Heard of Loot Crate? If you haven’t, it’s basically a service that sends a box of gaming merchandise to your door every month. It’s pretty much a monthly ‘gear’ club for anyone involved in the gamer or geek lifestyle, a cheap way to get a random box of free objects every month or so.
Above: An example crate from the Loot Crate website. Funny enough, it actually has a Nintendo themed piece of merchandise included…
Either way, Nintendo has announced that they’re starting their own version. Known as the ‘N-Box’ (why do we think Microsoft might not like that name?), it will feature various Nintendo themed toys, clothing and other such accessories and will be offered with three, six or twelve month subscriptions.
But what do we think of this? Well, it could be a nice idea if you’re one of those people who just has to have a house filled with Mario and Zelda themed merchandise, but the usefulness of the idea will have to come down to the price and what’s actually being offered in said boxes. Either way, it’s definitely an interesting new concept from Nintendo, isn’t it?
It may just be an interesting coincidence, but as of DK Jungle Climber’s release on Virtual Console, it seems like Nintendo has trademarked K Rool’s name. Here’s the description, in case you can’t spot it:
King K. Rool™ is up to no good again, and it’s up to Donkey Kong™ to swing into action. Using a simple control scheme that makes the game fun and easy to play, players of all skill levels can swing and climb to new heights.
People pretty quickly guessed that this had something to do with Smash Bros:
Apparently Nintendo has just trademarked King K. Rool's name. Omen of an upcoming Smash DLC announcement?
But is it true? Well,it is pretty suspicious that a character that Nintendo hasn’t used for a while (and hasn’t trademarked the name of before) suddenly gets a registered trademark just a few months prior to the Smash Bros ballot results being revealed. Okay, it could potentially have something to do with Jungle Climber (he’s in that game as well, obviously), but come on. Paon’s game is pretty much ignored by just about everyone, and they didn’t exactly trademark his name back when Donkey Kong Country 1 or 2 came out…
Add how King K Rool is very clearly winning the fan’s votes at the moment, and it seems likely Nintendo’s already decided to use him as Smash Bros character DLC. But what do you think? Does this trademark fiasco hint at the king making his return in Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U?
That’s according to Japanese gaming magazine V-Jump anyway, who state that the announcement will be live streamed online. Here’s a picture of the magazine page announcing it, for those who happen to read Japanese:
So what do we think?
Well, we would like to say that there’s no evidence this is going to be a brand new main series installment. Okay, the live stream thing might suggest that, but then again… didn’t quite a few less notable Dragon Quest games and spinoffs get Nintendo Direct showcases and what not? For all we know this could be some sort of obscure spinoff that hardly anyone ends up paying attention to.
But hey, we’ll just have to wait and see about that. Perhaps it really is a new main series RPG, and the hype’s so massive it brings Japan as a whole to a standstill.
What kind of game do you think Square Enix will be announcing on July 28th?
Well, ever since the company’s deal with Nintendo was announced earlier this year, it’s been speculated. But now it seems things might finally be coming around.
An ‘insider’ has stated that Universal is working on a new theme park in the US, complete with Nintendo theme rides and attractions! They then go on to say that not only is a Mario Kart rie a certainty, but that talks about both Pokemon and Zelda themed attractions are also underway, with the new park having multiple areas themed after different Nintendo franchises (due to the kids section of the park not having room for all the Nintendo attractions on its own).
Above: Mario Kart and Zelda may be getting theme park rides and attractions at a new Universal Orlando park
It also talks of World of Warcraft, and the possibility that Universal has gotten a deal going to open up rides and attractions based on that famous game as well. So if you’ve a MMORPG fan wanting to live out your fantasies in real life… that seems like it could be a very real possibility too. Perhaps the whole concept will tie into your online characters as well, like stuff you buy actually affecting your virtual avatars?
Above: World of Warcraft is apparently represented in this theme park as well.
So that’s apparently a glimpse into Universal’s plans for a video game based theme park. It’s an interesting sounding concept if it is true (and the idea of Mario Kart and Zelda themed rides makes us excited just thinking about it), but take it as hearsay so far, since it’s based on an ‘exclusive’ that hasn’t got a lot of evidence behind it.
What do you think about Universal’s possible plans for a new theme park? Does the talk of Nintendo and World of Warcraft themed attractions make you interested?
It’s extremely unfortunate that we’re having to write this article for Gaming Reinvented, but Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has passed away at the age of 55 due to a bile duct tumour.
He died this Saturday, with his ill health being the reason for a lack of presence at E3 2015.
Either way, Mr Iwata was someone who brought a lot to Nintendo. Programming games back when it wasn’t really seen as a legitimate career choice, he was involved in programming games for HAL Laboratory and Nintendo back in the 80s and 90s. In fact, he was so good at doing this that he managed to turn around the likes of Earthbound and make it actually playable (leading to one of the best RPGs of its era). He also worked on Pokemon Gold and Silver, compressing the data enough that the entirety of Kanto from the previous games could be made to fit in the space left on the cartridge.
And that’s even before we look at his achievements as Nintendo CEO. When Iwata took the helm in 2002, Nintendo was in trouble. The Gamecube was underperforming compared to its competitors, the GBA was then Nintendo’s least popular handheld console and their reputation in many regions was summed up in one word as ‘irrelevant’. But Satoru Iwata managed to use the Blue Ocean strategy to turn things around. He marketed the Wii and DS to people who’d never played games before and ended up making two of the most popular and success systems ever released on the market. From there, his work on the 3DS was extraordinary and again managed to turn around a failing system by releasing a near endless stream of great games for it and actually making it worth owning.
Yet he never lost sight of the customers or the fans. With comments such as:
On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.
The only person who has the right to be selfish is the customer
He never lost sight of who Nintendo’s real audience was. He never got driven into the world of cheap ‘freemium’ mobile games by investors wanting to take part in the app ‘gold rush’. He never turned Nintendo in a game driven by endless DLC releases and horse armour. He never told the developers to rush out games that weren’t ready just because the company spotted a quick sales opportunity.