Looks like Fire Emblem Awakening really is coming to the US

It technically hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Nintendo have registered some new domains recently (presumably for official websites) and among them is the domain ‘FireEmblemAwakening.com’.

As you can see here, it’s definitely owned by Nintendo:

http://whois.domaintools.com/fireemblemawakening.com

Organisation Name…. Nintendo of America Inc.

Admin Email………. webmaster@nintendo.com

Should it be any real surprise Nintendo is going to release the game outside Japan? Probably not considering the last few Fire Emblem games all got a worldwide release, but at least it seems to be nearly guaranteed now.

And on that note, Marth and Roy’s chances for Super Smash Bros 4 went up drastically!

Fire Emblem doing great in Japan; Nearly Sold Out

Will the same pattern apply to the game’s sales over in the US and Europe?  Hard to tell, but from the comments of Japanese retailers the game seems to be doing pretty well and flying off the shelves over in Japan.

Here are some of the quotes about the game and how it’s selling:

We’ve heard that others have been experiencing a scarcity of units, so we’ve added more, but still 90% of it was sold out

In the first day apparently.  They go on to say that they’re skeptical Nintendo can meet the demand for the title.

60% sold out and it’s looking good

Said by another retailer

They also mentioned 80% sellthrough, which means that of all the copies of the game supplied to the shop by Nintendo, 80% of them were sold to customers so far.

Marketing seems to be helping quite significantly too, another shop owner mentions how the heavy advertising Nintendo did caused a pretty large crowd to come in and buy the game on launch day:

First thing in the morning, it’s 3DS Fire Emblem on parade. I feel like nothing else was sold at all. It’s all Fire Emblem. Rare for a Nintendo title, they released commercials and everything, so a crowd of people came in on the release date.

All in all it looks hopeful for the game especially considering it’s supposedly selling to people of all ages and demographics. Not sure if it’ll do so well in the US given that the country seems to be more obssessed with gritty looking action/first person shooter games than strategy based ones, but here’s hoping it’ll do better than the rest of the Fire Emblem series and maybe go as far as to make the series more of a household name.

Source:

http://www.siliconera.com/2012/04/23/what-japanese-retailers-are-saying-about-fire-emblem-awakening/

Rayman Origins Sequel Coming Soon?

There’s been an official Ubisoft survey posted online recently and the questions directly mention and show a second Rayman Origins game.  Here are some pictures of the page of the survey about the game:

Apparently they come from a marketing survey run by the company Arkenford, of whom Ubisoft is a regular client.

It looks to be more of the same and generally much like the first game from the limited description and short video shown.  The text reads:

Now we’re going to talk about the upcoming sequel of Rayman Origins and show you some video content. IN ADDITION TO ALL FEATURES ALREADY IN RAYMAN ORIGINS (long and intense campaign, in solo or up to 4 players join in/out co-op, beautiful 2D graphics…) its sequel will feature additions on which we’d like your feedback.

The sequel to Rayman Origins will feature brand new settings; legendary worlds filled with castles, vampires, Ghosts, Greek Gods, or dragons…

So yes sounds pretty good so far, and the screenshots look fantastic. What would you want in a sequel?

In Defense of New Super Mario Bros 2; Is it really that bad a game?

Because some people seem to have gone all end of the world/panic mode about New Super Mario Bros 2 and started ranting about the downfall of Nintendo and the Mario series, here are some reasons not to pre judge the game by just four screenshots.

1. It doesn’t look as good as Kid Icarus Uprising!

So?  Most 3DS don’t and most future ones won’t either including most by Nintendo.  Does every game under the sun have to use the full power of the console it’s released on now?

It’s perfectly reasonable to think Nintendo were lazy with the graphics in New Super Mario Bros 2.  But be a bit more rational here, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the style either and it isn’t really that different from the one in Super Mario 3D Land or any other recent Mario game.  Besides gameplay is far more important than graphics, and comparing this game to Kid Icarus is comparing apples and oranges.

2. Being mostly made of familiar elements from past games isn’t a bad thing

Really, that’s what most recent Mario games have consisted of.  Was the shift from New Super Mario Bros to New Super Mario Bros Wii really much more of a shift than the one from New Super Mario Bros 1 to New Super Mario Bros?

But more importantly, many of the elements Nintendo seem to be bringing back are ones fans have wanted for ages.  How long have people wanted Raccoon Mario and proper flight again? And if these elements are in New Super Mario Bros 2, who knows what else could turn up.  Look at some of the array of classic things New Super Mario Bros Wii brought back:

  1. Koopalings
  2. Rideable Yoshi
  3. Kamek + transformations
  4. Airship Levels
  5. Porcupuffer
  6. Spikes (those spike ball turtle enemies)
  7. Munchers
  8. Ptooies
  9. Fuzzies
  10. Boo Rings
  11. POW Blocks…
That’s just some of it.  When you consider that there’s still quite a lot more awesome stuff from older games still available to bring back for this game (have to say, I’d personally hope for Roto Discs, Reznor and Chargin’ Chucks next), should we really be complaining too much about this one?  Considering we’re even getting a new Mario game less than a year after Super Mario 3D Land and that we’re getting a potentially much better one on the Wii U a short time after that, why not just chill out a bit and look forward to the old school stuff that Nintendo might bring back in this game?

3. It’s too similar to NSMB… Choose your poison carefully

Really, for all the people complaining it’s too much like the first two New Super Mario Bros games, keep in mind what happened in the past every time Nintendo (or anyone else) tried to drastically change their beloved series and try something new.

People hated it for being new and different to the older games.  Remember a well known game called Super Mario Sunshine?  It’s a great game and it was very different to the Mario games before and after it.  Pity fans hated various elements and practically every new character it introduced, at least initially.

It also sold the least of all Mario platformers in history.  Meanwhile look at games that didn’t change a whole lot like New Super Mario Bros and you get games which sold well over 20 million copies and ended up making Nintendo an absolute ton of money.  Is it really any surprise why they stuck with what’s familiar in making this game?

 4. We’ve seen just four screenshots

Isn’t that just a little early to judge a game?  We don’t even have any gameplay footage or any form of trailer yet and who knows what’s in this game that we can’t already see?

Look at New Super Mario Bros Wii for instance.  It’s not the most ambitious game in the world or the best possible 2D Mario platformer ever but it definitely turned out to be better than people expected.  The boss battles were excellent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_4x5DssEQE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=381l66Ijokk&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrE9m8fHE5s

How many boss battles are shown in these screenshots again?  Zero.  Heck we don’t even know who’s helping Bowser in this one, or (at least in theory) whether Bowser is even involved in the first place.

Another thing that was at least decent about the New Super Mario Bros games was the music.  Yes the grass land theme was annoying and overused.  But I don’t know anyone who disliked the castle music so far, in either game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrAa-_SlRCY

But seeing as we have no footage of the game and hence no way to hear any of the soundtrack we don’t know in the slightest how catchy some of the music might be.  For all we know that desert level could have something majestic and almost egyptian sounding playing in the background that makes people think it’s awesome.  Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGV-8tXmxzs

Not as if people on the internet seem to care, half of them seem to think anything not orchestrated is no better than elevator music nowadays.  Yes Super Mario Galaxy had the better soundtrack, but that doesn’t mean the music in New Super Mario Bros is mediocre or bad. Or that New Super Mario Bros 2 won’t have an even better soundtrack than the last two New Super Mario Bros games…

Another thing that can’t be judged is the quality of the level design, whether the levels will be fun to play in general or what gimmicks may show up in the rest of the game.  For all the ‘OMG rehash’ comments New Super Mario Bros Wii got for being like its predecessor, it’s hardly as if the game didn’t have a ton of gimmicks and clever tricks up its sleeve in the later levels.

We don’t even know if this game will have the same world themes as the last two New Super Mario Bros games will.  Yes it’s got a forest world, a grass world and a snow/ice world.  Oh wait, it’s got levels with those themes.  But so did Super Mario 3D Land which turned out to have no themed worlds whatsoever.  Might the same thing apply here?  Or perhaps Nintendo might even return to a more Super Mario World type map.  Who knows?

All in all, be reasonable and actually wait for some more information before judging this game as a lazy rehash or the death of Nintendo or the Mario series or anything else.  Don’t go judging games based on exactly four screenshots and assume you know what happens in the rest of the entire game as a result.

Nintendo Direct; Full Breakdown of announcements

In case you missed the Japanese version of the presentation this morning, here’s a nice summary of everything that gets announced.

Update planned for Mario Kart 7, which will be released in May.  It’ll supposedly remove some unfair shortcuts/glitches from online play and be required to play online, putting a stop to the Wuhu Mountain Loop fiasco.  No word about if it adds anything else, some people think it might add characters, options or karts.

New Super Mario Bros announced, and due this August (at least in Japan).  Screenshots and information can be found in this post:

https://gamingreinvented.com/nintendo3dsnews/new-super-mario-bros-2-announced/

April 25th firmware update confirmed.

Heroes of Ruin released June 15th with voice chat and daily DLC missions for an entire year.  Nice to know some companies are willing to make use of the parental controls for the system rather than arbitarily limit their games and copy Nintendo.

Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance is out June 20th.

You can find a video of that game here:

Theathrhythm Final Fantasy out in the summer.  Knowing the above, probably either June or July.

Again, video can be seen here, this was shown in the event:

Some Kid Icarus Uprising techniques and tips are shared by Sakurai.  The tips video can b watched below:

Some footage of Epic Mickey the Power of Illusion shared, and can be seen below.  Also, Warren Spector discusses the game and how it ties in to past Mickey Mouse platformers.

So yes, that’s all from yesterday’s Nintendo Direct.  Back to normality I guess.