Nintendo is Attending Gamescom 2016

But what games will they bring to Gamescom? Well, that’s actually a good question.

It’s likely that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be featured. After all, that’s their major new game and one that everyone expects to see at these events.

Inside a shrine. Very futuristic.

Above: Breath of the Wild may be featured at the event.

Paper Mario Color Splash is possible. I mean, it’s the only Wii U game of note that’s coming out before the end of the year (at least as far as we know). So that’s another possible choice.

And Pokemon Sun/Moon… again, it’s possible. Pokemon announcements have been made at past Gamescom events. Heck, in some cases, they’ve distributed special Pokemon at Gamescom events, like Shigeki Morimoto’s ones in 2015.

Other than that? Good question really. They might do something with Sega in regards to Sonic Boom. Or promote Mario Party Star Rush a bit more. Or do some other third party deal we don’t yet know about. It’s all on the table here.

But yeah, Nintendo is at Gamescom 2016, and is on the list of exhibitors for the show. Should be exciting for people attending the event this year!


Nintendo of Europe – Gamescom Exhibitor List

The Best Nintendo Fan Projects; Round 3!

Well, it’s time. Well, it’s time. We’ve had the first list of great Nintendo fan games. We’ve had the second list of great Nintendo fan games.

But we’re not done just yet! Oh no, here’s another list of amazing fan projects! Yes, they’re not as well known as Mother 4 or Mushroom Kingdom Fusion. None the less, they’re all still incredibly well made titles, and really do show you just how far the fan game and ROM hack development scenes have really come in the last decade or so.

So let’s get to the list! With a name that quite a few Nintendo fans might know about…

Newer Super Mario Bros DS

Namely, Newer Super Mario Bros. You remember the Wii games, don’t you? The games that introduced new enemies, new music, new bosses and all kinds of fun, interesting new levels and mechanics to the New Super Mario Bros series.

The ones that got this right nice trailer?

Well, the series is continuing. And now it’s on the DS!

Yes, Newer Super Mario Bros DS is now a thing, and it looks great. Made by modder Skawo, the project tries to loosely port the Wii game over to the DS, with some of the features, graphics, music and ideas from the main game coming with it.

Here’s a trailer for the project:

As you can see, it pulls of the feel of the older games really well, and the new level concepts work really well on the DS too. Like that awesome space level, which seems to have reduced gravity befitting the theme.

Talking of space, here’s a better video of that level:

With that nicely downsampled Mario Galaxy music and the gorgeous graphics, it really makes me wish Nintendo considered making more space themed levels for their own 2D Mario games. I mean, why should the 3D games get all the fun stuff?

But, moving on…

Super Mario Sunshine 64 DS

To another Mario hack. Yeah, I know it’s a bit much to have two in a row. But come on, it’s a port of Super Mario Sunshine to the DS. How can you not think that’s one of the coolest concepts ever?

It’s also mighty impressive how precisely these worlds were ported. Remember, Mario Sunshine has some massive stages, especially compared to many of those in the original Mario 64. Bianco Hills is enormous , yet it apparently fits really nicely on the old DS:

But while the idea is neat, it’s the execution that matters here. Porting levels is cool, but it’s also a fairly common thing in the modding scene now. Heck, the Mario 64 scene (at least on home consoles) seems to have made a hobby out of trying to port whole worlds from as many games as possible.

What’s really interesting is how they ported the other mechanics. Like FLUDD and the various nozzles:

Or how they ported the Sand Bird level, complete with its flying pattern around the tower:

It’s a really neat project, and though only a remake, shows just how much the original DS could have been capable of had Nintendo felt like making a few more big 3D games for it. Seriously, it’s a real shame how wasted the DS’ capabilities in regards to running 3D games were. I mean, there was Super Mario 64 DS, Mario Kart DS, Metroid Prime Hunters… and I think Diddy Kong Racing DS? Nintendo basically treated the whole thing like a big GBA, with about ten times more 2D titles for the system than 3D ones.
Mario Sunshine 64 DS shows that more could have been done there. And also, that maybe a proper 3D version of Zelda Phantom Hourglass could have been a possibility too.

But this is about fan games, not wasted opportunities on Nintendo systems. So let’s move on to…

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 2D

Well, the ‘current’ version of the game anyway. It’s been attempted by about twenty different teams at this point, and the results have usually been something akin to ‘gave up after realising the effort required’. Or pretended to die in a car crash if your name was Dampe.

None the less, the current version of the game looks quite a bit more promising. For one thing, they’ve actually got some progress to show up to Hyrule Castle in the released demo, so that’s a bit further than most people got. And hey, with stuff like Dodongo’s Cavern and Jabu Jabu’s Belly in active development, it seems like we may actually get a finished game this time around.

And hey, an online mode seems to be present here, which is something cool. Can’t wait to see that get remotely active!

Here’s a trailer:

So yeah, let’s hope this version gets a bit further than the last few attempts. As well as you know, onto the next item on the list.

Star Fox Shadows of Lylat

Which happens to be one of the only promising Star Fox fan works out there. Shadow of Lylat is an attempt at making a full blown Star Fox sequel in the style of Star Fox 64 and its successors. Made as a Freespace mod and with full co-op multiplayer, the trailer looked rather promising:

Note the term ‘looked’.

Because unfortunately for people who wanted something unofficial to play after Star Fox Zero, the chance of the game actually coming out is now just about non existent. After more than 6 years in development, the game was officially cancelled by the team in 2012, as seen in this forum discussion:

Shadows of Lylat Cancellation Topic – Game Warden (archived)

Not surprising given the scope of the project, but it’s a real shame none the less. Fortunately, our next few fan games are not cancelled…

Continue Reading…

Is a Fake Nintendo Employee Taking Down Fan Works?

Recently, there has been a bit of an increase in Nintendo fan works being removed from file hosting sites via DMCA notices. These notices are attributed to someone calling themselves ‘Jason Allen’, and have been responsible for the take downs of one Super Mario Fusion Revival demo, Ocarina of Time 2D, many Mario Kart custom tracks and the Dolphin emulator.

But if renowned Super Mario 64 hacker Kaze Emanuar is to be believed, the person taking down all these recent fan works might not be a Nintendo employee at all! Instead, they could just be a bored troll using fake claims to make sites like Mediafire and Dropbox remove works that Nintendo themselves may not have any real problems with.
Here’s the video where he discusses the situation:

Didn’t want to watch it? Want a bit more detail about what’s going on? If so, it seems to be as follows.

Basically, an unknown internet user is using the email address and name of a person called Jason Allen, and pretending that they’re a Nintendo lawyer with the rights to remove works based on Nintendo’s IPs.

However, there are some interesting things wrong here.

Firstly, the imposter doesn’t seem to be very good at proof reading his fake legal demands. How do we know that? Because previous attempts have actually had him misspelling the word ‘Nintendo’ as ‘Nintento’. That’s either a very sloppy, careless mistake for a lawyer or a clear sign of someone rushing to fill in the fields and not giving a toss about all the ridiculous errors he’s making in the process.

It also quite clearly goes against what Nintendo said about fan projects. Remember, back in 2010, Iwata said he didn’t want to ‘criminalise’ fans:

Of course, we cannot say that we can give tacit approval to any and all the activities which threaten our intellectual properties. But on the other hand, it would not be appropriate if we treated people who did something based on affection for Nintendo, as criminals. It is true that some expressions are detrimental enough to diminish the dignity of our intellectual properties, and others destroy our intellectual properties’ world-views by connecting them with something not based on fact. We think one of the criteria for deciding how to respond is whether the expression in question socially diminishes the dignity or value of our intellectual properties or not. Of course, it is very hard to have a blanket standard as this problem involves many complex elements that are very difficult to judge.

In response to a question on Nintendo’s attitude towards fan projects. Yet this Jason Allen guy is ruthlessly trying to take down everything even remotely Nintendo related.

People have reported custom Mario Kart tracks and characters being removed. Fan games being removed. Heck, we’ve even seen cases where music based on Undertale (which Nintendo doesn’t own) is being taken down by this guy!.

This all points to someone trying to mess around with video game fans, not a legitimate lawyer who knows what they’re doing.

He also doesn’t identify the copyrighted work which is being infringed upon. Another important aspect of a legitimate DMCA notice which is being left out here.

But most importantly, Jason Allen does not work at Nintendo any more.

Edit: It’s likely the Jason Allen referred to is the one below:

He also doesn’t have anything to do with Nintendo any more. His profile says he’s worked as an Internet Specialist in Global Product and Cyber Security, but he hasn’t been there since October 2015. It’s also unknown whether this role includes sending take down notices for copyright infringement related events.

So whoever is taking down these projects is using the name of an ex Nintendo employee who never actually worked in their legal department, misspelling the company name and sending floods of notices about works that either Nintendo doesn’t care about or that are associated with IPs not actually owned by Nintendo.

He’s also using fake information on his DMCA notices, which is very legally questionable in of itself.

Either way, this is likely a copyright troll that’s going around and taking down Nintendo fan works under false pretences. And its quite possible that this includes most of the items on my list of Nintendo Fan Works Shut Down by Nintendo. Nintendo isn’t killing as many fan projects as people believe, a copyright troll impersonating an ex Nintendo employee is.

More Information

Jason Allen Nintendo bogus DMCA claim – CapnCoconuts on Pastebin

The Top Ten Nintendo Hoaxes

When it comes to the internet and gaming, misinformation is pretty common. Whether its rumours from social media sites, the endless game of Chinese whispers distorting the news as everyone copies from each other or bad translations giving a misleading picture, stories about Nintendo and games should often be taken with more than a small pinch of salt.

But do you know what’s more interesting than that?

When someone has actually gone out of their way to trick people. When Nintendo fans and the gaming public in general have been deliberately misled into believing the most insane, random crap possible. It may be for money, it may be for publicity or it may just be laughs, but hoaxes about Nintendo games can be pretty interesting in of themselves.

So here are the top ten Nintendo hoaxes of all time…

10. Various Mario Kart Hoaxes

So let’s start with a couple of Mario Kart hoaxes.

First up, the Rainbow Cup hoax. What was that? Well, as the name suggests, a certain picture started spreading around in the Mario Kart DS days talking about a bonus cup you could unlock by beating all the staff ghosts. This cup would apparently consist of Rainbow Road tracks from the other four games in the franchise, and would act as the last true challenge for the best players to overcome.

And then we have the weird story of the Maple Treeway shortcut hoax. What’s that?

Well, it’s basically an incident where someone deliberately faked a video that purported to show a massive glitch in the level that could skip about half the lap. It was pretty quickly debunked (on video none the less), but it actually didn’t end there.

Why? Because one game later, Maple Treeway would return in Mario Kart 7.

Guess what? Someone did the exact same thing in that game too! So not only did everyone somehow believe the course was broken in its first appearance, but then fell for the exact same trick just three years later!

They say those who forget history are doomed to repeat in. Apparently that’s rather literal where Mario Kart is involved!

But it’s not just random folk on forums who fall for these…

9. The Pokemon ‘Rumours’ of Mr X

Nope, the press fall for them just as often. Indeed, do you know want to know why all these fakes seem to spread so far?

Because the people writing for gaming websites tend to do very little research or fact checking. Hence when someone like Mr X pops up 4chan, the media jump at the chance to report ‘exclusive information about Pokemon X and Y’.

Above: No, he didn’t own this website.

Unfortunately, just his counterpart from The Simpsons, Mr X was just making up random crap for the attention. Did anyone bother to question this?

No, not really.

It was only when Mr X actually came forward and said it was made up that people realised his leaked Pokedex info was full of crap. Brilliant work guys! Apparently such names as Dogsnout, Houndoomed and Throhem were not stupid enough to tip off your bullshit radars. Journalism at its finest folks!

Fake Pokedex

Above: These names are hilariously pathetic.

Still, at least the following fake was plausible enough that people could have fallen for it…

8. Super Mario Galaxy DS

Because damn, the fake Mario Galaxy DS trailer actually looked one hell of a lot like a trailer for an actual Nintendo game. Okay, it was perhaps a bit ambitious compared to what the DS was actually capable of, but there certainly wasn’t anything in the video that could tip off people that it wasn’t a Nintendo product in development:

Predictably, it blew up immediately. Gaming sites wrote a ton of articles about the mysterious new Mario Galaxy DS trailer on Youtube, Gaming forums were flooded by people asking whether it was real. Heck, some people even wondered if Nintendo was going to officially announce the game soon.

Alas, it was not to be. Super Mario Galaxy DS was another work by notorious hoaxer Pablo Belmonte. Remember that name, because he’s also responsible for another item on this list that we’ll get to a bit later. Either way, it was simply a really well made mockup, and took the world by storm as a result.

But you don’t need a fancy video and fake screenshots to trick people. As the next item on the list will show you…

7. The Legend of Zelda Valley of the Flood

Valley of the Flood

Ah yes, it’s this thing. For those who don’t know, Valley of the Flood was a rumoured Zelda game that kept being mentioned as the next big thing in the series. Also known by the ominous name of ‘Project Deluge’, the game was apparently meant to be a prequel to the Wind Waker, set in the doomed world flooded by the goddesses after no hero came to save the kingdom.

It would also apparently involve some sort of steampunk theme, with Zelda style guns playing a role in the setting.

But what caused this idea to catch on? After all, you mention it’s a hoax, right? So it can’t just be a rumour found on some small forum. There has to be a ‘credible’ looking source…

And there was. An interview to be precise. Or even more precisely, a fake interview with Aonuma where he supposedly stated that:

many fans tell me that they’re interested in a steampunk-influenced Zelda, even though the series has always maintained a very medieval foundation

Either way, this interview never happened. Aonuma never talked about a steampunk Zelda reimagining, Project Deluge was never in development at Nintendo and the true source of the story was more likely some bored writers overly feverish imagination rather than an exclusive chat with a Nintendo director. It’s another great example of how the media and public not doing any fact checking can lead to ridiculous ideas getting accepted as gospel because some unknown source says they’re real.

A bit like the following one really.

6. Waluigi in Super Mario 64 DS (‘Purple Prizes’)

Because the whole idea of Waluigi in Mario 64 DS didn’t just come from a bunch of internet forum users speculating about why Wario’s partner in crime wasn’t in the new Mario remake. No, it came from an infamous ‘infographic’ called ‘Purple Prizes’.

This picture was styled after a magazine page, and was claimed by its posters to be out of some Nintendo Power issue or another. It’s a fairly good fake really, since the layout really nails the 90s/early 00s gaming magazine aesthetic to a tee:


Above: A very convincing fake article about Waluigi and Mario 64 DS…

Either way, it was a fake. The picture wasn’t a magazine scan, it was a mockup by a Nintendo World Report writer called Andrew Brown, who posted it on his DeviantArt account and various gaming forums as a prank. Complete with a poorly done backstory about how it was supposedly taken from a magazine, it soon took off, with some folk even claiming it was the likes of IGN or Nintendo Power or whatever other source they can imagine.

You can find the history of it here, in this Nintendo World Report article:

Waluigi; The Time I Fooled the World – Nintendo World Report

Regardless, it serves as another warning about how there’s no substitute for legitimate research when looking up (or sharing) information about video games. Remember, absolutely anyone could have debunked this, by tracking it back to the original source and realising that it wasn’t actually featured in any of the magazines or websites it was being associated with. It’s not like the maker pretended to have a legitimate history under all these fake identities. He never provided any proof it was genuine.

But just like its earlier counterpart in the original Super Mario 64, Purple Prizes just got spread further and further, to the point the Mario 64 DS community was cursed to spend the next however many years shooting it down again and again. It’s almost the perfect example of why sites like Gaming Reinvented and Source Gaming have to keep existing.

Still, all these hoaxes are about games, aren’t they? No one could pretend to announce a new Nintendo console, could they?

Continue Reading…

Ever Oasis Announced for 3DS!

It’s another new IP from Nintendo! Yes, Ever Oasis is a new RPG series made by Nintendo and Grezzo. Here’s the first ever trailer for it, straight from Nintendo’s E3 livestream:

So what is the game? Well, it’s basically an action RPG with city builder elements. Basically, you create your own oasis, building and running shops and businesses to get characters to live in your oasis. You then join up with said characters to explore the world, fight monsters and explore dungeons for treasure.

And where are these dungeons located? In giant pots of course! Hmm, wonder where I’ve seen that idea before?

Above: Seems the game takes more than a bit of influence from Super Mario Bros 2…

Combat wise, it’s your typical action RPG stuff. Press X for strong, slow attacks. Press A for fast and quick ones. Dodge around the enemies in what seems to be real time, and lock onto them like in a Zelda game if you keep missing. As per the typical RPG format, certain characters are stronger against others, and they all have their own abilities that can be used both in and out of battles.

Talking of which, the outside battle gameplay seems to be a bit like that in a Zelda game, or perhaps a Mario RPG. You run out, solve puzzles with special abilities and see your enemies on the overworld before fighting them.

Storyline wise, it’s all simple stuff. Your character is called Tethu, and their brother has been kidnapped by the main antagonist. Said villain (who’s called Chaos) is apparently turning the creatures of the desert into monsters, and you have to defeat them to change them back. Yeah, it’s the sort of story you’d get in a NES or early Game Boy game to be honest.

So that’s some basic details about the game. But what do I think about this game in particular?

Well, I’m a bit conflicted really. On the one hand, it’s nice that Nintendo is creating new IPs. As well as how Grezzo is actually making their own game for once rather than spinoffs of existing franchises and ports of titles by other people.

It’s also quite neat how the RPG and simulation elements are mixed into the same game. That’s something I haven’t seen too much of since the good old days of Actraiser on the SNES. So there’s promise there too.

However, I do have concerns. For one thing, it’s yet another RPG on the 3DS. Okay, people do like that genre, and people probably will buy this game regardless. But still, it’s up against everything from Mario & Luigi to Pokemon and Bravely Second. Competition is fierce on this system, and a generic game could just as easily be lost in the crowd.

And then there’s the art style. Does it look bad? Well, not really.

But it doesn’t really look all too inspiring to me. Reminds me a bit much of Tri Force Heroes, which makes sense given the developer.

Either way, that’s Ever Oasis for you. But does Grezzo’s first original game look like something you’d want to buy?