Nintendo Officially Takes Down Metroid 2 Remake

Remember a few days ago when we said AM2R had been taken down via a DMCA notice? And how we’d hoped it was a faker like with the other fan game take downs?

Well, the worst has now been confirmed.

We were wrong. The notice to remove it really was sent by a genuine Nintendo lawyer, and it seems like Nintendo doesn’t want this game distributed for whatever reason. Here’s the Twitter post confirming it, via Metroid Database:

So yeah, it’s not a Jason Allen type situation here. Someone at Nintendo or Miller Nash has caught wind of the project and decided to try and get it taken offline. As a result of this, it seems things are a bit chaotic over on the official site.

For example, remember that post about the game’s release? How version 1 had just been released to the public?

Well for whatever reason, it’s now gone. As have the download links and (for some reason) every post on the blog since June. No, we don’t understand the last one either.

removed downloads page

However, there is some good news here. Namely, the game’s release has ensured that millions of people have copies of it. As a result of this, it can be found on all manner of file sharing and torrent sites through minimal amount of searching. Smooth move there lawyers! Guess someone doesn’t know/care much about the Streisand Effect!

And talking of take downs and sharing, I do have to wonder one thing here. Namely, why now?

The game’s been up and running for about ten years now. In that time, it’s been on tons of best fan game lists, been featured on fan sites, had videos of demos posted online and has clearly been on Nintendo’s radar all the while.

So if Nintendo were seemingly so happy to ignore it then, why not now?

Did something change at the company in the last few years? Because it seems we’re getting a lot more arbitrary shut downs now than we did in the 90s or early 00s. Are Nintendo’s recent business failures causing it to look for scapegoats? Did the change in management put a hyper paranoid board of directors in charge?

Do Nintendo just hate complete fan works, and leave the ones that are in development?

Did someone literally tip them off and ask for it to be shut down?

Because it seems rather strange that it’s only now that AM2R is being wiped out. It makes no sense, and seems to be completely out of the blue.

But hey, what’s done is done. If Nintendo doesn’t like a fan game or work that uses their characters, there’s not really much to do at this point.

Just keep playing it, hope it gets distributed enough that others can find it and hope nothing more serious comes as a result. It’s incredibly disappointing news, but it’s somewhat expected none the less.

So what do you think? Are you disappointed that this great Metroid 2 remake was taken down? Why did it happen?

A Quick Update About That Metroid 2 Remake

DoctorM64 hasn’t received any messages about the game’s take down. As of this point in time, he hasn’t heard anything from Nintendo about the game or anything related to it.

So off the bat, something unusual is going on. Shouldn’t the creator of a fan project know that someone doesn’t want it to keep being available online? I think so, since otherwise said creator would keep reuploading it while being none the wiser.

Additionally, there’s something a tad about the removed links too. Basically, the game was removed from Mediafire and FileDropper. Not surprising, both are very quick to pull content the minute a single random claim is made. But what is surprising though is the notice on Mediafire.

Why? Because of these lines:

Company: Nintendo of America Inc
Email: dmca@millernash.com

Yes, Miller Nash have sometimes helped Nintendo with legal notices and what not.

But they’ve never used their email for this purpose.

Seriously. Look up the Lumen database. Basically, they archive DMCA notices sent to various file hosts and what not. They used to be called ‘Chilling Effects’ at one point, but changed it to appear a little less political in their branding.

Either way, I found no results for millernash.com in the database. Lots for Nintendo, but pretty much all of them used Nintendo.com in their email address.

As a result, this contradicts every other DMCA notice ever sent by the company. It also doesn’t match the details on their official legal page:

Nintendo Legal Page

Similarly, their IP Policy page lists ‘dmca@noa.nintendo.com’ as the contact email address:
Nintendo’s IP Policy

Nintendo IP Policy

So yeah, it’s a little suspicious at the moment. Could it be real? Maybe. For all we know, they could be completely changing their processes overnight and somehow switching all their emails over to their lawyers. But given how the original creator wasn’t notified, something definitely seems off here.

Still, at least Metroid Database is following it up with Nintendo’s legal team:

So for now, all we can do is wait and see what happens.

But what do you think? Are these notices real? Or is a hoaxer trying to screw everything up all of a sudden?

Has Project AM2R Been Shut Down by Nintendo?

Well, that was quick! Seems just 24 or so hours after hosting it, Metroid Database has received a take down notice for the Metroid 2 remake. Here’s the topic about it on their forum:

AM2R Takedown on Metroid Database Forums

But is the take down real? Well, it’s hard to be certain really.

On the one hand, it’s not associated with Jason Allen. Instead, the take down notice was sent by someone called Brian Sniffen, who claims to be from Miller Nash. This checks out a lot more, assuming the LinkedIn and Miller Nash profiles below refer to this individual:

Brian Sniffen on LinkedIn
Brian Sniffen’s Miller Nash Page

So it seems like the name refers to an actual attorney at least. In that sense, it seems like the notice may really have been sent on Nintendo of America’s behalf.

On the other hand… something still seems a bit off about the whole affair.

Why?

Because the actual project site and main download links haven’t been affected. Instead, the only notice sent was to Metroid Database for hosting the game. Not Mediafire. No FileDropper. Not whoever’s hosting the torrent file. The project site’s main news announcement is completely intact with all links working.

This seems odd for a DMCA notice. I mean, why go after a single random mirror? It’s not like more people were posting it, and the main download links themselves come up after maybe five minutes in Google.

It’s similar to what happened with Ocarina of Time 2D, which did seem to be the subject of a dodgy take down notice. Is the idea of going after a single download link a sign of anything? Is it a lazy hoaxer trademark? Maybe a strange practice by the legal team?

Because it’s a very strange decision to take, and seems to defeat the purpose of a DMCA notice.

It’s also worth noting that correct details don’t confirm anything in regards to a DMCA notice’s legitimacy. Yeah, a fake name is a clear sign that something’s amiss. But given that many such notices are posted online (via the Lumen Database), and email spoofing is extremely easy to do, it’s not inconceivable it could be faked here too.

But this is all speculation really. We’ll have to wait for a statement by Nintendo to know if it’s really been taken down by them or not.

So what do you think? Is it a real take down notice? Or another faker?

Metroid 2 Fan Remake Released!

It’s been a while coming, but it’s finally here! Metroid 2 remake AM2R is now out and can be downloaded from the official site right now!

Here’s the link (to the article with the download):

AM2R Release Post

So what’s AM2R?

Well, do you remember Metroid Zero Mission? How that game tried to remake Metroid 1 in the style of Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion? By making the graphics and music better and the game much more understandable to modern audiences?

AM2R is a fan equivalent of that, except for Metroid 2 on the original Game Boy. It takes the original game, makes it look all nice and shiny with 16 bit graphics, adds a better quality soundtrack and then includes new features like a map and extra areas to explore. Basically, it’s the Metroid 2 equivalent of Super Mario Bros All Stars.

Here’s a (now outdated) trailer:

It’s a really impressive project, and it’s been in development by DoctorM64 since early 2008 too. That’s some serious dedication for a fan game, don’t you agree?

Either way, you need to play this game. If you’ve played the original, then play it to experience what’s changed. If you haven’t, then this is a great way to get into Metroid 2 for the first time.

Play AM2R now, you really won’t regret it!

AM2R 1.0 Released

Newer Super Mario Bros U Announced!

With the original Newer Super Mario Bros 2 released in 2013 and Newer Super Mario Bros DS in active development, it was only a matter of time till someone would take the series to the next level.

And with SMW Central’s C3 2016 underway, it’s finally happened! From Skawo (maker of Newer Super Mario Bros DS) comes Newer Super Mario Bros U! A full fledged hack of the Wii U title, it aims to add new levels, graphics and enemies to the game just like its predecessors did. Here’s a trailer for the game:

As you can see, it already looks pretty impressive. There are some interesting level gimmicks and ideas (like the moving cogs in the desert, or the fancy waves in the ocean level). There are what seem like new enemies (the poison gas showing Foos, the Bowser esque snowmen). And heck, it seems like the graphics and music have been tweaked too.

You can find more information on the game in the SMW Central topic:

Newer Super Mario Bros U – SMW Central

Which also comes with these extra pictures:

NSMBU1

NSMBU2

NSMBU3

So yeah. If you liked Newer Super Mario Bros Wii and you have a Wii U, you should really like this mod when it’s released. After all, it’s by the same people as the prior games.

What do you think about the game?