Kingdom Hearts 3D; New Trailer

A new trailer for Kingdom Hearts 3D, supposedly known as a ‘special’ trailer for whatever reason I cannot quite figure out.  Still, it can be seen here:

And I guess it should make a few people a bit more excited for the game, don’t you think?

Could Wario Land and Yoshi’s Island be revived on 3DS?

I think so, and here are two developers I think would be up to the task for each:

1. Yoshi’s Island and GoodFeel

1. GoodFeel have a lot of experience with games with unique art styles

See above?  Those were GoodFeel’s last games, and both had a very unique art style.  Which put bluntly, is just what a Yoshi’s Island game really needs.  The original had a crayon/hand drawn style, Story had a sort of primitive pre rendered wood/fabric type style and even the worst games like Topsy Turvy looked like cardboard cut outs.  Given their expertise with unique art styles, I think GoodFeel could either mimic the SNES game’s style quite well (updating it to 3DS standards as necessary), or just come up with some beautiful hand drawn graphics like they used in Wario Land Shake It.

2. Their past games arguably worked a lot like Yoshi’s Island

Well, maybe worked a lot like may be a bit strong, but think about it.  Wario Land Shake It and Kirby’s Epic Yarn already had much of what people liked about Yoshi’s Island… large levels with plenty of room to explore, neat transformations, some clever puzzles/gimmicks of sorts that never got too much in the way of the core platforming… Heck, the 100% completion is just like Yoshi’s Island too; remember collecting five flowers, 20 red coins and 30 stars to fully complete each level?

When you add the secret levels you can unlock and such like (Yoshi’s Island’s GBA port had twelve secret/extra levels!), then I think GoodFeel could make a game that would seen as a worthy successor to Yoshi’s Island (more so than Artoon’s efforts at least).

2. Wario Land and Retro Studios

Hold on, what the heck? Yes, I do mean THAT Retro Studios, the company who made the Metroid Prime games and Donkey Kong Country Returns, and who helped out with Mario Kart 7. And surprisingly, it doesn’t seem that unlikely a combination.

First things first, it’s a surprisingly popular and important Nintendo series.  Yes, people like to mention Star Fox, F-Zero and Metroid… but Wario Land is actually a series which sells just as much as any of them.  No really, nearly every Metroid game has been outsold by at least half the Wario Land series, and a fair few of them have sold double what the typical F-Zero or Star Fox game has sold (the best selling one, the original, sold over 5 million copies worldwide, more than some Donkey Kong Country games and most of Rare’s Nintendo 64 output).  Retro Studios as a result have in my opinion a fair enough chance of getting asked to make a game in said series.  Not as much a chance as they would of making Zelda or Donkey Kong Country, but as much chance as they have of working on an F-Zero game.

That aside, here’s why I think Retro Studios could make a good Wario Land game:

1. It’s got a very ‘western’ art style.  Now, that’s not to say there isn’t a lot of quirkiness in the series and that a few Japanese things aren’t in the games, but Wario World aside the series has always shied away from the overly cartoony look found in Mario, Kirby or Yoshi’s Island.  Look at the first game a minute:

Or this level from the fourth game:

We’re definitely talking a series which would work best with 3D Donkey Kong Country Returns style graphics here, maybe even a bit of of Metroid Prime’s style would work for stuff like the factory/industrial themed levels.  And when you consider the games Retro has worked on, I think they could very, very easily make a Wario Land game which takes the style from the Game Boy Advance game and updates it to the modern day.

2. It’s a series which could potentially be extremely high selling

True, it died down a bit recently due to a string of mediocre games, but there’s definite potential for a series that could sell big in this day and age.  Think about it, 2D platformers are in vogue again with New Super Mario Bros Wii, Rayman Origins, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Sonic 4, the original game sold at Donkey Kong Country levels and anything Retro Studios touches seems to do great critically and commercially… They could both make the series relevant again and have it become another A level series.

Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?  You’ll sell Metroid Prime numbers.

3. They could do absolutely anything and there wouldn’t be any expectations from fans

You know how hated the tiki tak tribe from Donkey Kong Country Returns are due to replacing the Kremlings, and how some Metroid fans were unsure of the Prime games when they were first announced?  Wario has none of that problem.

Why?  Because his games don’t have continuity.  There’s no need to bring back known characters, antagonists or items, since hardly any of the earlier games did this themselves and any fans are pretty much used to it by now.  Retro could easily start from a blank slate, come up with their own new villain, setting and items and not only would there be no fan complaints, but people would fully accept it as a Wario Land game.

And two reasons both ideas would work well

1. Both Yoshi’s Island and Wario Land rely on excellent music

And both Retro Studios and GoodFeel can come up with some great music for their games.  Wario Land’s themes were always excellent:

Even in the bad games:

As were the songs in Yoshi’s Island:

Sure, some people may argue the Donkey Kong Country Returns soundtrack doesn’t live up to David Wise’s work on the themes from the original SNES games, and that neither the Wario Land Shake It or Kirby’s Epic Yarn soundtracks are amazing, but come on, they’re better than many of the alternatives.  Can you imagine a Wario Land game with Metroid Prime or Donkey Kong Country Returns level music on 3DS?  And heck, even what GoodFeel could come up with would absolutely curb stomp the music from Yoshi’s Island DS or Topsy Turvy.  Compare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZ_hU0da0k

To:

Even the most die hard cynics have to admit the former is preferrable to the latter, right?

2. Both companies can make good boss battles, which Yoshi’s Island and Wario Land need

Look at one of the bosses from Wario Land 4, as well as one from Yoshi’s Island:

Pretty nice boss fights, aren’t they?  And that’s why I think the companies I mentioned could handle each series well, because they really do know how to make decent boss battles.  Sure, some of the Donkey Kong Country Returns foes didn’t have as good a design as those in the SNES originals, but the fights themselves were excellent fun, varied, had great music and just felt unique (maybe except Tiki Tong ironically enough).

As were the bosses in Kirby’s Epic Yarn.  Look at the final one for example:

With bosses like that in the next Wario Land and Yoshi’s Island games, what could possibly go wrong?  Nothing I say.

So, that’s who I think should make the next games in said series on 3DS, what do you think?

Nintendo 3DS Download Games News; Quarth and True Rememberance

Neither seem particularly interesting games, with one being an old Game Boy puzzle game that I don’t think happened to be too popular back in the day (at least, I can’t find much evidence of the game being a cult classic or anything), and one being a visual novel which weirdly doesn’t even use the 3D that the 3DS is named after.

So, what do they look like?  Well here’s Quarth:

Or at least, its page and default screenshot on Nintendo of Japan’s virtual console page.  Eh, I think I’ll pass on this one.

And here’s True Rememberance.  It’s a visual novel which for some reason needs save slots.  No idea why, visual novels I hear aren’t exactly ‘difficult’ games.

Still, my opinion personally?  Forget any of those average games and buy Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 instead, that game is both awesome, somewhat challenging and actually fun to play.  See the next post for more info on that.

Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 coming to eShop in Europe!

Wow, it only took them a few months after the game was already available in Japan, but I’m really glad the game has made it to the UK and European eShop.  Why?  Well, to put it simply, Wario Land is awesome.  One of the best games on the original Game Boy, a classic which I must have played for hours on end.  Some information about it, which you probably won’t get from the press releases:

Has about 40 levels, in seven worlds.  The worlds are Rice Beach, Mt Teapot, Sherbet Land, Stove Canyon, SS Tea Cup, Parsely Woods and Syrup Castle.  But the levels aren’t simple or linear, with tons of rooms and passages to explore, hidden locked rooms with treasure (like the one in the screenshot below) and a few secret exits to boot (levels with them are marked as rings on the world map)

Plays very differently to Super Mario Land 1 and 2, and bar a short cameo in the ending is a Mario game in name only.  Wario can dash, ground pound and fight his way through levels, and while you can jump on enemy heads, that’s rarely the recommended way to defeat them.

Excellent graphics and music.  You can probably see the former from the screenshots in this article, but the latter is just as good, and unlike in the first two games, seems to have more variety.  Have a listen to some of the soundtrack:

Interesting boss battles.  Well, they’re a bit like the ones in Super Mario Land 2 Six Golden Coins, unique opponents that are still easy to defeat.  The bosses are a spiked Koopa, minotaur, penguin with boxing gloves, giant head, etc.

And a fairly basic story with Wario trying to get enough treasure to buy his own castle by attempting to take it from Captain Syrup’s forces on Kitchen Island.

Never the less, you need to buy this game if you don’t already have it on Game Boy.  It’s pretty much one of the best 2D platformers on the Game Boy, and I’d say it could even be seen as better than Super Mario Land 1 and 2 were.  Don’t waste money on the mediocre platformers on the service, or many of those silly indie games, buy this one instead.  You definitely won’t regret it.

 

New Fire Emblem Magazine Scans!

Been a while since we’ve seen anything new in regards to Fire Emblem, hasn’t it?  Ever since the series’ 3DS debut was announced back at that Nintendo event last year, Nintendo has barely said a word about it and the game had pretty much fallen off the radar.  But thankfully, some new information has come in about the game, and we can post some new magazine scans showing more game screenshots, official art and information.

New details are a bit scarse, but some interesting new things include downloadable content (which is almost a Nintendo 3DS first, let alone for Fire Emblem) and more interestingly… you can turn off permadeath.  You know how in past games whenever a character died they were gone for good?  It’s a fairly important mechanic in the series, and makes the series a fair amount more interesting.

Here though, you can choose to have it or not.  The old way is called ‘Classic Mode’, while the new way is called ‘Casual Mode’ and revives fallen warriors in the next battle.  Not a good choice of names there Nintendo, people are probably already decrying the downfall of Fire Emblem due to pandering to casual gamers as we speak, and the names don’t help this perception at all.

There are also multiple difficulties, Normal, Hard and Lunatic.  Presumably Casual Mode won’t be available on Lunatic, right?  Then again, permanent death plus a super hard difficulty level?  Seems like an option for masochists with a death wish.

Never the less, the game does seem like it’ll be interesting, and that it’ll be changing around the basic formula of the series quite a bit.  Any Fire Emblem fans should be looking forward to this one!