It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen anything of the Legend of Zelda for Wii U, hasn’t it? Indeed, with the game’s release date scheduled for this year and barely thirty seconds of footage having been seen since its announcement, the game’s got people varied for a variety of reasons.
But now, an interesting rumour has come out. Brought to us by Emily Rogers on Twitter (she’s previously known for writing articles about Nintendo’s strategies and business practices), they hint at all kinds of new additions to the series. Like voice acting (for everyone except Link). Or the player choosing what gender he/she is. Here are the tweets mentioning these rumoured new additions to the series:
As well as one additional one, telling people to look forward to more unique features:
So what do I think here? Well to be honest, I’m fine with most of them. The game being on Wii U and NX? Fine. Remember, the Wii U is basically dead at this point, best to let Zelda U do well on NX (like Twilight Princess) rather than die unloved on a dead system (like Skyward Sword). As long as the game is mostly identical on both consoles, Zelda U on Wii U and NX is the best thing for it.
The gender options? Don’t really give a toss. It’s not my preferrence (I prefer adding a badass female character alongside the male one, with their own designs and personalities), but I don’t dislike it either. More choices is good, right?
Above: It begun a while back anyway. Hopefully a female Link is closer to this than just a carbon clone of male Link with feminine clothing.
And the voice acting… well that’s what I’m arguably least interested in. Always found voices in any form of media kind of annoying if not done well (hence why I avoid Let’s Play videos in articles here), but I’ll give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt here. Supposedly Xenoblade had decent voice acting, as did Kid Icarus Uprising. Let’s just hope there’s an off switch for the future.
Above: What I hope Zelda U’s voice acting isn’t like.
On another note, the internet seems to have leapt on ‘gender options’ and gone all ‘OMG GamerGate is going to be so annoyed LOL’ (or something similar). Quick hint here.
They don’t give a toss.
GamerGate doesn’t give a flying [BEEP] if a game lets you choose a character’s gender.
Seriously, they never did. The whole ‘GamerGate hates women in games’ thing came from the media attacking a strawman due to not doing any research and not wanting to criticise their own friends. Unless the game features a ton of overly positive comments related to safe spaces, ‘privilege shaming’, and maybe a ton of internet memes, it won’t be criticised at all by these people.
Back to the story now. Are the rumours true?
Well, I’d like to think they are, because Ms Rogers has been a reliable source for some things before, and does have some contacts in the industry. But there are also a lot of rather massive additions that might go a tad far for Nintendo. And hey, even ‘official’ sources can be very much wrong about stuff, especially if they’re lower ranked employees. So consider the rumours, just don’t think they have to necessarily be true.
What do you think about these Zelda U rumours?
What’s more though, this isn’t no ordinary rumour. Ordinary rumours come from forums like 4chan with no evidence behind them. This one? It comes from someone on the Nintendo NX subreddit that the moderators have personally verified has industry connections. In other words? He’s either connected to a Wii U development company, or has access to NX development hardware.
So there’s more proof than usual. Is it bulletproof? No, even developers can lie. Heck, even Reggie himself could be trolling the internet and posting fake rumours about Nintendo consoles, you never know!
Regardless, here are the points (slightly cleaned up for readability):
It has x86 architecture.
It can backup data to Nintendo server (most likely My Nintendo).
There’s support for additional screen.
It can handle ports of current-gen games.
Will be able to interact with smartdevice apps.
Using NX software will unlock My Nintendo reward points.
So what can we glean from this, if true? Well for starters, x86 architecture is similar to that in the PS4. Which if you don’t remember, is a big deal because the Wii U’s PowerPC architecture made it hard to port multiplatform games to. Hence if this rumour is true, it seems hardware compatibility betwee the Wii U, Xbox One and PS4 should be better than before. Hence more big name third party games will likely get ported.
Backing up data is interesting, but I’m staying far away from this option regardless. Remember, online systems and services do not last forever. Remember Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection? Or how that was suddenly gone after the 3DS became a thing? Or how Club Nintendo shut down a while back? How about the Pokemon Dream World?
Above: Mario Kart DS and Metroid Prime Hunters fans thought this wouldn’t go away either. How well did that work out?
Yeah. Can you imagine if you had your save data backups on that service? You’d have lost everything, and be really screwed if you’d accidentally deleted data beforehand. So no, not trusting it. Gonna stick with SD cards and external hard drives instead, since the data there can be reverse engineered if necessary.
Support for an additional screen makes it appear like the GamePad is now a normal accessory. Which would make sense, the NX is likely backwards compatible, but the GamePad costs too much money to bundle with every new system from here on out. So it’ll probably end up in shops as something you can buy for certain games, based on that wording.
Above: This costs too much for Nintendo to keep including it in every system
The architecture thing already implies support for current gen game ports. But it’s nice to hear it stated, and it does make sense that Nintendo would be trying to make a really developer friendly machine this time around.
Being able to interact with smartdevice apps is logical, Nintendo have a whole line of them coming out. That Miitomo seems like it’ll be compatible with something along the line.
Above: It can’t just be a separate app, right?
And using NX software to unlock My Nintendo reward points makes sense as well. Nothing to say there.
But is it true? Well, it’s certainly conservative enough to be. Remember, one of the big differences between an accurate rumour and a wild guess tends to be summed up in a single sentence:
An accurate rumour doesn’t sound like a wishlist.
Think about it. The truth is less exciting than fiction, so fakers have an incentive to post wild, unbelievable things to stir up interest and make the future sound exciting. That’s why Brutal Mario’s fake demos and rumours all had ten million gimmick level ideas with enough ASM to rewrite Chrono Trigger in the engine. That’s why Smash Bros rumours focuses on tons of new characters and features. Why real life imposters pretend to have glamorous and almost movie like lives. The fake soldiers pretends he has twenty medals and a history with the Navy Seals, the martial artists conman claims to have ten blackbelts and training from a mystical guru in some mountain monastery guarded by ninjas. Because realistic leaks and rumours and claims aren’t interesting.
The above rumour is the ‘uninteresting’ kind. No ridiculous claims, no talk of a HD Super Mario RPG remake, no company gossip; it’s a realistic list of things the NX might well have.
So it seems accurate enough to me. But what do you think? Are these claims about the NX plausible? Is the subreddit’s verification worth a damn? Post your thoughts here or on the forums now!
You survived the AF lockdown, now claim your reward… [Verified] – Nintendo NX Subreddit
As you’re probably now well aware, today was April Fool’s Day. As per internet tradition, that means a lot of jokes from companies you’d never in a million years have expected to have a sense of humour.
But while the BBC hasn’t done anything interesting as their spaghetti harvest prank, and old Google is being criticised left and right over its Minions mic joke drop prank, the gaming world has more than made up for it.
So here is a full list of all the gaming related April Fools Day jokes I could find online. Enjoy!
Let’s start with jokes by video game websites then…
Source Gaming is now ‘Sauce’ Gaming. Yeah, that’s a groan worthy pun if I’ve seen one:
Mario Fan Games Galaxy is now a forum about the comedy TV show ‘All That’. They’ve even got a new style and everything!
Super Mario World Central is now doing paid DLC and microtransactions! You can now buy their virtual currency with real money, and use it for things like downloading resources from the site:
Nintendo Life on the other hand is running a story about a Splatoon game being planned for the Nintendo 3DS. It’s called ‘Splatoon Legends’ and seems to feature an art style somewhat inspired by the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros:
The Nintendo subreddit is now about the Mercedes Benz, after Nintendo’s work with the company on promoting Mario Kart 8.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Music subreddit is suddenly about Atari 2600 music!
And Smashboards is now called Emblemboards, and is dedicated to the Fire Emblem series. Hmm, I wonder what that idea came from?
Above: It’s what Sakurai has always wanted!
Super Mario Wiki added a few articles about a supposed ‘Nintendo Cinematic Universe’ series of movies. These apparently include a new Mario movie, a new Pikmin movie and a Super Smash Bros movie, with Pokemon related content coming later. To add to the joke, Pikipedia (the Pikmin wiki) and Super Smash Bros Wiki (guess) are also running articles about their ‘upcoming’ movies from the cinematic universe.
Above: Oh we wish this was real…
Operation Rainfall posts an article about how Nintendo is planning to stop making video games and go back to playing cards, in a mockery of the usual fan backlash to changes Nintendo makes to their games.
Metroid Database is saying it’s closing down because Metroid has gone downhill. They say that they won’t reopen until Nintendo ‘makes Metroid great again;.
Mammoth Gamers talks about Nicholas Cage being the voice actor for Final Fantasy XV. Apparently the main character being called ‘Noctis Lucis Caelum’ is close enough to ‘Nicholas Cage’ that he thought he just had to be in the game. Or something.
And finally, Zelda Europe posts a fake box art design for ‘Link’s Crossbow Training HD’. No, it’s not real, if you hadn’t guessed the obvious:
But it’s not just video game websites that are getting in on the fun! It’s the actual game developers, publishers and marketing teams too, as the next few will show you…
Video Game Companies (and associates)
Blizzard’s shop is now ‘selling’ an ‘ultra rare premium orc statue’ for 100 million dollars because ‘gamers wanted more overwhelming expensive statues on our site’. Sad thing is, there’s probably at least one person out there who’d actually pay this much…
They also announced (via their World of Warcraft Youtube channel) ‘Hearthstone: The MMO’, a version of their card game which has been redesigned to work like World of Warcraft.
Above: That’s one BIG statue.
Mojang announces ‘Minecraft the Trendy Update’, where the monsters wear trendy bracelets now. Well, it’s something I guess…
The official Splatoon Twitter account posts pictures of a Splatoon arcade machine, and implies the game is now being released in Japanese arcades. Personally? I prefer the 3DS one that Nintendo Life’s hoax article talked about. Seems a lot cooler.
Playtonic Games has announced that Yooka-Laylee is now a Sega Saturn exclusive because of ‘budget constraints’:
The team at Square behind Final Fantasy XIV have announced ‘Chocobo Go’, a new transport initiative involving the Chocobos from the Final Fantasy series (in real life):
And the Miitomo Twitter account talks about an Amiibo of Tomoshiro Miide, the Mii character used as their Twitter avatar:
Must have lost a few points recently, since my count was wrong. Never the less, updated.
When it comes to the gaming media, the quality of the journalism is… not very good. From lazy stories taken off social media sites to uncontrollable rumour mongering and even outright attacks on their audience, gaming journalism is to real journalism what the average tabloid is to the BBC. And just like the tabloid newspapers its quality is inspired by, the world of gaming journalism has its cliches too.
So let’s look at them all! Here are the nine laziest cliches in gaming journalism!
Video Games in Real Life
Let’s start with the most ‘harmless’ one first. Namely, video games in real life.
This was somewhat of an interesting idea… round about the time the internet started becoming a thing. So, about 1990 then. When a bunch of bored college students dressing up like video game characters was somehow a new and innovative piece of ‘comedy’ genius.
Unfortunately, since then, it’s just became way overused. For example, how many attempts at recreating Mario Kart in real life have there been?
Far too many, as you can see in the tons of real life Mario Kart videos shown above. And the thing is, just about every series on the planet has been recreated like this. Mario platformers, the Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Metroid, Super Smash Bros, Mega Man…
It’s not interesting any more, and is completely overused as an article subject. Please find something else to write about. Just not…
Classic Games Remade in the Unreal Engine
These silly remakes. Okay, there have been some cool looking Unreal Engine remakes for popular games. Like this one of Clock Town in The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask:
Or a surprisingly high amount of this Super Mario 64 Unreal Engine remake/test video:
But the vast majority of these remakes just aren’t very interesting. They’re not trying to be anything like a game, they’re just the same old bland field with a few character models chucked in for the sake of it. For example:
I get it. You can buy a bunch of assets for the engine, and find some character models from popular video games in a similar style. But they’re not interesting in any way. Anyone can make this sort of thing, it’s not special.
Talking of overused ideas, the next one is getting a bit old as well…
Video Game Marriage Proposals
It’s like rule 5963 of the internet; if a work allows user generated content, someone has used it for a marriage proposal. It’s like some sort of geeky ‘tradition’, propose to your one true love (who just happens to care about video games for some reason) through an edited video game level.
It’s happened in Super Mario World:
And Super Mario Bros 3:
It’s happened in New Super Mario Bros Wii:
Either way, it’s getting a bit old hat by this point. Indeed, it makes me want to see either:
1. Someone actually divorce someone through an edited video game. Forget a marriage, imagine someone breaking up in the form of a custom level filled with dangerous traps and angry messages. Now that WOULD make for an interesting video.
2. The person being proposed to being an actual level designer/ROM hacker, who promptly chews out the creator for their shoddy level design. Because let’s face it, almost all of these levels are designed in the laziest, most uninspired ways possible, and laden with sprite spam and cutoff. It’d be rather funny to see someone like levelengine pick one of these hacks up, utterly annihilate with a bad score in a video review and then stick it next to Hammer Brother Demo 3 and Link’s Adventure on a worst ROM hacks of all time list.
Either way, the marriage proposals are getting a bit tired now. Time to try something new! Like, the very opposite of the next cliche on the list:
The Top Two Million X of All Time
Because if there’s anything the internet likes more than jokes and memes and ‘heartwarming’ Youtube videos, it’s lists. So if there’s a topic related to video games in any way at all, there will be hundreds upon hundreds of lists about it.
Like the top ten hardest or top ten easiest bosses. That seems pretty common.
Above: There’s a good chance this guy will be on the easy bosses list. Along with Gohma and Cloud ‘n Candy.
Or lists about random subjects no one really cares about. Top ten cats in gaming? Oh sure, that’s actually surprisingly (or should I say ‘purrsprisingly’) common:
Above: Given how much the internet loves cats, this should surprise no one.
But the worst (and obviously most common of all) tends to be the inevitable list of ‘best games ever made’. Trust me here, every single journalist on the planet seems to have written a version of this list. And guess what? They’re all completely useless.
This is because of two obvious reasons:
1. Games are different from each other in just about every way, so even the best games of all time by Metacritic score are usually not comparable. Can you really say that the Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time:
Can be objectively compared to Super Mario Galaxy?
Above: Can you spot all the beta elements in this trailer?
Cause they’re both good. Just good in different ways, and appeal to different people. Additionally, no one will ever actually play every game ever made. It’s impossible, there are simply too many of them. So how you can REALLY say what’s the best game? Or for that matter, what’s worst?
And that’s not even getting into today’s sorry excuse for a ‘media’, which wear their political biases on their sleeve and will happily give scores based on how ‘moral’ they think a game is rather than how good it actually is. So next to games people actually like, you get the odd walking simulator and boring Twine game that mostly only appeals to insane Tumblr users. But more on that later, the point is that top whatever lists just don’t work, and they’ve been done to death by now. Please think of something else to write!
Above: Also, you’re reading a top nine gaming journalism cliches article. I’m a hypocrite, aren’t I?
Although it should be your own work…
Press Releases as News
Which in simple terms, means something that takes effort to write.
It mostly certainly does not mean ‘copying and pasting press releases into a WordPress post’. Journalism is not ‘being paid to press CTRL + C and CTRL + V in quick succession’. It’s meant to be about doing research. Providing a balanced look at the events of the day. Standing up for people who otherwise have no voice. Finding interesting things your readers actually need to know.
Above: This is better than your ‘article’
Copying press releases and acting like corporate yes men is nothing like that. In fact, if that’s the kind of thing you like doing so much, maybe your boss should just pay your salary to the company’s marketing team. After all, they did the hard work of actually writing the press release and providing the screenshots!
Above: Some stats from Reed show that the industry is very aware of this, since apparently the average gaming journalist salary is even lower at about $28,000 (£19,000) a year…
But even regurgitated fact sheets are better than posting…
It’s a bit late now given that it’s roughly 7pm in the US, but Nintendo of America president (and subject of a million memes) Reggie Fils-Aimé is now 55 years old! It’s surprising too, the guy has never really looked all that old during his time at Nintendo, and he certainly doesn’t act like someone who’s going on 60 years of age.
Above: Reggie photo by Official GDC – Flickr: GDC 2011 – 3/2 (Day 3), CC BY 2.0
Either way, happy birthday Reggie! Hope you stay as head of Nintendo of America for many years to come, since things like E3 will nowhere near as fun without you.