpler, quicker games which can be played for short bursts
  3. To be small enough to fit in a pocket, handbag or rucksack
  4. A lower price tag

You can have a good home console, a good handheld console or a piece of crap that doesn’t really do either type of gaming well.

That’s why Nintendo hit it big with their Game Boys, DS and 3DS, and Sony failed miserably with the Vita. The PSP did better (around 75 million systems sold), but still not quite on the same level as the Nintendo DS and its different variations.

T2 Rumors

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is in development for NX. This rumor gained popularity awhile ago from Geno but this isn’t my source. This was a T1 to start but today I got another source to give some info on it. Two different sources have told me that it is in development for NX, and one source said it’s being developed by Next Level Games, who is big enough to do this and Federation Force at the same time.

One source said it started as a Wii U game but after the disappointing performance of the Wii U and the scheduled release date for the game being late in the console’s cycle, Nintendo decided to switch development over to NX. (basically the same situation as Zelda for Wii U, but no word on if this game will also get a Wii U version). The other source said it’s a pretty big deal (he didn’t elaborate if he meant Nintendo is making it a big deal or his workplace is). To support this, an employee stealth edited his post last year.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was true. Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon was a massive hit on the 3DS, selling near 5 million copies. Nintendo knows there’s an interest in the series, and a Nintendo NX game would be the perfect way to fulfil that interest. Heck, they’re already providing an arcade port of Dark Moon, that shows a certain level of confidence in the Luigi’s Mansion ‘brand’:

As for it being moved over from the Wii U… yeah, makes sense. The Wii U is on its last legs, and some very credible people say that popular games like Zelda U, Super Mario Maker and Splatoon are coming to the Nintendo NX as well, to capitalise on its likely higher level of popularity.

Either way, I think this part seems pretty plausible, though that could just be my inner Luigi’s Mansion fanboy speaking. Hopefully it has music like this:

And some of the ideas from my Luigi’s Mansion 3 article:

Luigi’s Mansion 3; What I’d Like to See – Gaming Reinvented

But back to the rumours:

T1 Rumors

The NX will use a custom Polaris-like GPU. Likely will be on a FinFET 14nm fabrication node. The source told me it’s on the same architecture with heavy customizations of course . It will contain the feature set of Polaris. It is “marginally better than the PS4” and theoretically could be “2x the power of PS4 GPU”. I asked about PS4K being rumored to have a gpu 2x as powerful as the OG PS4 and how the theoretical performance of the NX would be and was told “Theoretically it could be close to the PS4K rumored specs”. Of course, we know nothing of Polaris or the PS4K specs, but he gave that metric.

Not sure about this one to be honest. I’d love the Nintendo NX to be more powerful than the PS4, and I’m hoping it’s more powerful… I just don’t see it happening.

Why? Because that’s not how Nintendo usually does things. They don’t go for ‘power’ first and foremost, they go for technical innovation and price. A console like this seems like it’d cost quite a bit to make, and that only goes up with the ‘remote play’ gimmick mentioned earlier.

Talking of remote play, what I said about poor internet connections holds true here too. Especially when you’re streaming PS4 type games around the world and expecting them to run with minimal latency or lag.

I’m going to paraphrase here, but one comment from a source about the power of NX was that “Dev’s could port over a PS4 game easily and have power to spare. Even the most demanding ones”. My own theory is any game that dips below 30fps on PS4 will likely stay at 30fps on NX and maybe have some enhanced effects.

Would make sense given the earlier rumour, though I think estimations about the system’s ‘power’ level might be a bit optimistic at the moment.

Continue Reading…