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Big N Breakdown: Direct – April 2015 Pt 2

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Hey there Ladies and Gentlemen welcome back, today I’m continuing my update from the Nintendo Direct video from April 1st, 2015. As this is a continuation of another update, things that I discuss here will only be a part of the whole discussion. For the post that has preceded this one, you can find it by clicking here, and I highly recommend you do! As i said last time, I also highly recommend that you watch the Nintendo Direct video yourself for the trailers and the explanations from Satoru Iwata, Bill Trinen and Damon Baker themselves on the multitude of titles that I’m not going to be able to cover in these discussions.

Again, I’ve only selected what I consider to be the highlights of the video, there was so much more revealed, that maybe you will be interested in that I wasn’t.

So without further ado, let’s get back into Big N Breakdown: Direct!

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Something that I really need to talk more about in the future is the veritable horn of plenty of video games, that is available on the Nintendo eShop. Each week to month, new titles are being added to the eShop and yet the same people that continue to claim that the future of gaming is in digital downloads, fail to recognise the hundreds of games, new and retro that are available on the Wii U’s eShop, pushing a false narrative that the Wii U has a weak library of games. Some of the best games in recent times have come from the eShop for Wii U and 3DS, rather than an in store purchase. Games like Shantae and the Pirates Curse, Gunman Clive, Steam World Dig, Attack of the Friday Monsters, and of course the recently released Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars.

While I can’t possibly go through all the games that will be released over the next few months I can talk briefly about a few of the games that have piqued my interest.

img-18Firstly Don’t Starve: Giant Edition is the most recent and fully updated version of the hit indy PC game Don’t Starve. In Don’t Starve, you spawn in a randomly generated map, and are tasked with the mission to simply survive. With it’s drab colours and macabre Tim Burton-esque art style, this is a sinister looking game that will keep you occupied for hours, just trying to stave off that perma-death. Yep, that’s right. There is no easy mode, it’s all hardcore!

I’ve been meaning to pick up this game for some time on Steam, but instead I think I’m going to buy the Wii U edition, when it comes out with the May releases. In addition, there is also a release promotion. When you buy a copy of Don’t Starve Giant Edition, you will get the download code for a second copy of the game to give to a friend! How about that? Two for the price of one!

There is a multi-player version of the game called Don’t Starve Together, and while this wasn’t mentioned in the trailer, it seems possible that they could be setting up for a multi-player DLC or patch in the future, with this buy one get one free offer. Just a thought.

img-19Never Alone seems to be another interesting game from developers Upper One Games. In the game you play as a young Inupiat girl named Nuna, and her arctic fox companion, as you traverse through puzzle platforming levels, based around Native Alaskan folklore. Throughout the game you switch between controlling Nuna or her fox to complete various kinds of puzzles in each level before moving on. The creators say, that the theme of the game is based on the passing on of knowledge and wisdom from one generation to the next, and all in all has a wonderful dream like sense to it, putting you deep in the spiritual aspects of the folklore.

Next up on my list of interesting games are a couple of speed runners. Firstly is Ninja Pizza Girl, a 2D, speed runner, skill based platformer, which has the main Ninja Pizza Girl, delivering pizzas all across the city by leaping and diving over roof tops, up walls and drain pipes in the fastest and fanciest way possible.

The next is the multiplayer Runbow, a speed running racing game, where you have to leap from platform to platform as you try to get from one side of the level to the other. The catch is that the background of the level is constantly changing colour, and when the background colour matches the colour of the platform you are standing on, it disapears. The key seems to always keep moving and be aware of your surroundings. A good message in anyone’s book!

img-22Back To Bed is a weird looking puzzle game that also sparks my interest. You take the role of guide, as you move a sleep walking man, through his escher like dreamscape, back to his bed. From what I’ve read and understand of this game, there are elements of games like Crush 3D, with a Lemmings like feel, as you manipulate the world around the man to get him to safety rather than directly interacting to the blissfully ignorant sleeper.

Finally, something I wasn’t expecting. Space Hulk by Full Control Studios is being releasedon Wii U. While this is an interesting turn of events, I don’t know whether this is a good thing or not. The footage I’ve seen seems to be very similar to the Space Hulk game they released on Steam in 2013, except that game has since been replaced by Space Hulk Ascension, a far superior game. I have to question this move, because if it is actually Space Hulk Ascention, then I’m not going to buy it because I already have it on Steam, and if it’s Space Hulk, I’m not going to buy it because it was a poor game. However, if this is a new Space Hulk game, then I may have to check it out.

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If there’s one thing about the Wii U and 3DS that I both love and fear, it’s the eShop. Such easy access to huge library of retro games from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, and even Sega Master System and Genesis, is never good for bank account. However, since the launch of the eShop, there has been one set of games that has been noticeably absent. One of the highlights of the Wii Shopping Channel and the blossoming Virtual Console was the ability to play Nintendo 64 games, and yet for no given reason, with the release of the Wii U and the eShop, the N64 games failed to receive the transfer treatment, despite being available on the Wii.

img-25As if to rub salt in an already sore wound, a lot of people also found themselves having a lot of trouble getting their N64 games to work, after transferring their data from their Wii  to the Wii Mode of the Wii U. Often receiving error messages saying that the data was not compatible, or just straight up refused to load. With so many errors going around the rumour soon hit the web that you couldn’t run Nintendo 64 games on Wii Mode. This was of course false. So if the Wii could run N64 games, why was it’s baby brother unable to?

I guess we’ll never know why N64 games were delayed for so long, but that’s fine, all is forgiven; as of the release of this Nintendo Direct, Nintendo 64 is back on the menu, as well as Nintendo DS titles!

The launch titles for the new range of Virtual Console games, are Yoshi’s Island DS and the legendary title that defined so many of our childhoods, Super Mario 64! Shortly after, on April 9th while I was still preparing part one of my discussion, Nintendeo proceeded to also release Yoshi Touch and Go, and Wario Ware Touch, two more games from the Nintendo DS.

In just two days time on April 16th, another much loved game from the golden age of 3D puzzle platformers, Donkey Kong 64 will be released. Followed by Mario Kart DS on April 23rd, and the game I’m looking forward to the most, Paper Mario on April 30th.

With a good number of N64 and DS titles already set for release on the eStore, I’m very interested in watching this space. While Rare may not be on the best talking terms with Nintendo right now, I’m left wondering if we may yet see the Rare games returning to Nintendo consoles, I know a lot of people would be happy to see Banjo and Kazooie returning home, and I really want to see games like Jetforce Gemini, Blast Corps., Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Killer Instinct Gold and Goldeneye get a re-release. (You know… instead of a crappy remake where they replace Pierce Brosnan, with Blondy McScoulyface, and screw up the controls.) Wow, Rare had so many good games! What happened guys?

img-26As for DS games, I suppose I’m less excited about the potential releases there, mostly because in 2011 when I bought my DS, I didn’t really have the money to be able to afford spending it on all the games that I really wanted, and as such, I kinda distanced myself to some extent from gaming.A mistake that I regret, but none the less, I don’t really have as close a connection with those games to be excited about them. That said, if games like Metroid Prime: Hunters, Kirby Mass Attack, The World Ends With You, Mario and Luigi series, and Dragon Quest IX get a release on the eShop, you can expect me to get them with bells on!

Nintendo 64 titles will be going on sale for between $9.99US and $11.99US, unless you already owned the titles from the Wii Shopping Channel, then you get the discount price of $2 per game (provided you already have it for Wii). DS games will be released at the lower price range of between $6.99US and $9.99US.

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When the Wii U was released in 2012, there were two games that I had in mind that I believed with all my heart, would be a disservice to not re-release them, or to develop new titles for their respective series, on the new console. There was no doubt in my mind that these two games would be perfect for the Wii U and will solidify the sense of immersion that games like Zombie U only scratched the surface of. It’s now 2015, and FINALLY we’re getting somewhere!

img-28Last year in September saw the release of one of these games in Japan. Fatal Frame. For those who maybe, have never heard of this series of games, let me explain briefly.

Fatal Frame is a stunning and atmospheric series of horror games. In this particular game, you take control of one of three protagonists, two girls one guy, who have found themselves in the terrifying haunted and cursed resort of Mount Hikami, surrounded with evil and vengeful spirits. Your only way to see these unquiet souls, as well as your only defense against them is the item in your hand, the Camera Obscura. A mystical camera design for trapping the spirits on film.

This installment in the Fatal Frame franchise, came out last year in September, as Fatal Frame V: Oracle of the Sodden Raven, with seemingly no plans to release it in the West. With this game finally confirmed to get an English translation, one of the two games that have been on my list from day one is finally coming to fruition. And if you think about it, being a game that heavily focuses on quick reaction, and immersion in the moment to maximise the atmosphere and tension, with the main mechanic being a camera, it only makes sense for this game to eventually come to the Wii U.

Unfortunately we don’t have a definitive date for the game, only that it’ll be released “later this year”.

So that’s one of the games, what about the other?

img-29With the reveal that the eShop will now be carrying Nintendo 64 games, there is one other camera game that desperately needs riving, and that game is Pokémon Snap! Now I do want to point out that this has not been mentioned let alone confirmed, I just think, that with the news of Fatal Frame, a camera based game, and Nintendo 64 titles finding their way to the Wii U, it’s a good opportunity to talk about this particular game, that really needs a Wii U re-release, for exactly the same reasons.

As weird a concept as Pokémon Snap! was, it was incredibly fun to play, and became very popular, despite some of the more interesting problems it had. It would make perfect sense for Nintendo to re-release the original Nintendo 64 Pokémon Snap! game through the eShop, but I really do hope the touch up the mechanics for it to work with the motion controls of the Wii U game pad. I really think if Nintendo do this, and really take note of the sales, they will find more than a few (thousand) reasons to announce a new entry in this series too.

If they do go with making a new game though, it might even be better to make it for the 3DS, the 3D screen, and the cameras, make for an interesting opportunity to make a new kind of Pokémon Snap! game. Let me just throw this out there…

Pokémon Snap! AR…?

AndFinally-BigN

That’s all for today’s update, but Part three will be coming soon!

This one is a bit shorter than the previous one, and the one to come, but as I explained in the first update, I’m trying to group the discussion topics together so that they flow naturally from one to the other, and so that they all make sense. Next time I’ll be talking about a few more games, and of course the new Amiibo announcements! What Nintendo 64 and DS games are you looking forward to seeing appear on the eShop in the coming months? Any particular game series you’d like to see revived? How about indy titles? Which ones tickled your fancy? Leave your message in the comments below!

Before I finish off this update however, there is one other thing that I want to talk about.

To most people I can’t imagine that this will be a big deal, but it is something that I want to talk about and I know to some people this will mean at least something. Before reading on though, I ask that you approach this section with an open mind, and read to the end before making a snap decision. For the past few months I have been posting on Twitter under multiple accounts, one as myself and one as a character called The Priest Of Gamers. The Priest was a bit player in the GamerGate fiasco, who acted as a peace maker, attempting to step in and prevent major arguments, and was opposed to the extremist tactics taken regardless of which side they came from. I did this because of fear of the repercussions, as people I knew had received many threats from the Anti-GamerGate side, but no one was willing to believe them, assuming from the outset that they were the automatic harassers. My plan was to inject logic into the arguments, and try to illicit a sense of mutual respect, by using examples and lessons, from mutually appreciated games. With this concept in mind, each game could be seen as a lesson, and every one who played that game could understand the lesson for what it was meant to be. On a number of occasions, I ended arguments, and successfully encouraged honest debate, and I’ve even been approached in private from people thanking me for my input.

the more I wrote about these games though, the more I realised that a lot of what I was saying, I believed. Games do have the ability to teach us a great many things, in a fun way, that maybe we won’t even realise until the game is over, and we are faced with a similar scenario in real life. I believe that in opening ones self to seeing these lessons in the games, we will learn to use those lessons and come to appreciate the effects games have on our lives, in a positive way.

I’m revealing this now, because I want to be true to myself, and speak as I wish to speak, without fear of people linking the two accounts and accusing me of deception. In all actuality very little will change, when it comes to my articles, I just want to express some of the things that the Priest of Gamers has become known for, as these are the things I have come to accept and believe in myself. (That and I’m way too lazy to try and maintain the charade across multiple social networks. Ha!)

So with that dear siblings, I bid you fare well! I have been Andy Frogman – The Priest of Gamers, and this has been Big N Breakdown: Direct on the Book of Frog!

Peace and High Scores!

  • Andrew Henriquez

    From what I’ve played of it so far, “Never Alone” is pretty good, although my laptop doesn’t have the processing power to run it especially smoothly. I wonder how they will integrate the second screen into the gameplay.

  • Unfortunately since writing this article I’ve seen a lot of people complain about the game. It might not be your laptop, as other have also complained it;s not very smooth. I’ve also read complaints that it’s basically a game where there are two characters, and one (the fox) does everything for the other (the girl) and there’s no real balance int he roles.

    If I end up getting it I may do a post about it, but what do you think about that assessment?