Tag Archives: Wii U

E3 2016: Nintendo, Microsoft, And Sony

Hey Gamers,

Once again, I excitedly share the news about being invited back to E3.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

Like, as excited as making bacon pancakes excited.

I have always found E3 to be one of the biggest highlights of the gaming year, and having had the pleasure of experiencing a couple firsthand, my opinion has only been strengthened in it’s resolve. I always cover the show as Editor-in-Chief of Gamersyndrome (as I will this year, too), but due to server issues, I can’t even log into my own site right now. Oh the frustrating irony of it all.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like Batman being locked out of the Batmobile.

Like every year, before the show, I always enjoy talking about what we can expect, by throwing around some fun speculation, and generally, shoot the shit about what the fuck we are waiting for. This year is no different, and I want to take this moment now to run down some of the major players and what they have to bring, at E3 2o16. First up, we look at Nintendo and see what massive variety they have planned for the show floor.

That's right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning.

That’s right folks, The Legend of Zelda is just the beginning (of the end).

It’s been no secret that Nintendo has vowed to finally showcase Zelda NX, in all of it’s beautiful glory at E3 2o16. What’s more, is that the big N plans on having multiple kiosks for Zelda on the show floor for attendees to play and enjoy, along with a Treehouse Live special going on during E3, which has developers hands on with the title, showing off the new Hyrule in all of it’s next gen bravado for the world to see.

If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo has also said Zelda will simultaneously release on both the NX and the Wii U, much to the delight of any Wii U owner, and one of very few delights they will know in the next year or so.

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn't coming out until 2017

Pictured: Wii U owners reactions when they heard Zelda wasn’t coming out until 2017

Most of that sounds good, right? I hope it does, because Zelda at E3 is about the only thing Nintendo fans have to look forward to this year. For the third year running, Nintendo has opted out of doing a press conference, which makes some kind of sense, as it would be very hard to rationalize what would ultimately be a 90 minute commercial for Zelda, and not subsequently get pissed on by the collective gaming community. I know it worked for Nintendo with Super Mario Bros 3 and The Wizard once upon a time, but we live in a very different time now.

Very Different Times

“Very Different”

So yes, Nintendo isn’t doing a press conference, and they won’t have anything but Zelda on the floor. That is incredibly unprecedented by any E3 standard, and should help reinforce just how much trouble Nintendo has been in for awhile. Not a “Nintendo is doooomed” kind of implication, but all of these massive underwhelming announcements for the next year, in combination with the complete lack of content for the Wii U in 2016, and Nintendo is struggling to do anything outside of flashing their Zelda bling. Which admittedly, they do well.

As a fan of Zelda, I’m thrilled I’ll be surrounded by my favorite green clad hero. As a critic, I’m like “Dudes, are you serious? One freaking game?” I do my best to rationalize the situation in the sanest ways possible.

Zelda at E3

The upshot to this is that no one is really expecting anything from Nintendo at all this E3, so if Zelda is surprisingly good, they will  get great press about it. Which is perfect, cause they will likely get little press other than Zelda. They have back peddled recently to say they will mention in some capacity a few other titles, like the new Pokémon titles Sun and Moon, along with Monster Hunter and Dragon Quest VII for the 3Ds, but have safe expectations going into the show.

Let's hope Nintendo hasn't done to Zelda 's E3 showing what Link does to love letters.

Let’s hope Nintendo hasn’t done to Zelda ‘s E3 showing what Link has done to love letters.

Safe Expectation: Zelda. Seriously, that’s it.
Impossible Expectation: Nintendo has been lying about not showing the NX this year, and we get a physical look at the console, with an official name.

Next up, we have Microsoft, the tech giant that went from disastrous launch, to admirable sales for the Xbox One, with their system currently outpacing the success of the 360 in comparison of sales to time on the market. MS is still almost twice as far behind as Sony’s PS4 however, and will have to continue to pull out all the stops to catch up.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

With one of the stops being continually not bringing up the failure that is the Kinect.

I know you wanted the Kinect to be embraced by your core base, Microsoft…but it’s just not going to happen

Microsoft is likely to continue their “games first” strategy that we saw them steam ahead with last year, tech add on’s and vague promises of future upgrades just (haven’t) and aren’t going to satiate the expectations of gamers. With more than 50% of all games announced at last years E3 (from all companies) still not out a year later, MS is going to have to wow the crowds with some concrete content with solid release dates.

Luckily, among the contenders for games likely to be announced at the show this year for the X1, we’ve got Crackdown 3, Cuphead, and Gears of War 4 all riding the hype train to E3. All three of these games have been in the works for some time, and round out an impressive variety that MS has been trying to compete with Sony on, a company that has had a quality stable of varied content in the past couple years.

Not that Sony hasn't had a varied amount of content that hasn't seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

Not that Sony hasn’t had a varied amount of content that hasn’t seen the light of day. Everyone is looking at you FF7.

To that point, we already know Gears 4 will be coming out October 11th, and it’s going to be one of the games to beat this year in terms of hype factor. I’d be surprised if Crackdown 3 didn’t finally have a release date announced, as well as Cuphead finally getting a launch window. I’m excited to finally see Rare showcase Sea of Thieves on top of it all, as they’ve had plenty of time to get the project off the ground, though a 2016 launch for it feels unlikely to me.

I think Recore and Scalebound are doomed to delay till 2017, considering what little we’ve seen of either in the past year. With Inafune heading up Recore, and having trouble getting even a small project like Mighty No.9 out, and Kamiya heading up Scalebound, who’s notorious for being patient in development to put out a quality experience, I will be very surprised if either see the light of day in 2016, but expect awesome previews at Microsoft’s conference non the less. It’s been rumored Halo Wars 2 will finally be announced, and I’m foolishly hopeful that it’s been in development long enough to be ready by years end.

But in he end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

But in the end, this is Halo we are talking about. We will likely be bummed about having to wait a little longer.

Other honorable mentions go to Microsoft’s continual need to remind us it owns Mincecraft, some kind of Windows 10 pimping, and perhaps most excitedly, the rumored Xbox One slim, which is suppose to be almost half the size, and with possible 4k resolution support. There have also been rumors of an “Xbox Scorpio” flying about, which is supposedly far more powerful than the Xbox One, and possibly equipped with VR in mind, but with the Slim being the likely candidate (and MS still being mum on any possible VR focus), it would be pointless for Microsoft to announce the hypothetical Scorpio, as Sony and Nintendo have vowed not to bring new hardware to E3.

Which is believable, as Nintendo has barely vowed to bring any software to begin with *twiddles cigar*

Which is believable, as Nintendo has  vowed to barely bring any new software to E3 *twiddles cigar*

Safe Expectation: Microsoft announces a slew of release dates for big games, and the Slim is unveiled with a cool design and reasonable price point
Impossible Expectation: Microsoft shows working prototypes of a virtual reality machine, with a late 2017 launch window.

Last but not least, we discuss what Sony may do come this years E3, and what they have to avoid in order to not be the laughing stock of the gaming community.

Step 1: No crazy expensive announcements

Step 1: No crazy announcements

 

Step 2: No crazy promises

Step 2: No crazy long term promises

 

Step 3: Seriously...just don't be crazy, Sony.

Step 3: Seriously…just don’t be crazy, Sony. Sheesh.

While Sony has had their fair share of missteps in the past, they regularly have an incredibly strong showing at E3. Even when they announce something ludicrous, or ham fist some heavy handed promises, it’s at the least extremely entertaining on a memetic level. Though Sony has confirmed the existence of the  “PS4 Neo”, a new iteration of the PS4 line (much like the X1 Scorpio) which has been confirmed by Sony’s president to be more powerful and more expensive, it has also been confirmed it will not be making it’s E3 debut this year. Sony is still ramping up on showing off it’s not to distant future VR offerings with the PS4 VR add on, Project Morpheus, which will be the cheapest way to get your VR funk on.

No word yet currently on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR.

Though, unlike their competitors, no word yet on whether or not Sony will offer games which will have you getting funk off of your VR,

PS VR helps to solidify  the PS4 as the most attractive offering on the console side, and Sony has the sales numbers to back that up. There are quite a few games Sony has planned to discuss at their show this year, with some impressive names like Gran Turismo, Ace Combat, and Harmonix showing off titles for Project Morpheus for gamers to enjoy. Other titles which will be explored include Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, Dreams, a project from Little Big Planet Developers Media Molecule, and even a VR version of Rez, the highly acclaimed cult classic rhythm experience.

There are another dozen titles or so planned for PS VR, and it seems Sony is putting a great deal of focus on showing it off this year, which leads me to believe we may get a solid release date in late 2016, with the price point of $400. I know not everyone is sold on the idea of VR, but after having the joy of experiencing it myself at E3 2014, I can’t help but be excited for the future of virtual reality in gaming, which will only become more popular as the price goes down.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I'm sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in.

And like most major modern day tech innovations, I’m sure porn will most certainly convince everyone to jump in and help expedite cost reduction.

Putting aside the saucy nature of possible VR advancements, Sony has regular software lined up for their conference, including looks at Horizon: Zero Dawn, a futuristic open world third person action game that looks beautiful in motion, and a game I’m crossing my fingers comes out this year. The Last Guardian, which better have a release date this year, or is doomed to catch up with the number of times Duke Nukem Forever was delayed, the long awaited sequel to the gravitationally challenged Vita darling Gravity Rush 2, and possibly the rumored announcement of a Norse myth focused from one of Sony’s biggest, God of War 4.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will most still be a massive asshole.

Spoiler Alert: Kratos will still be a massive asshole.

The last couple of years I’ve gone, while some companies have delivered the goods in terms of conferences (Microsoft 2014, Bethesda 2015), Sony always seems to be the ones to beat in terms of variety of content and showmanship. Let’s see if they can pull it off again this year.

Safe Expectation: Sony will announce a lot of cool shit
Impossible Expectation: Any of it will be cheap or come out any time soon.

And that concludes my overview of the big three in some of the preliminary analysis of E3 2016. What’s exciting is that the show is always anyone’s game, and even if one company rises above the rest, they all always have a chance to impress, and to collectively succeed to make an excellent show. What’s more is that this year has seen a surprisingly low number of leaks, so there are still a ton of surprises left, with dozens of unannounced projects just waiting to shock and awe. Stay tune as I cover the conferences and the show live from LA, as we all enjoy the awesomeness that is E3 2o16.

~Pashford

 

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Drifting Along On The Winds Of Change

Hey Gamers,

As some of you may have noticed, I was woefully absent during the month of December. This makes the second December in a row I have failed to provide anything meaningful to gaming culture, and for that I apologize.

Things Don't Always Work Out As We Hope Them Too

Things Don’t Always Work Out As We Hope Them Too

I’m happy to say the circumstances that lead to my absence this December as opposed to last December were infinitely more preferred. December 2013 was most certainly a devastation, while December 2014 was absolutely a celebration, though the excessive fun having did leave me out in the creative cold.

Seen Here: Me Ringing In The New Year

Seen Here: Me Ringing In The New Year

That’s kind of like a second apology/I had fun hope you did too. I realized shortly after the new year I owed it to myself, my creative devices, and the gaming community at large to do something…anything of note, so here I am now trying to make good on my claims. I do also wish to give public thanks to everyone who helped contribute to my gofundme, which was a rousing success. It granted me the fantastic fortune of a brand new Wii U, and even Mario Kart 8 to boot (the latter of which I saved as an X-Mas present to myself). The Wii U was right in time for the release of Smash Bros, which I wrote about a couple time in the days following the games launch. The write ups were maybe…a little more dry than I intended them to be, but were rich in Vitamin E…

The E Standing For Entertainment, Of Course!

The E Standing For Entertainment, Of Course!

Err…at least as far as the pictures were concerned. They had a lot of E in them…

Tons Of Vitamin E

Tons Of Vitamin E

 

Vitamin E For Days...

Vitamin E For Days…

I am truly grateful of everyone who contributed to my gofundme, and though I have already sent each and everyone of you a personal letter of thanks, I wanted to say at least one more time….you really made a difference, and you really made me happy.

So thank you.

Falcon Gratitude 2
When I came back from my extended absence last year, I had a series of articles (which I’m quite fond of upon retrospection) looking at A Link Between Worlds and the Zelda series as a whole…something I’ve analyzed several times over. This year, I don’t have anything quite as long winded planned in my return to written reality, but I’m trying to change it up a little bit…by not talking about the Zelda series for a change! For example, would you believe me if I told you I was about to talk about a non-Zelda game?

Non *Zelda* Game

Non *Zelda* Game

Or that horses aren’t even involved?

Weeeell, technically.

Weeeell, technically.

Cheating a little bit here, but if enjoying Mario Kart is playing dirty, I don’t ever want to be clean again. While I really do want to discuss Mario Kart, in all of it’s ridiculous glory, I do reckon I should first discuss Smash U, as it would be the first time I’ve really talked about the experience on ATE as opposed to just alluding to it, which is odd now that I think about it. Smash is up there as one of my fave games to sit down with, and the new ones are no exception. I’m impressed Nintendo had the development capabilities to make both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Smash a reality in the same year, let alone within two months of each, but I suppose we should in fact thank Sora Ltd and Bandai Namco Games for being able to pull it together at just the right time.

Which Bandai Namco Don't Always Get Right

Which Bandai Namco Don’t Always Get Right

 

Like Sometimes Seriously Doesn't Get Right

Like Sometimes Seriously Doesn’t Get Right

 

Like, What The Hell, Dude? Were They Planning A Spin Off Game With These Two Idiots Called The Adventures Of Derp Face And Captain Horseshit?

Like, What The Hell, Dude? Were They Hoping To Launch A Spin Off Game With These Two Idiots Called The Adventures Of Derp Face And Captain Horseshit?

My initial write ups on Smash weren’t poppy enough, I’d say in review, which is really what Smash is: vivacious and pretty (much like the flower). We will ignore that in reality, poppies are used for the production of morphine and codeine, which ruins my comparison…unless you’re totally into that kind of thing, in which case I have no hesitation to likening Smash Brothers as gaming crack, just all around being a video game equivalent of an addictive narcotic.

An Average Example Of A Smash Player Between Matches

An Average Example Of A Smash Player Between Matches

I do in fact, wish to officially review Smash still, so I’ll keep my thoughts on the game more rapid fire and less explicit. To that point: super glad there’s an intro (3DS version lacked one), very pleased the online is functional and appealing this time around, and the balance struck between both Melee and Brawl feels just right. Even as a die hard Melee fan, I’ve surrendered to the notion that we can’t nor shouldn’t want the exact same thing for the rest of time, and Smash U feels fresh and familiar enough to have me hook line and sinker. The variety of play at hand in the new Smash was always a known known, but perhaps the levels of customization there after were an unknown unknown, with stage creation and new fan ideas for mini games being a delightful surprise.

Smashketball? But Of Course!

Smashketball? And How!

While the new Smash being good isn’t a surprise, per say, I think some of the ways that the new Smash is good, are. A consideration to competitive balancing as opposed to the denouncement of it was definitely one, cross-platform release was way more forethought than I remembered Nintendo being capable of, as well as online play actually mattering to the grand scheme of Smash longevity. And yes, while we can scratch our heads at certain elements of the execution, like no current plans for paid DLC (madness, I know), or an easy way to trade custom stages through the Wii U itself (though talks of an update have been mentioned), I still acknowledge an awareness on Nintendo’s part at paying attention to what matters most: us.

The Fans

The Fan...Err, Not Him.

Err, Not Him.

 

Yeah, Them

Yeah, Them

I say this with a certain sense of positive energy, as Nintendo hasn’t always had a healthy awareness of who really matters, as previously mentioned. Nintendo coming out and saying they want to add online functionality, including an easy way for fans to trade custom levels online means they are listening, and ultimately being more self-aware about what meaningfully relates to their games, which is good. What excites me more is that the positive momentum of Smash doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Smash U’s ambitions are just one example of Nintendo “getting it” a little more recently, another example being Mario Kart 8’s video replay system, in which Nintendo has once again showcased it’s the fans who help make the games worthwhile, and imbues them with the power to make Nintendo games more fun well after the game is released.

The Luigi Deathstare being a prime example of how developer tools (even incredibly simplistic ones) in fan hands, can help celebrate the little things about video games everyone loves so much, which is what matters at the end of the day.

Luigi Deathstare

Don’t Look At Me Like That


Okay, okay! Sorry…your death stare is anything but little, Luigi…

Just for clarity here, using Mario Kart as my current example, mindful systems with the intent of fan inclusion, is an acknowledgement on Nintendo’s part (by action at least), the company realizes one positive but big change they can make in moving forward. The Luigi Death Stare, which spawned from the replay system and through “fan creation” unintentionally helped to promote Mario Kart 8. This meme that was spawned from a 10 second clip ended up going viral and peaked so much interest about the game, it was a better advertisement for MK8 than Nintendo could have ever thought up of without the fans.

With Mario Kart 8 still in mind, you can even upload the clips to Youtube (even just aside from the mode “Mario Kart TV” in game to see what’s going on globally), which is a step forward in Nintendo using more topical technologies to acknowledge fans, and with it, a willingness to give us more control in helping to contribute to the games they make. Mario Maker is yet another example of Nintendo understanding just how important fan support, community and creation are in helping grow a healthy product, as the entire premise of Mario Maker is to make new content using an established Nintendo formula for your fellow gamers. Fan creation (and modding) have been key elements of contribution in modern day game design, a concept very successful companies in the field of video gaming adopted a long time ago.

*Cough* To Name Just One Slightly Relevant Example

*Cough* To Name Just One Slightly Relevant Example

I’m aware Nintendo has dun f***** up a lot…with the Wii U specifically, and in ways involving their own products and the community that are hard to accept as reality. In this moment, I must acknowledge that Nintendo has been imperfect in many regards, and is behind the times both technologically and conceptually in a variety of ways. However, it’s times like these I notice a willingness and effort to change, which is an excellent first step to self improvement. When I start to notice these little changes forming a bigger picture, a far more engaging bigger picture, I’m reminded while you can’t always “count” on Nintendo, they will always surprise you. This is exciting in this case, as the winds of change seem to be in Nintendo’s favor.

Let’s just hope that breeze turns into a gust and ends up being a wind storm.

Sounds Fun In Theory, Anyway

Sounds Fun In Theory, Anyway

In closing, while I’m always rowdy and raucous while playing Smash, Smash U is a part of a stable of games that represents a healthiness with it’s ambitions in relation to Nintendo’s future. A relief comes in analyzing Smash, Mario Kart etc, in that while Nintendo has shown time and time ago they know they have a community, these recent instances may be a sign they want it to be a real part of how they develop moving forward. Nintendo has shown they know how to have fun behind the wheel, but they may finally be understanding that they don’t always have to be driving for us to get somewhere good together.

Who knows? Perhaps now, like so many other developers, they realize we (the fans) know how to burn rubber too, and sometimes, having fun means throwing us the keys and saying “Let’s Go”.

Allons-Y

Clara See
11th Annoyed

~Pashford

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With A Little Help From My Friends…

Hey Gamers,

As some of you may recall, my last couple of posts detailed my excitement for Super Smash Brothers on the 3DS, for a number of exciting reasons.

Like venting long time frustrations, as many have done before me.

THERE HE IS! GET HIM!

THERE HE IS! GET HIM!

Uh Huh….that’s right….who’s laughing now!?

WHO’S LAUGHING NOW?!

Wait, who said that?

OH SHI-

OH SHI-

I know in my heart of hearts, Ash will never join the roster of Super Smash Brothers, but never say never on dreams coming true, which is what I’m sure Nintendo has been thinking with the Wii U’s recent raise in popularity. This turn of events is indeed due to a better line up of games this year, but can most definitely be attributed to hype behind the soon to be released Smash Bros. I’ve observed expectations and excitement levels from even non Wii U owners as exceedingly high.

Seen Here: A Very Excited Room Full Of Smash Players Not Pictured: 3 Million Other Screaming Fans

Seen Here: A Very Excited Room Full Of Smash Players
Not Pictured: 8 Million Other Screaming Fans

I know some of you may be ready to point out that there aren’t 8 million people who own Wii U’s, but I have no doubt that Smash Brothers as a singular entity will help boost the consoles sales numbers immediately and consistently for years to come. Even beyond Smash Bros finally putting the Wii U on peoples radars, the games paired functionality with the Amiibo add-on Nintendo will release along side it is sure to be met with fanfare. Considering how insanely popular similar ideas have been that have come before it, I have little doubt that “The Pokémon Company” will have any trouble selling their brand like freshly baked crack cakes.

You Heard Me, Tyrone.

You Heard Me

I’m glad to see Nintendo finally turning their fortunes around this gen, and am even more excited that a new Smash Bros is so immediate in our futures. My time with Smash at E3 this year did not lead me astray, as the 3DS version has already done it’s job of wowing me. With the Wii U version having way more content, and even support for Gamecube controllers, I couldn’t be more excited for the Wii U version to finally drop…cause when it does, I’m going to channel my inner Toon Link and go Wind Waker on everyone involved…

And It's Gonna Get Real

And It’s Gonna Get Real

At least, that’s what I wish I could do, what I really want to do. See, I was really stoked I was able to pick up Smash 3DS when it first launched, and anyone who’s followed me for a longer time knows why. I had the misfortune of having my 3DS stolen on my birthday, which was considerably crappy. That would have been more than enough personal loss for one day to be bummed about, but my Vita was in the same bag my 3DS was in when it was nabbed by the slippery handed bastard who claimed it.

While I was rather immediately screwed and without my portable devices, I eventually scrounged up the resource to get a replacement 3DS, which was all well and good for awhile. My initial plan was to replace my 3DS first, as Smash Bros was a far more exciting prospect than anything the Vita had to offer at the end of this year. When Smash finally launched, I was pouring hours into the title, unlike any other game I had touched this year.

Sadly, and as is my luck, my replacement 3DS suffered water damage a mere 6 days after Smash launched, leaving me high and dry. To add insult to injury, my old laptop finally died the very same day my 3DS did, even leaving me without a convenient way to communicate my recent woes.

But Wait! There's More!

But Wait! There’s More!

Yeah, if that wasn’t enough, this consistent stream of lost technology started about a year ago, even before my birthday related bullshit, when I had lost my apartment in a flood (I live in the Boulder, Colorado area and it was a miserable place to be last September). I was forced to couch surf after I had lost my apartment, which I was thankful for as others weren’t quite as lucky.

During the time period I was staying at my friends place until I got back on my feet, a friend I had entrusted to temporarily store my 20 year game collection completely failed me, and ended up throwing it all away at a moments notice and without mention. Shortly after this awful moment in time when it seemed it couldn’t possibly get any worse, all three of my next gen consoles were stolen, a subject I had alluded to before on ATE but didn’t have the mood or energy to discuss, as it all represented a very dark time in my life.

I Know Those Feels My Twilight Sister

I Know Those Feels My Twilight Sister

So yeah, not a very cheery post, and one of the only ones I’ve written where I talk more about myself than video games, but that’s the truth of the matter. While Active Time Event will always stay non-profit, and I’ve never asked for any kind of help before, I recently started a gofundme at the urging of some of my friends who felt sympathy for my situation. While I know I can’t replace all of what I lost, as some of it was one of a kind and irreplaceable, I can at least reclaim my next gen systems, and enjoy what I have left.

I might be down, but I’m not out.

Gotta Keep On Fighting!

Gotta Keep On Fighting!

With a little help from my friends and some generous strangers, I’ve already raised a healthy portion of my $500 goal. While that money in it’s entirety isn’t enough to replace all of my next gen consoles that were stolen, I’m hoping I can use the sum to repair my 3DS, and more immediately reacquire my Wii U before November 21st, so I can play the game I’ve been looking forward to the most this year.

If you feel like helping, either as someone who’s been reading for awhile or someone who just wants to help out a fellow nerd in need, you can contribute to my gofundme page found below http://www.gofundme.com/gujc38. Any amount will help, and with enough luck and generosity from the gaming community, I’ll be able to regain my Wii U and Smash to my hearts content once more.

And to anyone who shares my story or contributes to my fund, you have my thanks.

My…

Falcon Thanks

~Pashford

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Do You Like Super Smash Brothers?

Hey Gamers,

Some of you may be wondering what the hell I’ve been doing all month. Not only have some big games launched recently, but arguably the game, or at least my game launched earlier this month on the 3DS.

Duck Dynasty 2

Err…No

But it did involve Duck Hunting!

True Story

True Story

In case you missed it, the new Super Smash Bros did indeed launch ont the 3DS on October 3rd, and the response has been rather positive. From the strong sales to the evidently warm reception from both casual and competitive players, the new Smash Bros seemed a clear winner from day one. The series itself stands out as one my favs, and I’ve discussed it on a couple of occasions in the past, on top of being completely in love with the game when I was at E3 earlier this year.

Some of you might be asking the obvious question: how in the world have we not seen an update every single day from you if you’re so excited for such a big game?

This is how.

This is how

I’m only being slightly farcical with the usage of the previous image. While it was not in fact a David Cage game that has ruined my day, it was quite literally heavy rain that has prevented me from talking about Smash at great lengths. See, I had my 3DS inside a new backpack that I was extremely unaware was not remotely water resistant, and rode home from work in a downpour. The results were a waterlogged 3DS, and the inability to play Smash Brothers along with it.

Oh yes, my laptop also shit the bed that day, too.

Attention: game cancelled due to rain

Attention: game cancelled due to rain

Yeah, it was pretty much the worse gaming related tragedy in the past 4 months, which in and of itself is a terrible reminder of tech disasters, as the last worst day involving video games actually involves how I lost my previous 3DS.

Laugh It Up, Chuckles.

Laugh It Up, Chuckles.

Obviously, I’ve regained regular computer access, but I did not have the means to just up and replace te aforementioned soggy 3DS…a special edition Zelda 3DS mind you, and the same one I bought with the intention of having on hand for when Smash finally launched. The very same 3DS that didn’t even last a full week before the unpredicted water damage destroyed the bastard, and the one that is el finito, preventing any further Smash playing. I’m hoping you get the picture here, as I can’t emphasize enough just how frustrating this has made the past couple of weeks.

I Hate That Dog!

I Hate That Dog!

So, believe me readers, when I say that I’m sure you may be bummed you don’t get to laugh and revel in my Smashing antics, but any pain you feel is removed by a factor of ten in relation to how bummed I feel in regards to a game I was set to review, obsess over, and completely lose myself in, but sadly can not.

Duck Hunt Dog 2

*Laughing*

 

YOU'RE GONNA DIE, CLOWN!!!

YOU’RE GONNA DIE, CLOWN!!!

*Clears throat*

ANYWAYS, massive disappointment, I know, from both a work and recreational perspective. I’d be lying if I said I was going to be able to replace my 3DS anytime soon, so my one hope now is finance focused else where. I speak of being able to afford a Wii U (which I know will cost a similar amount, but bare with me) so I can pick up the new new version of Smash Brothers (see?) when it launches on Nintendo’s home console on the 21st. That won’t fix my current situation with the 3DS of course, but it will give me the topical review I so desired with Smash 3DS, but did not get the chance to make happen.

For now, I say a somber farewell to my 3DS (again…sigh). While the remnants of that rich kingdom were washed away before their own time, I feel rest assured that like other tales that have come before it…

Water Will Not Deter Heroes

Water Will Not Deter Heroes

It Can However, Greatly Piss Them Off

It Can However, Greatly Piss Them Off

While I’m aware my following thoughts act merely as a consolation prize, I will impart some impressions on Smash Bros, just to say I tried at least. The lack of intro movie was a complete shock, as the Smash Bros intro cinematic is often the cream of the crop in hypetastic efforts by any gaming standard. I guess I’m more shocked I thought they would be able to include it, given Sakurai commenting several times on how limiting the 3DS version was during development, but my hopes remained high.  Can you blame me? I *live* to hear that announcer say Super Smash Bros.

I need it.

I NEED IT

I NEED IT

The limitations of the 3DS card iare very apparent from this first moment, and every moment there after. The game’s a blast, rest assured, striking that sweet balance between Melee’s speed and Brawl’s floatiness, but what it has on offer is a small smattering compared to the content behemoth that was Brawl. Hell, Melee looks chock full of content compare to this sucker, and Melee came out 13 years ago. This sounds a little more damning then I mean it to be, but the obvious remains so: Nintendo knew they were forcing Sakurai to make a lot of sacrifices to make this sucker multi-platform.

Which You Know, Is Really Okay With Nintendo

Which You Know, Is Really Okay With Nintendo

I mean, Smash is the kind of game that not only excites gamers, but synergizes and ignites Nintendo’s entire platform. A surge in 3DS sales (to the point of being sold out in Japan even), but a huge shot in the arm to the Wii U’s relevant value, as Smash will continue to get great reviews right up until it launches on Nintendo’s home platform, once and for all cementing the consoles value to even the most dubious of gamers. On top of everything mentioned, Smash is the first game to use Nintendo’s new Amiibo add ons, which is going to be a crazy cash cow for the Pokemon company that could, if they convince consumers these cute little figurines are worth the price of admission.

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

So yeah, Smash is a blast, but we kinda knew that was gonna happen anyways. What we didn’t expect is that Nintendo, without announcement, was basically restructuring and strengthening their entire gaming empire with a release of a single game, solely through the use of our excessive love of Smash Brothers. A game with enough quality and popularity, Nintendo slyly created a mini-platform based on the predicted games success, to completelyreverse their continually dire fortunes this entire generation in a single months time. For once this gen, Nintendo, I must say…well done.

Nintendo fans had no idea what was coming, because while we thought we were getting asked a simple question…

Smash Bros Bateman

Nintendo Was Just Getting Ready To Completely Overpower Us

Anyways, those are some thoughts. Take em, share em, save em for a rainy day (ugh), do whatever the hell you like with em, because they’re yours now. I did have far more interconnected and intimate thoughts relevant to the content of the game rather than the concepts behind it (character analysis, Smash Run thoughts, Zelda related sexiness), but I’m pretty satisfied ending here. Even if I don’t go on more about the 3DS version of Smash (which is still possible), the game will be relevantly entertaining and likely topical for years to come once launched on the Wii U.

So stay tuned.

~Pashford

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When Star Road Gets Real

Hey Gamers,

I’m sure for a portion of you, today’s article name may be equal parts exhausting as it is terrifying.

Pictured: Elton John Being Super Annoying When He Nails The Jump Short Cut Star Road

Seen Here: Elton John Being Super Annoying When He Nails The Jump Short Cut On Star Road

Mario Kart is a delightful series, one of my favorites in fact. Not to say it doesn’t have it’s off moments…and god damn if I can’t ignore the sheer brutality Star Road represents on any given day. As if blue shells weren’t irritating enough, now you’ve got to deal with their cheap shit for 30 minutes straight (average amount of time it takes to finish a single race on Star Road).

At least, that’s how long I remember it taking to finish a single race. Then again, my memories are obscured in pain.

No, The Star Isn't "Just Smiling": It's Laughing At Your Misery

And If You Gaze Long Enough Into An Abyss, The Abyss Will Gaze Back Into You

I suppose this is a rather grim way to reference a game I am always excited to play, but Mario Kart has this odd masochism about it. I enjoy the pain, truly and sincerely, despite the amount of blood I’ve lost in the process of playing it. So when news surfaces about the impending release of a new Mario Kart, it’s as if the anticipation is a painful one, in the best way imaginable. This statement becomes all the more real, when we come to discover that the latest trailer for Mario Kart 8 boasts suffering anew, and showcasing front and center none other than Star Road.

Yes, The Star Road.

And This Time, It's Fucking Alive.

And This Time, It’s Fucking Alive.

The new video I watched posted by IGN, which is a devil’s delight in several ways, had both the 64 version and MK8”s Star Roads side by side. This comes as a reminder of past pains and forthcoming failures, all in one amazingly demonic demo. Don’t get me wrong, this looks gorgeous, but so do succubus before they suck your soul directly out of your asshole at the last moment…or what I normally refer to as lap 3. I know my constant reference to Star Road’s length seems like hyperbole, but I feel as if I’ve successfully dealt with all five stages of grief the course causes faster than I’ve actually finished it.

Lap 2

Lap 2

Which was one of the first things that caught me off guard about the comparison, other than the amazing visuals of course: the entirety of Star Road featured in MK8 seems to be the length of a single lap from the 64 version. This leads me to believe that Nintendo may have actually listened to gamers for a change, but more likely they just blanked out the memories like I did and just straight forgot the 64 version was so miserably long. Anyways, not only did this pacing seem like it could really tighten up the tension of the race itself, but I was not kidding when I said Star Road is fucking alive.

First off, parts of the road are actually moving, as if possessed by some other worldly demon. Trying to wrestle with this bestial turbulence will most certainly breed a special kind of insufferable comedy. Combine this with the shelled or be shelled mentality of a regular Mario Kart sprint, and schadenfreude will be reborn in the image of Mario himself.

I AM THE PRINCE OF ALL KARTERS ONCE AGAIN

I AM THE PRINCE OF ALL KARTERS ONCE AGAIN!

Even aside from the lively atmosphere and even more lively road ways, the transformative vehicles from MK7 are making a re-appearence, and looking to add proper volume to the already engaging courses. The brand new anti-gravity tracks are equally proud mantle pieces, Star Road a perfect example of this, and contribute a pop and circumstance to the level design I haven’t seen in ages. When you consider all of the above blended together into one delicious treat, it doesn’t take me long to remember why it hurts so good.

And How Fucking Metal Mario Really Can Be

And How Fucking Metal Mario Really Can Be

I know I hyperlinked to the video above, but I believe it’s worth saving you the two seconds of work, just in case you think this is worth missing.

Cause it really isn’t, and brings about an irony perhaps even more devastating than Mario Kart and Star Road could ever really wrought. This is one of the only games I’ve witnessed getting people in a legitimate fever to own a Wii U, with almost no peers in this category during the consoles entire existence. Not only that, but despite the Wii U’s under-powered hardware, the game may be one of the most gorgeous racers I’ve seen this gen. The fact that Nintendo can put out games they may turn out this good, in all of their entrancing splendor, is almost aggravating. Much like myself, I feel as if this show of quality almost angers the devoted and would be devoted more than pleases them, because it reaffirms that Nintendo can still do amazing shit.

They just don’t make a habit of it any more.

~Pashford

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Quickie: U Doing Alright?

Hey Gamers.

As some of you are well aware, Active Time Event has hit a bit of a snag recently, and is having trouble performing on a consistent basis.

I'm getting help from some friends in the right  support group, I swear.

I’m getting help from some friends in the right support group, I swear.

I wanted to have a Muranica prepared for this month’s only post, but completely fucked up that entire plan by not writing one. My current machinations still reside within the realm of straight reporting, one that has me busy on a pretty consistent basis. My original plan, as noted before, was to disappoint any regular readers with a void of good ideas and no new content. I think I’ve done so adequately, but not without a sense of regret.

Something I've had a lot of pointers on recently.

Something I’ve had a lot of pointers on recently.

Microsoft has done well (better than I have with ATE at least) to get back on track. They did this through taking back what they lost, namely their pride. Or more accurately, backpedalling like mad men to make  the mass majority almost forget what a tremendous flop the Xbox One reveal represented. If nothing else, Sony’s strong (or at least reasonable in comparison) performance at E3, influenced Microsoft to start doing the right thing and get their shit together.

Others I’m afraid, are still late in getting the message.

Seen here: Luigi having to whisper to Iwata that Nintendo's fly is unzipped and that they also shit their pants.

Seen here: Luigi having to whisper to the CEO that Nintendo’s  fly is unzipped and that they also shit their pants.

I can’t help but soak in the irony that the first year Nintendo celebrates “The Year of Luigi”, everyone stops paying attention to them.

Anyways…
While Nintendo doom is all the rage just about every gen, the Wii U is making enough mistakes to warrant serious concerns over the consoles focus and current popularity. I thought that the idea of the Nintendo Direct at E3 was initially a fun alternative that would set the company apart in a sea of new hardware. While enticed by some of the software on show, having had some time to think about it, “fun” isn’t the first word starting with the letter F I would use to describe Nintendo’s  decision to skip out on E3.

Fucking losing it is the one I would pick.

Fucking losing it is the one I would pick.

I’m hoping Nintendo is at least just repeating old mistakes, waiting to get their first wind before they start actually participating in this current gen. Normally, Nintendo has  slow momentum in supporting their system, but have at least one  excellent launch title along the lines of Mario 64, Melee, or Wii Sports to blow everyone out of the water with.

The WIi U's best launch title, already confirmed not getting a sequel.

The WIi U’s coolest launch title, already confirmed not getting a sequel.

Keep in mind, I love my Wii U, had a fantastic time with it at launch, and use the thing almost daily. I’m putting aside my fervent gaming bias however, and assessing basic realities in which everyone else lives in. Namely, the one where the best game (opinion alert) at the Wii U launch (Zombi U), sold so poorly, Ubisoft has already denied a sequel, and informed everyone the poor sales on Zombi U was the main reason to make Rayman multi-platform.

Here's to a successful Wii U launch, Nintendo.

Here’s to a successful Wii U launch, Nintendo.

 Pikmin 3 is coming out within a weeks time, and many other titles (even none Zelda ones) are on the horizon for the Wii U. This means little to everyone who have had their console since November, but at least reassures me Nintendo is aware they are a company that needs to make money on an investment at some point. Having the same lack of games throughout this holiday season, with the PS4 and Xbox One launching, would be the last proof I need to convince me everyone on Nintendo is in fact on drugs.

Pictured: The Drug Nintendo Is On.

Pictured: The Drug Nintendo Is On.

 I’m still betting on all three companies, as I have no want or need of another video game console that has absolutely no value. Sony just needs to keep (for once), setting a good example, Microsoft needs to keep following the good example, and Nintendo just needs to be reminded of how to be a good example.

Or else this will be the face of every Wii U owner you will meet.

Or else this will be the face of every Wii U owner you will meet.

 Happy Gaming,
Pashford

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Encyclopedia Muranica: Is the Wii U getting Vitaed?

I felt the need to coin a new verb, in light of some of the more recent fallout of Wii U disappointments. The odd struggle Nintendo is having selling entertaining hardware to both consumers and developers alike is reminiscent, and indeed paralleling, what has and is occurring with the Vita. In fact, while I have personally had a great experience with both the Wii U and Vita, and will continue to vouch for Nintendo’s new bundle of coy, the red flags and warning signs are all too familiar.

Surprising launch ethics?
Check
Developers steering clear due to high costs and low install base?
Check
Owners enjoying, but struggling to justify a painful series of mistakes?

Yeah, The Wii U is getting Vitaed ™.

Like this, but with less dancing.

Like this, but with less dancing.

I know some of my points here seem anecdotal, but hear me out. I suppose what initially opened up this zany bag of crap was the recent announcement that Rayman was indeed finished, but not releasing till later this year. A perfectly good game ready to be shipped out, but due to some financially motivated tactics, the Wii U version will be held back with the rest of the multi-platform versions. While I didn’t scream bloody murder like some of my gaming brothers, this was indeed sour news. The game represented to many, one of the deciding factors in picking a Wii U up day one, if not soon after. Finding out the title wasn’t being released  to many fans, looked akin to some sociopathic exercise plying out in an already unhealthy environment.

Hey Ubisoft...do you like Huey Lewis and the News?

Hey Ubisoft…do you like Huey Lewis and the News?

This came on the heels of a couple of other bad to worse and depressing declarations regarding the Wii U, all of this got me thinking. How is it, that such new hardware, is having such troubling generating the kind of hype I believe it deserves?

Ghost pains of explaining worth relating to the Vita panged my innards within a few seconds of the Wii U musings. Much like the Wii U, when the Vita launched, it left a majority of people surprised and confused. After some time had elapsed, it was clear that the little portable that could wasn’t being given an honest look by too many, but this was a redundancy of shallow adoption rate and a price that far too many felt uncomfortable with. History repeating itself?

Despite suggested retail value, a priceless E3.

Despite suggested retail value, a priceless E3.

What’s even worse is the Vita was a follow up to what seemed like the eternally troubled PSP life span, and the instantly forgotten misstep that was the PSP Go. The Go representing not only a poor decision in hardware direction, but barely being remember as a failed cliff note. Instantly vanishing from the memetic memory of the gaming public at large. Competing with Nintendo in the portable realm isn’t an easy task, and when even the parent company is having trouble selling their own shit, you know the message or delivery method may be flawed.

Another Example of a mixed message and flawed delivery method.

Another Example of a mixed message and flawed delivery method.

With both systems having enticed me due to my avid gaming passions, I wouldn’t shy away from calling them out for their own failings. I buy them because I appreciate all aspects of gaming, but many aren’t as forgiving as I am, with my insatiable lust to game always at a fever pitch. I think part of coining a new word to describe the consoles misgivings is difficult, not because I’m insinuating they are “final nails” in the gaming giants coffins, nor that both are dooooooomed, like others would lead you to believe. The Wii U getting “Vitaed” is a pain in my ass, because I suffer directly for it. Fewer games, less hours of fun, philosophical lemons shitting sour in my mouth. These emotions make me question the legitimacy of thought being thrown around within Nintendo’s own walls, and the game industry in general. How big companies can be so massively stupid is beyond me, and seems to be effecting us left and right in our recent days. As if we’ve ignored all of the very same mistakes we’ve already made in the past. Beyond reason, we believe we can “do it better” than those that have already failed before us, giving way to a line of thinking that we are more powerful than weakness and flaw.

Maybe it will be different this time...

Maybe it will be different this time…

While I understand video games are indeed an industry, and every business model needs to make money, one of the biggest means of success can be through consumer loyalties. Valve, and their work with Steam, is the only example I need to give in order to justify this approach. Yes, your profits won’t be absurd, but at least you’ll have  a more constant stream of revenue. Giving a viable wealth of options as opposed to options only viable to the wealthy, will create bad press, and only hurt your own brand. Creating an attractive package, and having consumers actually buying your products on a consistent basis will improve image, with money and words of promotion flowing on a more frequent basis. The alternative being counter intuitive entry fees so high in the first place, you could be effectively halving your install base, and slapping all interested in the face with fucked finance.

What's your bottom line worth?

What’s your bottom line worth?

A video game console has a pretty easy aim, to provide video games. Games, games, and more games are the way to a gamers heart. Even if you don’t have “the best” titles out at the time, the right price can go a long way in convincing someone to try, buy, and play the titles you do have. We all just want to continue having fun, some of us just don’t have as much time, or deep enough wallets to want to feel abused in our choices.

If you don’t have plenty of games to offer up to your own pool of interested gamers, at least make sure you have an affordable slew of decent ones to choose from.

Or else you’re going to get Vitaed.

Vitaed Header

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