Oh God, in game advertisements now?

Thankfully it’s not Nintendo that are deciding to put these blasted things in their future games, at least as far as I can tell, but if you ever need another really good reason never to support Sony and the Playstation ever again, here it is.  They’ve got a patent for… well, the most annoying type of in game ads ever:

A method for use in advertising includes initiating playing of interactive content, suspending playing go the interactive content, displaying an advertisement, and resuming playing of the interactive content.

Oh yes, basically, it’s like the halfway through a TV show commercials various television channels use.  Or how every time you get to about halfway through a Nostalgia Critic video, it pauses the stuff you actually came to watch and show as an annoying, pointless advert about something or another.

It also mentions (according to Games Industry.biz) that it:

could be initiated by a server signal to make sure all players see it simultaneously

So wait, multiplayer games with forced commercial breaks?  Oh what fun!  Can you imagine how absolutely thrilled everyone would be if midway through a Mario Kart 7 race or a Kid Icarus Uprising match the game called a commercial break and suddenly you ended up seeing an ad for Mario Party 10?  And I’m going to guess all players could mean anything between a whole match’s worth of players being interrupted or literally everyone playing online at the same time being rudely interrupted. Can you imagine how many people would want to literally kill the video game publishing company if their game stopped just so they could watch some stupid, completely irrelevant commercial?  Oh wait, it doesn’t even mention this has to be multiplayer games does it?

So we’re just about to fight Bowser in Super Mario Galaxy 3!

Oh wait, now for some car insurance ads!

You know what?  For now I’m kind of glad Sony’s the one with the patent on it, given how it means Nintendo and Microsoft probably won’t be paying them to implement the thing.  But if it ever turns out that games end up like TV shows with commercials at random points throughout gameplay, I am never playing a video game again.  Period.  Heck, if anyone here has a Playstation Vita and Sony tries to put commercials in the middle of your multiplayer games or anything, boycott them.  Ask for a refund for the game console and show them that no, players aren’t going to just shut up and deal with this stupid idea.

And for the video game websites out there that like covering these types of controversies, you really need to run a story about this new gimmick.




What happened to WarioWare?

For the last few years, it seems WarioWare has always acted like a tech demo for each new Nintendo console that’s came out.  Touched showed off the DS, Smooth Moves the Wii remote and Snapped the DSi’s camera.  But after DIY (also on the DS), what happened to the series since then?

There’s no 3DS installment despite the huge amount of possibilities that could be opened up, and it seems like Nintendo haven’t announced or shown off a Wii U version either.  With a few years since DIY’s release, could WarioWare have followed Wario’s other series Wario Land into the abyss?

Part of me unfortunately suspects this might have happened.  One possibility is that the series has kind of been ‘replaced’ by the generic pack in games included on the 3DS and the tech demos shown off for the Wii U, that like how Mario sports games and Mario Party were for most of the Wii’s lifespan thrown away to focus on the Wii series, that Nintendo have decided it’s not worth the effort to make their system selling gimmick games all about Wario and co.  That at least leaves some hope (Mario Party returned with a recent ninth game and Mario Tennis Open has just came out on 3DS), but it does make me wonder whether some older series are literally seen as obsolete in this day and age…

Another possibility which could be worrying would be if the team at Intelligent Systems have just moved onto Rhythm Heaven.  I mean, it’s got the same director as WarioWare (Sakamoto, also responsible for Metroid and Wario Land 4), and it seems kind of possible that the series has gone down the same road as the Wario Land series did after 4, the team behind it moved onto another series and hence the brand got retired for a few years.

But maybe we’ll see something at E3 instead, that could only be a good thing.  Think of how many new things a WarioWare 3DS could do that the DS and Wii installments never could!  You could have augumented reality microgames, gyro controlled microgames, 3D effect using microgames (maybe like Mario 3D Land’s puzzle rooms, where you have to work around some illusion) as well as all the touch screen and microphone focused ones used in Touched and DIY. Heck, even the camera microgames from Snapped could make a return, if Nintendo was to somehow improve them to the point they’re actually fun to play.

Still, the possibility seems open that WarioWare might have died the same ‘death’ as the poor Wario Land series did for a while.  Either that or Nintendo is taking their sweet, sweet time at releasing a new installment…

What do you think?

Could New Super Mario Bros work well with a level editor?

Through the years, many a gamer has wished for a level editor in Mario, while simultaneously complaining about how basic the New Super Mario Bros series looks in comparison to the likes of Super Mario Galaxy.  But could the simplistic style of the NSMB series mean a level editor would be a really effective idea to implement, as well as an easy one to include?

For one thing, a good level editor is really only practical to make/use when the game’s graphics can easily be assembled by fans.  Many people have tried making a Donkey Kong Country one for instance, and this was the result:

Do you honestly see yourself with the patience and free time needed to assemble a pseudo 3D looking level from a few thousand hard to differentiate tiles?  This is the big problem with games like Rayman and Rayman Origins, Earthworm Jim and various other games with extremely fancy and overly detailed graphics, and also why pretty much nobody’s ever designed their own levels for them.

But for New Super Mario Bros 2 and Mii, Nintendo could make an easy to use drag and drop editor for levels in a similar style to the ones in the Mario vs Donkey Kong series, or Brawl’s Stage Builder:

Something like this is much, much easier to use for fans of the game, right?  I think a New Super Mario Bros 2 or Mii editor would work much the same way, and might even look a bit like the mock up below (made with real tiles):

Something like that would be extremely simple to make (since the tiles in NSMB are always either 16 x 16 or 24 x 24 pixels) and would also be extremely simple to use for Mario fans in general.  That’s the advantage of using a simple graphics style, it means a level editor for the game would be immediately useable and require no long hours of assembling random tiles just to get a decent looking level.

Similarly, the fact the tiles are generally simple means you can tell what parts are solid and which aren’t.  Useful for a level editor, especially as you can generally figure out what’s doable before actually testing it.

Given that editors in Mario vs Donkey Kong and Smash Bros Brawl have also generally been successful, as has WarioWare DIY, I think adding such an editor to either New Super Mario Bros 2 or New Super Mario Bros for the Wii U would really extend the game’s replay value.  Not to mention, what other advantage have these games and consoles got?

Touch screens.

Such a level editor would be a perfect use for the 3DS touch screen, with the level objects being dragged to or even drawn straight onto the display. Can you imagine how useful and neat in general it’d be if you could draw a fancy shape on the top screen and the game automatically draw the correct foreground tiles to match?  So this:

Could be automatically transformed into this:

I think that’s actually how the track designer worked in Diddy Kong Racing DS, although with only one texture/tile for the entire track. And I think this is a good way to use the touch screen and stylus for New Super Mario Bros 2, or the Wii U’s special controller for New Super Mario Bros Mii.

It’s also a good idea for Nintendo since it gives them a quick, easy way to immediately make Little Big Planet or whatever it’s called completely obsolete.  This not only makes one Sony ‘killer app’ completely meaningless for Vita and PS3 sales, but also means more people will buy New Super Mario Bros 2 and New Super Mario Bros Mii, since far more people want to design their own Mario levels than levels for a game/universe nobody cares about.  It’s also good for Nintendo’s popularity online, the success of games like Minecraft and various SMB editors (Lunar Magic, Toad’s Tool, Super Mario Bros X, Reggie and Super Mario Flash) indicates than an official tool would be extremely popular on internet forums and Youtube.  Which is a pretty good thing considering the growing disinterest in New Super Mario Bros and the perception of the sub series as lazily made/designed.

So in conclusion, I think the simplistically designed graphics and tilesets used for New Super Mario Bros 2 and Mii would make them work really well with a level editor, and I think such an editor would itself be a popular feature that’d get people more interested in these games again.  Could something like this potentially even be one of the reasons Nintendo is keeping the style simple?  Maybe a level editor is a possible ‘hook’ Nintendo is using to get people to buy the next New Super Mario Bros game, and they want the graphics as simple as possible in order for levels to be more easily made by players.

What do you think?

New Tekken Game Coming to 3DS Soon?

Given that the first Tekken game on 3DS supposedly had a severe lack of content in it (such as practically no single player/arcade mode and only basic multiplayer), it seems reasonable to assume that Namco Bandai is making this sequel as a way to make up for the mistakes of the first game.

The evidence of this comes from a recent release schedule, which interestingly lists a new Tekken 3DS game as planned for the near future (release date is currently still to be confirmed).  You can see this release schedule below, with the relevant entry highlighted in red:

Does anyone here want another Tekken game on 3DS?  Heck, does anyone on this site or the forums own the first Tekken game they released on 3DS?

Samurai Warriors 2nd Screenshots

Here are some screenshots of Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2nd that Famitsu released recently.  I forgot to upoad them when they were first available a few hours ago, but it’s better late than never I suppose.

The game looks decent enough I suppose.