We’re not here to talk about video game violence, whether it’s good, or whether it’s bad. That’s irrelevant to the bigger conversation I want to have which is that of the mainstream press drumming up controversial headlines in order to vilify a video game. It’s been reported on numerous times, and the biggest offender is Fox News.
It goes back to subjects like the news channel calling the Xbox the “SE”Xbox when referring to a love scene in Mass Effect. Of course, we all know about the Hot Coffee scandal. Every time a gun is shown on TV the first conclusion that any of the “experts” jump to is that a video game made the person do it. Do I think video games make people violent? In general, no I don’t. Do I think they might have some effect on susceptible people? Sure. Any form of media can do that.
I mentioned on the podcast this week that I’ve started letting my daughter play the Assassin’s Creed franchise. She watched me play through Assassin’s Creed: Revelations recently and she was really interested in actually playing the game herself, which surprised me. I thought the length and pacing of the games might have turned her off to the series, but I was wrong. In the two weeks since I bought her a copy of the first game for Christmas she’s flown, sometimes literally, through them. All of this because I told her she couldn’t play Revelations until she’d played the other games. That’s not actually the point of this article, this is. I really think that Assassin’s Creed could be my favorite game franchise of all time. Read more…
Hi. My name is Tony and I have a problem. If you’re a regular listener to the podcast then you know everyone on the staff has a tendency to buy a lot of stuff, sometimes expensive stuff. I’m probably the least guilty simply because I don’t have a lot of expendable cash (you know having a large brood and all). However, there is one thing I just can’t stop buying.
The item that I can’t stop buying is something that I know I’m going to end up having a lot of over the next five to six years. Some of these things I’ll buy. Some will be given to me and some will probably be traded for. What could that one thing possibly be? Read on and find out. Read more…
Wii U launches in exactly a month. We’ve heard a lot about what’s going on with the system, but there’s one thing that’s been glaringly absent from discussions; what’s going on with the Wii U and online? Most of the talk you hear is that those options are still being explored and there are no firm announcements by any developer out there. Nintendo themselves aren’t talking about what’s going to happen with Wii U when it comes to online infrastructure.
We have a few things that we know for sure. The Wii U will allow streaming video from a number of different services. All of it will be concentrated in one service called TVii. We know you’re going to have some sort of online communication system that will allow you to post messages about different games on the Miiverse service. Some games have made announcements when it comes to what you’ll be able to do online with your friends. Ubisoft has shown off some messaging systems inside ZombiU that will let you post messages, giving your friends hints about things in the game. These are neat ideas but they’re small details about a system that is shrouded in mystery.
Last week I told you some of the characters from Namco and Nintendo I wanted to see come to the next Super Smash Bros. game. We know there probably aren’t going to be a lot of Tekken characters, if any. That was confirmed by one of the producers this week. He didn’t feel those characters really fit into the game or that the player base really wanted characters like that. I think the Namco characters I outlined last week really fit into the mold and wouldn’t look out of place.
This week I’m going to take a look at a few of the third-party characters I would love to see in the game. There are plenty of games that have appeared on Nintendo consoles and that’s basically the only criteria for selection that is needed. Solid Snake was in Brawl and his franchise is seen mostly on PlayStation systems, but Metal Gear games have been released for Nintendo systems. There are plenty of characters available for choosing. There’s one glaring omission that everyone is asking for and I’m not even going to mention that blue hero by name because everyone’s expecting me to say it. There are plenty of other characters that deserve entry as much as him and I’m going to talk about those other characters.
The next Smash Bros. game is in development and the surprising thing is that it won’t just be Nintendo working on the game. The company has enlisted the help of Namco Bandai to team up with Project Sora to create not one, but reportedly two different Super Smash Bros. games. This brings up the obvious thought that, with Namco working on the game, we are going to see some of their characters in the game, but you also have new characters from Nintendo that will probably be launched as well.
There are two types of characters you see in a game like this; long time characters who have starred in a number of games and are fan favorites such as Mario, Link and Kirby. You also have characters from long forgotten or dormant franchises that make a reappearance like Pit or the Ice Climbers. So I’m going to take a look at some characters that I want to see make their first appearance in the franchise. This week we’re going to take a look at characters from the two principle companies working on the game, Nintendo and Namco Bandai. I’m going to list five characters from each company I want to see make their first appearance in the fighting franchise. Next week I’ll take a look at some of the third-party characters that should follow Sonic and Solid Snake with guest appearances as playable characters.
Nintendo hasn’t really been known to be innovative or a leader when it comes to the online space. It almost seems they’ve been dragged into the digital age kicking and screaming. The statements they’ve made and the progress that’s been seen over the last few months has been quite a nice change for the company. However, while they seem to be doing the right things in the digital games marketplace, online gaming still doesn’t seem to have caught on with the company.
Only a handful of Nintendo games over the last few years had any real sort of online presence. Mario Kart DS, Mario Strikers Charged, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Battalion Wars II, Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising are the cream of the crop when it comes to online Nintendo games. Past that there isn’t really much to speak of. That’s why the reaction to Shigeru Miyamoto’s comments about no online multiplayer for Pikmin 3 seem so surprising to me.
Here’s the quote from the famed developer as to why the company isn’t including any online competition in their upcoming Wii U game.
“In the situation of Pikmin, for example, since you would have lots of individual, small creatures, the Pikmin, who’s every movement and location is going to be really important in the game, it would be very difficult to sync up over an internet connection.”
So, we’re a week away from E3 and everyone’s getting ready for Nintendo’s big show. Last year was a trial run for what we’re going to see this year. It was basically Nintendo’s chance to let everyone see their early thoughts and designs on what their next home console can do. The controller was fairly well received with many of the people that got hands-on time with it praising the comfort and the possibility of the design. As we inch ever closer to this year’s event more and more details are surfacing about the system. Some of them are true and some of them are more or less speculation. We know the system is going to be HD capable and it’s going to be on par, slightly less powerful or slightly more powerful than the current HD consoles. My thought is it’s going to be slightly higher spec, but that’s just me thinking out loud. I want to focus more on the controller and I can’t help but toss my thoughts out about what I see in the controller. Read more…
Let me just start by saying, “I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan.” Not to the point where I get into philosophical debates about where each game falls in the “timeline” or anything like that, but I love playing these games. I have fond memories of skipping another Super Bowl featuring the Buffalo Bills to play the first game in the series; and staying up way past when I should have. The sense of adventure from these games is unlike anything else I’ve ever played.
The worlds always seemed so huge and vast. You could spend hours and hours, or weeks of your life exploring every nook and cranny only to realize you’d barely scratched the surface. It’s always about finding that next hidden secret and using some newly acquired item in ways you didn’t think were possible to discover all the things Miyamoto and the development team had tucked away in some far corner of the world.
Xenoblade Chronicles is more than I ever could have expected. When the game was first announced I knew going in that it was going to be a grand RPG experience. I knew there might be a chance the game wouldn’t come to North America, but in reality it was the game highlighted by Operation Rainfall that I was least interested in. I don’t really know what it was that failed to draw me in, but I wanted the other two games (Pandora’s Tower and The Last Story) more. One reminded me of a God of War style action game and the other was from the creator of Final Fantasy, both things that appealed to me more than this seemingly unknown game with a weird title. When the game was announced for North America I took a look at some coverage from Japan and Europe and had my mind changed. I was unprepared for what I was going to experience. As of the time of writing this I’m about 17 hours into the game and I have been blown away by everything I’ve experienced.
From the very beginning of the game you’re told it’s going to be something very different. Most Japanese-role-playing games tend to start out very slowly with a long introduction sequence that is unplayable. Many of these moments are unforgettable gaming moments, but they’re just something you watch. I can remember the first time I booted up Final Fantasy IV and watched those airships fly over the rotating ocean below then get attacked as the characters ran around to defend themselves. It was a truly epic beginning to one of my favorite games of all time. It’s nothing, though, compared to what I experienced with Xenoblade Chronicles. From the second the game opens up you are thrust into the thick of fighting. You get a quick introduction to the characters through their battle planning, but within just a couple of minutes you’re in control of the action. It was absolutely a great way to learn the basics of the game. You’re given all of the information you need to survive; how to attack, and how to use arts. Once the opening battle is over you get a moment to collect yourself and relax while the story truly begins and you meet the characters you’ll be playing with in a more relaxed setting. Read more…