I’m a sucker for the “toys come to life” genre that was essentially started when the first Skylanders game was released. Having kids in the house doesn’t make that any better because they’re also really into playing that game, or at least playing with the figures. I’ve played all four entries in that series and have a huge tub full of figures for it. We also have both of the Disney Infinity releases and a separate bucket full of those figures. It only made sense that Nintendo was eventually going to get into that market. With their huge lineup of characters it only seemed natural that they, more than any other developer or publisher could capitalize in a big way in that area of the games industry. You know we’re all dreading the day when the Pokemon Company gets the greenlight to release those figures, pokeballs and some way to make them interact directly with a game. Nintendo announced their entry into that market with amiibo and it seemed like everyone’s wallets all cried out in agony at once. Nintendo was finally doing it. They were going to be leveraging 30+ years of nostalgia in a way no one else could.
Up to this point I haven’t actually dropped a penny on a single amiibo figure. The temptation has certainly been there. There are definitely some of those figures I’d like to have, but as we’re getting closer to the launch of amiibo and the first game they’ll be compatible with I’m starting to be more and more glad that I held off. amiibo might not be as great as we’re hoping.
Nintendo owners have had a little bit of history with Koei Tecmo’s popular hack/slash series Dynasty Warriors, mainly through the spin-off series Samurai Warriors. The second spin-off series, Warriors Orochi hit Wii U with the release of Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. Despite that the series is really getting attention from Wii U owners with the recent release of Hyrule Warriors, a game that mashes the Warriors series together with the Legend of Zelda.
The franchise is no stranger to mash-ups as it has partnered with other popular franchises in the past to help bridge the gap between fans of the Warrior series and other properties. Examples include Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, One Piece: Pirate Warriors and even the real world Trojan War in Warriors: Legends of Troy. That got me thinking what other franchises would make for good candidates for a mash-up and I thought of a few that might fit.
I’m a few hours into Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and am absolutely loving it. I think it’s a great game in terms of what it wants to do and executing on the things it’s trying to do gameplay-wise. The Nemesis system is something that’s unique and really adds a level of depth to the game that we haven’t really seen. It has so many unique things to offer. The one thing I have to say about it, though in regards to its relation to the source material may (or may not) surprise you. It’s absolutely not a Lord of the Rings game.
“How can that be?” you say. Well I would think if Professor Tolkien were alive today to see this game in action he would be appalled. Fans of the Lord of the Rings, especially Peter Jackson’s movie hexalogy, are going to love it. It’s a perfect extension of that world and fits right into place with the tone, themes and look of that version of Middle Earth. In relation to Tolkien’s view of the world it’s everything he stood against.
With a lot of the internet’s focus lately on the role of females in games and their portrayal it’s great to see a game like Hyrule Warriors come along and do a really great job in portraying the female members of the cast. Every playable female character in the game, of which there are eight (seven if you don’t consider Fi a female), are fantastic in their own way. They’re strong, they’re unique and they’re a great cast of characters for any female player out there to be proud to use.
Mount Rushmore is a monument to some of the greatest men in American history. It immediately brings to mind those four men’s contributions to making this country the way it is. That form could be used in any industry to remember the most respected figures in said industry’s history. Last week we talked about the men behind the games who we think should be immortalized. This week we’re going to look at some of their creations. There are a number of characters that immediately come to your mind when you think of video games. Having said that, “If you were to create a video game version of Mount Rushmore what four characters would you nominate to be immortalized for all time on the monument?”
Let me first get this out of the way. To many people this will sound like an article from a Wii U fanboy who’s whining about their favorite system not getting support it deserves and saying that Ubisoft owes me something. That’s actually far from the truth. I know there are many other Wii U owners out there who have pledged their support and voted with their wallets that think every game player should be able to get the same experiences no matter what platform they own. This is my own personal opinion and yes it’s going to be a little rantish, but I think everyone is entitled to that every now and then.
If you were a Wii owner in the last generation you know things were pretty slim when it came to third party support. If you got games with the same title as other consoles it was very often a completely different game only loosely tied to the “proper” console release of the same name. They were very often feature incomplete. Games like Call of Duty left out entire levels, had minimal online support, if any or were cartoonified like Madden to fit the platform. Ubisoft was one of the few publishers that pushed support of Nintendo’s little white box and even they had a tendency to create sub-par experiences for Wii owners (I’m looking at you H.A.W.X. and Ghost Recon).