Mighty No 9 Now Has a Release Date

It’s been delayed three times. Problems with ‘network functionality’ have caused issues for months, and many people have already given up on the game. Indeed, Mighty No 9 was quickly taking up Duke Nukem Forever’s mantle of ‘game that never gets released’ due to all the delays and development problems it’s been having.

But now it seems the Mighty No 9 debacle might finally be coming to a close. The game has now gone gold, and will now be released on June 21st (in America and Asia) and June 24th (everywhere else). What’s more, unlike the previous release dates, the team even outright states that ‘there will be no further delays’. Here’s the announcement post about it on the official Mighty No 9 website:

Mighty No 9 – Goes Gold (official site)

It’s still not everything (apparently the 3DS and Vita ports are coming at a later date), but now it seems the wait for this Mega Man successor is finally over. But will people still care about Keiji Inafune’s project when June rolls around? Will it live up to the hype its generated in the last few months? Will the Wii U version even sell now that the console is being discontinued within a year or two? We’ll have to wait and see.

What do you think about Mighty No 9’s new release date?

The Nine Worst Cliches in Gaming Journalism

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?

Above: Tons

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:

Twice:

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.

Topmaniac

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:

top ten cats

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!

top ten gaming reinvented

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!

salary compare

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…
Continue Reading…

LEGO Star Wars the Force Awakens Announced

Officially at least, since the game’s existence was actually leaked by Amazon’s Italian branch a good few days ago. None the less, here’s the official trailer for the game, released by Disney on the offical Youtube channel for the franchise:

So what can we say about it? Well, not a lot really, the trailer is only the briefest possible glimpse at what’s likely to be in the game. None the less, it seems like everyone from the movie is here, from villain Kylo Ren to circular droid BB-8 to new characters like Rey and Finn. And it also seems to maintain the… somewhat light hearted sense of humour from the other LEGO adaptations too, which could be a breath of fresh air for some people.

But what do you think? Are you excited for the new LEGO adaptation of Star Wars the Force Awakens? Or would you rather see the characters in other games, like Disney Infinity or a non LEGO related adaptation?

Sony Fails to Get Trademark for ‘Let’s Play’

A couple of weeks ago, the gaming world went into a bit of a shock with the reveal that Sony was trying to trademark the term ‘Let’s Play’, a commonly used name for video and screenshot walkthroughs of video games that can be found on sites like Youtube.  Would this destroy the community?  Would all Youtube LPers have to pay money to Sony to use a term that was created by (and for) the gamers?

Well, it turns out the answer to that is no; the trademark has been rejected.  What’s more, the US Patent and Trademark Office did their research on this one, rejecting the trademark because it’s a ‘generic term’ that’s descriptive in nature.  In other words, because everyone online already uses it for these videos and screenshot articles, and it’s not uniquely used to refer to Sony’s products.

In their own words:

Sony trademark refusal

Or in pure text form:

As shown in the attached evidence, the term ‘Let’s Play’ used in connection with video games refers to ‘a video, or less commonly, a series of screenshots, documenting a playthrough of a video game, almost always including commentary by the gamer’ and ‘Let’s Play’ (sometimes called Learn to Play); One or more people that record themselves playing video games through screenshots or captured video (Mostly the latter).’  This phrase merely describes applicant’s services because applicant would stream Let’s Play’ videos.

Accordingly, registration is refused under Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1)

Either way, it’s now dead and (likely) buried, and we won’t have to fear Sony trying to take over our Let’s Play videos and channels any time soon.  Thank god someone at the USPTO saw some sense here.

And additional thanks to Gaming Reinvented commenter Ferigeras for pointing out the update, as well as The McArthur Law Firm documenting all this on the blog.

Source:

Let’s Play” securely in the public domain as USPTO rejects Sony’s trademark bid as “merely descriptive – The McArthur Law Firm

Sony is Trying to Trademark The Term Let’s Play?

No, we’re not making this up.  Sony has recently filed a trademark request for the term ‘Let’s Play’, with the definition being given as ‘Electronic transmission and streaming of video games via global and local computer networks; streaming of audio, visual, and audiovisual material via global and local computer networks’.

You know, the thing people have done on sites like Youtube and Twitch for years now.  The hobby which is so popular and well known that it has its own Wikipedia page, it’s own page on Know Your Meme and its own entire wiki dedicated to the scene:

Let’s Play (Wikipedia)

Let’s Play (Know Your Meme)

Let’s Play Wiki

But even with all this evidence out there, Sony decided to try and register it as a trademark.  Here’s the result for their application on the United States Patent and Trademark Office:

us trademark lets play

Above: You can view this application by clicking on either the screenshot above or this text.

So what do we think about this?

Well for starters, we strongly doubt that this will be accepted as a trademark, since it’s clearly trying to take ownership of a term that’s commonly used as generic by a large community.  So there’s a pretty good chance someone will object to it, perhaps even one of Sony’s direct competitors (since both Nintendo and Microsoft have used the term for their own videos and what not).

If the above doesn’t happen on its own, well, it’s pretty likely someone will write a ‘letter of protest’ contesting this trademark, since it’s a clear threat to a lot of people online and their livelihoods.  If you want to do that yourself, well, there’s a link on how to do so here:

How to File a Letter of Protest

Either way, Sony has tried to trademark the term ‘Let’s Play’, and you should really hope they don’t succeed with their application.

Source

Sony May Be Trying to Trademark the Term Let’s Play – Voat