Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Suddenly A Nintendo Direct Leak Appears RUMOUR

So about that Direct news we just shared, apparently there is an "leak" from a Nintendo-Germany employee and so here we go again (please don't hit me)

So according to this leak once again discovered on 4Chan we're got some goodies coming

Iwata apologizes again for the Zelda delay and announced a new title for Wii U, which will release in Winter 2015 instead: Paper Mario (working title): first trailer shown, uses the best parts of the first four titles of the series, developed by Intelligent Systems, more info at E3 2015. (Paper Mario was one of our solutions to the Wii U's once a gen issue)
Pokemon Rumble World : Due for release April 17th 2015 in the Nintendo eShop for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The game supports the Pokemon amiibo from the Smash Bros. Collection (no word on the previous NFC rumble figures)
SNES titles will be released in the 3DS eShop, the Wii U eShop will get GB und GBC titles. There will also be some cross-play for VC titles already bought and which are available on both systems. The SNES, GB and GBC titles will be released after the presentation. (if true... YAY)
N64 games will be available in June 2015 in the Wii U eShop:The games support widescreen and upscaling to 720p, support all controllers and off-tv-play. Price: 9,99 € per game. Owners who already bought the game on the Wii Shop can upgrade for 1,99 €. (this I really want but previous VC games have not been upcaled)
The Web eShop will be presented. Developed by Nintendo and DeNA. You can log in with your NNID and use the normal eShop functions. If the console is in stand-by, games bought on the eShop will be automatically downloaded. The Web eShop will implemented both the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Planned launch: April 2015. Their will also be new functions for the eShop: Pre-orders. Customers will be able to buy games months in advance and will get a 10% discount. The amount will be charged on launch day or the day the pre-load starts. The first games will be available following the presentation: Splatoon, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition, (on June 4th) Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (If you buy one of the games until June 11th 23:59 MEZ, you get the other for free.) June 11th: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, June 18th: Super Smash Bros. June 25th: 1080° Snowboarding, April 2nd: Pandora’s Tower, April 23rd: Sin & Punishment: Successor of the Skies and finally May 14th: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Apprently Devil’s Third will be released in August 2015, with new trailer being shown.

Also Amiibo Gallery will be presented. With this app, gamers can use their amiibo already used on the console, to look at them in a gallery. There you can take pictures of them and show them in Miiverse. There is also a mode called Origins. When you scan the amiibo via the NFC reader, you’ll be able to play a segment of the first game the amiibo appeared in. (My note: If you scan Link, you should be able to play a part of the first Legend of Zelda is my understanding of this.) This app will be available for free in May 2015 for Wii U and 3DS.
MK8 DLC Pack 2 will launch on May 7th 2015. Trailer shown, Software-Update will launch on the same day with the following new features: Time laps on tv, seperate screens for local 2 player games: One on the GamePad, one on the TV, new amiibo costumes.
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition releases on May 8th 2015 in Europe. Demo after the presentation available.
Yoshi’s Woolly World will be released on June 26th in Europe, Trailer shown. Limited Edition with knitted Yoshi releases on the same day.
Azure Striker Gunvolt releases after the presentation on the 3DS eShop. (My Note: A leak showed this title is scheduled for April 2.)
Nintendo Anime Channel will be launched on Wii U on April 9th 2015.
Project Zero 5 will be localised, will release later this year in Europe. (God Damn best be true otherwise i'll be going all "Taken" on the author of this false leak) 
NES Remix Pack (retail) will release on June 5th in Europe.
Boy-Boy! releases on April 8th in the 3DS eShop.
The app Collectable Badge Center will be available for 3DS after the presentation.
Trailer with upcoming games for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS shown.
Lego Jurassic World will release on June 11th on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS + new trailer.
Final Fantasy Explorers will be localised and released at the end of the year in Europe.
Splatoon will have support for amiibo: Special Splatoon amiibos where you can save your Inkling and take to your friend. With selected other amiibo you can unlock special gear. Game releases May 29th 2015 in Europe.
Next Super Smash Bros. amiibo wave will be available June 12th 2015. Newcomers are: Ganondorf, Jigglypuff, Palutena, Zer Suit Samus, Falco and Duck Hunt Duo (cue Banjo Kazooie mods). The Ganondorf amiibo will be compatible with Hyrule Warriors and unlocks a new weapon for him. Which one that is will will remain a secret until later. A software update, which will unlock this function, will be released on June 12th.
Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball releases April 24th in Europe and Yokai Watch will be localised and release later this year in Europe.
StarFox Horizon is shown with the first trailer, developed by Nintendo EAD with Platinum Games (please don’t spam Kamiya if it’s true, he might kill.). Will be released in Q3 2015, more information at E3.
And finally Mewtwo DLC for Smash. Wii U and 3DS gets a new trailer, will be send to the buyers of both games on April 9th 2015. You will get two download codes, one for Wii U and one for 3DS. Gamers who haven’t bought and registered both games, will have the chance to buy the DLC in June. On this day there will be available a software update, which will add a Miiverse stage, sharing-system and tournaments. There will also be new music, trophies and elements for the Stage Builder.

Abe's Take
That's a lot of details. It would be nice to see fruits of Nintendo/DeNA partnership but I'll be surprised if it be this soon. After last time I'm not going to say this seems true but rather would be nice if it was true

No Joke, Nintendo Direct Tomorrow

It's been what feels like forever since the last one but today Nintendo has announced an brand new Nintendo Direct

Yep Nintendo have a Direct ready for April fools day (just!). This Direct if not a massive April fools day joke is said to cover games for both Wii U and so should cover Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker and Splatoon. This is also the first Direct since Nintendo announced their entry into the mobile market, announced the NX and delayed Zelda out of 2015.

Continuing Nintendo's streak of not really caring about broadcast time around the world this Direct start 23:00 and will be live streamed on TWITCH, the Official Nintendo  website and somewhere on YouTube. Nintendo has also confirmed after the Direct there will be another Tree-house live stream where we'll be able to see more details on the games featured in the Direct.

Abe's Take
It good to have another Direct after what feels like a million years (in reality; less than 3 months). It's interesting that we had that Zelda delay video separate to this direct and even more curious is the Tree-house afterwards. Could it be that this direct will be so chock full of announcements that it needs an separate live stream for gameplay? I mean what else is there to learn on the all ready announced games? and lets face it the rest of the year seems a little light on games for both Wii U and 3DS.

Of cause it's also possible this is a giant prank and views will tune in tomorrow to find Iwata-san doing the naked chicken dance.

Friday, 20 March 2015

State Of Decay: Year One Survival Edtion Trailer!

The world finally gets a good look at the Xbox One remaster of XBLA break out hit State of Decay. 

The Year One edition comes with all the games DLC, remastered graphics, better animations, less wangs and bonus content in the form of new characters, weapons and vehicles. Owners of the original game will get an 33% discount when it hits on the 28th of April.

The two featured DLC's are Breakdown and Lifeline. Breakdown completely strips the games narrative in favour for an endless survival mode. Where once you have stripped the town bare you can move on to the "next town" which is the same map but with harder zombies and remixed supplies. Lifeline on the other hand is more narrative base, set at the very beginning of the outbreak, players will take command of a military unit extracting civilians and VIPs from the city. Players will begin with plenty of back up with HQ delivering supplies and fresh soldiers but as the outbreak worsens players must begin fending for themselves as the HQ becomes quieter and quieter. This DLc features a fresh map, new characters and new weapons.  

Abe's Take
We loved the original release (before GKUK existed), its survival focus and "emergent tension" as limited supplies, permadeath, risk of infection and increasing zombies wear the player down forcing them to make tougher and tougher decisions. Despite playing the 360 version for many, many, many hours I never got the DLC so I'm on board with this remaster.

Rumour: Kojima Leaving Konami

Well this is disheartening. Over the last few days there has been several separate rumours that all suggest the legendary game designer Hideo Kojima creator of the Metal Gear series will be leaving his long term publisher Konami.

UPDATE: Konami and Kojima have released this "joint statement" which doesn't really clear anything up but reassures us that Kojima is still involved in MGSV.

To Customers,
Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.
The latest title in the METAL GEAR series,“METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.
Hideo Kojima stated, "I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!"
In addition, KONAMI will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.
As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop new “METAL GEAR”.
We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.

Kojima as he appears in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
ORIGINAL: This began with an anonymous tip to Gamespot which stated "power struggles" between Konami and Kojima and his management staff has resulted in Kojima and co becoming "external contractors", which will result in them leaving their long time home after MGSV's release.

IGN contacted Konami about the rumour which they gave this statement which suggests this is all an misunderstanding created from the current restructuring

"As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business. Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.” 

Case closed? Well it appears not as Reddit users noted that Kojima's name had been removed from the Konami website's Metal Gear Solid box arts. Further inspection reveals that not only has his name disappeared but his entire studio Kojima Productions is no longer to be found and that it's LA based sister studio Kojima Productions: Los Angeles, which is handling the games multiplayer has been renamed Konami: Los Angeles. 

So it appears that not only is Kojima and company are leaving Konami but it's also on such "strained" terms that the company is removing all trace of them. Konami has all ready posted job listings for an all new Metal Gear series, seperate to the Metal Gear Solid games but in the same universe.

Abe's Take
This is all very sad news as Kojima is just as linked to Konami and Metal Gear as Miyamoto is to Nintendo and Mario. To see an legendary developer to leave under such "cloak and dagger" circumstances and have his name taken of the finale of his series he spent the last 3 decades is an utter shame. Obviously our thoughts are with those who are finding their jobs gone but i'm sure Kojima will find or create a new work for him and his team. 

It's also a shame that all this could all over shadow Metal Gear Solid V or scare people off

You can get MGSV: Ground Zeroes HERE
You can Pre-order MGSV: Phantom Pain HERE

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nintendo's Huge Announcements

Well this is unexpected, there was no Nintendo direct yet we have huge news and signals a change in Nintendo's policey on mobile gaming. Today saw three rather large announcements.

Number One: Nintendo on your phone

Today Nintendo announced a partnership with DeNA to develop entirely new (No ports or VC) Nintendo IP games for mobile devices. DeNA are probably Japan's largest mobile gaming publisher and this partnership looks fairly long term as Nintendo will be getting 10% of DeNA's outstanding shares and DeNA will be getting cash value equivalent to 1% of Nintendo's outstanding shares.

Nintendo's hope here is to create games that will help lure people over from their phones to the 3DS and Wii U. Which leads us to Number 2

Yes we'll get to THAT in a Moment

Number 2: New "Membership" program

Nintendo and DeNA are co-developing and operating a new membership that will cover PC, Smart phones/tablets and dedicated Nintendo machines. This service will be replacing the currently closing Club Nintendo but judging from their comments this appears to be an account based system (similar to Xbox live),

Number 3: An all new system!!!!

This was both the smallest and biggest surprise. Described as "brand new concept" the NX sits along side the 3DS and Wii U in the promo materials, which is reminiscent of the "third pillar" that Nintendo originally pitched the DS as. However we wont be hearing about the new device until 2016  which knowing Nintendo will launch the following year. This would put the Wii U at 4/5 years old  and the 3DS at 5/6 (and N3DS at 1/2). Which is about right time for the Wii U retirement as Nintendo operates on a roughly 5 year rotation.

Abe's Take
This is all huge news, Nintendo has been pestered for years by its share holders to get involved in mobile gaming and this method seems to prevent cannibalising their hardware sales, it's unknown just how much freedom the mobile developers will have. Will they be able to make "full handheld" like titles or be limited to be more "lighter" games suited to the platform.

In Terms of the new membership platform Nintendo needs this to be account based system similar to Xbox live, Allowing users to take the games from console to console and allow for easy recovery of lost content. This would also aid them in bringing mobile users over to the "proper" systems, Having all those mobile games waiting for you on your new 3DS would certainly be a big selling point

Finally the DX, whilst the time table is typical Nintendo the early announcement is problematic and cant really have anything but negative impact on Wii U sales. However we don't actually know this is a new home system, It could be a the new hand held, or a third pillar VR esc device. Of cause its been long rumoured that Nintendo's next system would either be a hybrid home/Handheld system or two systems that seamlessly integrate.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Weirdness: State of Decay's Very Different Out Break

One of my all time zombie games is State of Decay, the greater focus on surviving as a group endeared it to me more than other great zombie games. Watching food and resources dwindle as the undead continue to grow gave me a very different sense of fear to say Resident Evil, ZombiU and Dead Rising. It was subtle but constant. However it appears a different horror was hiding..

When Undead Labs was creating the original game they was just a small indie studio with some big ideas, so they could focus on all the behind the scenes stuff they got an design studio to do the textures for them. State of Decay went on to be Xbox Live's second biggest title (Minecraft being No.1). It wasn't until the developers now working with Microsoft decided to port their game to the X1and upscale the original texture did they discover the true horror.

Thanks Guys
Several textures was covered in penises, Thousands of them. Which i imagine would of been a rather strange experience for dev who discovered it. The contractors have obviously been dismissed and suffice to say the unintended outbreak wont be making it into the Year One remaster when it releases in April

Abe's Take
This was one of the weirdest things I've come across this week and dose make me question  about "remastered textures" in other games, Just how many Gentlemen Snakes are hiding in our games?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Time To Get The Band Back Together: Rock Band 4 Incoming!

A few months back Rock Band (and Guitar Hero 1+2) sent out surveys asking what the fans would want in a new rock band game. Things like format, backward compatibility for instruments and DLC was asked of the fans. Last week news broke of Activision readying an new "realistic" Guitar Hero developed by an unheard of studio. Seems they was unwilling to let GH to steal their thunder, today Harmonix announced Rock Band 4.

Coming this year and to Xbox One and PS4 (sadly no Wii U), Seems that survey did it's job and Harmonix has announced that nearly all your songs library will transfer to the new game for FREE, provided you're playing in the same system family (360/X1 PS3/PS4), the exceptions being songs from Rock Band 3 game disc and the Beatles tracks as their contracts are different to those of the previous games and DLC tracks but they are negotiating with the licence holders about bringing them over too.

Now on to the "grey" news, at the moment your old instruments aren't compatible with the news systems but again they are in talks with Microsoft and Sony to release an stand alone adapter. They are focusing on the "core" Rock Band experience and so Keyboards won't be back, however the PRO mode's fate is unmentioned (pro mode required special Guitars and played "like" the real thing) BUT 3 person vocals are staying.

Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos had this to say about the franchise return.
“When we stopped developing Rock Band 3 [2010], clearly the market needed a break, But since then we’ve been paying close attention to what our community has been saying about it. There’s been this steadily growing crescendo of fans saying, ‘Hey Harmonix, what the hell? It’s time! Why haven’t you announced a new Rock Band? We’re ready for it!’"

Keen to avoid the same crash that brought down to genre on the last generation of GH/RB we won't be seeing yearly sequels (clearly a swipe at their rival).
“Going forward, our goal is to view [Rock Band 4] as more of a live service where we can gradually and incrementally append new functionality to the core experience rather than having $60 annual title updates, you shouldn't expect a Rock Band 5 in 2016.”

Abe's Take
It's good that Rock Band is returning with most of the old content coming along for the ride. It's a shame that the old equipment wont becoming along for the ride and both Microsoft and Sony ruled out arcade stick adapters in the past as "these would open the door to other accessories unintended for the new system" basically any adapter would let us use our old controllers. I appreciate Harmonix's goal of treating Rock Band 4 as a service and updating it instead of releasing sequels (there is hope keyboards will return) the key of cause will be if Activision follow suit and dont kill the market again

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Clayfighter Remaster Incoming!

During the hight of Street Fighter 2's popularity there was many games that tried to cash in on the suddenly popular genre. There was direct clones, rivals and terrible, horrible attempts. One of these games born from this boom took a different route... Clay Fighter

Box art for the N64 sequel
Clayfighter decided lunacy would be the corner stone of their game. The game featured characters like Bad Mr Frosty, Sumo Santa, Bonker the clown and even guest starred Eathworm Jim, all lovingly animated in a Claymation style (much like the recent Kirby release).

Why are we talking about a game whose graphics was once praised a "amazing" which are now almost to ugly to post? Interplay (former gaming mega publisher) and Drip Drop Games (sriously who?) have announced that the will be remastering the Classic/Cult series.  The game which is said to be receiving the full HD treatment but also updating it to reflect the changes in the genre since GF's absence. The new game will be a mash up of all previous GF games and will feature 20 characters (including everyone's favourite worm in a suit) and 20 "familiar" levels.

Currently only an vague 2016 release date and one platform have been announced: PC

Abe's Take
Clayfighter holds a weird place in my heart as it was the only game me and my brother could play at my Grandmothers who only let us have a small black and white TV to use for our N64.

Whilst I'm happy to hear the franchise return (we need more solid beat em' ups), I'm disappointed at the limited PC release. But with Sony snagging Street Fighter 5, Microsoft having Killer Instinct (and seem unwilling in investing in additional 2D fighters) and Nintendo recently releasing Smash Bro's Wii U, I don't see any of them wanting to pay for it.
It would be good to see Clayfighter back on a Nintendo system though. (the original can be played on the Wii's Virtual Console)

I suspect this might trigger an hourglass review