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Let Us Play: 2016-02-17

2016-02-17

“A thing that does not change with time, is a memory of younger days.”
– Shiek, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Ladies and Gentlemen, Sisters and Brothers, welcome back to the Congregation of the Game, I’m Andy Frogman, AKA The Priest of Gamers, and this is the all-new Let Us Play, where each week I bring you some of the top news for gaming from the past seven days, with my own take on the stories, with a lean towards Nintendo stories.

This week Fire Emblem Fates, Sega, and Pokémon, are just some of the things that we’ll be taking a look at.

So without further ado, siblings… LET US PLAY!

 

Seventh Generation?

magianaBack in January, the Japanese pop culture publication CoroCoro Magazine alluded to a February announcement for the future of Pokémon relating to the 20th Anniversary. On Wednesday that announcement dropped, revealing a new Pokémon movie, including a whole new Pokémon!

The new Pokémon appears to be a man-made, ancient robot Pokémon, made over five hundred years ago, called Magiana (マギアナ). While no typing has been confirmed, the newest Pokémon seems to have a metal body, and it wouldn’t surprise me based on design that it may also be psychic.

Magiana is interesting for a lot of reasons, a sophisticated machine like this Pokémon, built over five hundred years ago, could lead to a deeper understanding of the technology of the Pokémon world. Which has always been a point of contention for the franchise. How come some of the most common technology (Poké Balls) are so common and yet so ridiculously advanced, despite so few other wide spread technological advances. Many people have come up with theories to explain this, including a terrible war that decimated the population that continued into living memory, with characters like Lt. Surge claiming to have been in such a war.

Possibly the most interesting thing about Magiana is the fact that it doesn’t feature in the code for Pokémon X, Y, Alpha Sapphire, nor Omega Ruby. Data miners discovered a number of other inaccessible Pokémon in those games, including Hoopa and Volcanion, but no Magiana.

Could Magiana be the first Pokémon revealed from Pokémon’s Seventh Generation? I’ll be keeping an eye on this one!

 

SEGA 3DS

sega3ds01At the end of January SEGA announced an upcoming retail release of their 3D Classics series, currently available as individual purchases in the 3DS eShop, in the form of the SEGA 3D Classics Collection. The series will include games such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Fantasy Zone and Altered Beast, among others, and is to be released in April.

Just this week, SEGA also revealed that as a promotion, anyone pre-ordering the collection will also receive a set of SEGA themed decals. The stickers which are silver print on what appears to be a clear background, are designed to be used on your 3DS, and will include nine different SEGA logos.

One that stands out from the others however is the logo for “Giga Drive”. Many old school SEGS fans should remember the Mega Drive, but may not recognise the Giga Drive. That is because it is a relatively new development and is actually the name given to the emulator that runs the classic Sega Games in 3D on the 3DS. Rather than simply running an additional piece of code to push the Mega Drive games into 3D, the team at SEGA instead built a brand new Mega Drive like architecture, capable of rendering 3D graphics, and ported the games to it, for flawless results.

“Once we had decided to include depth in rasterized areas, we figured we might as well build a MegaDrive architecture that supports stereoscopic 3D, a new SEGA console we dreamed up, which we decided to call the “GigaDrive.” We figured that if we can build this new platform on the 3DS using emulation techniques, and then create a version of Sonic The Hedgehog that runs on it, all our problems would be solved! This would give us smarter and more flexible 3D compared to patching the MegaDrive game program. In that sense, you could say we’re just “patching” a patch for a GigaDrive game, which gave us a lot more latitude to work with.” – Naoki Horii

 

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: As it turns out this isn’t the end to SEGA’s attempted takeover of your beloved Nintendo 3DS. In addition to these cool decals, SEGA will also be releasing a number of themes for the 3DS. These themes have already seen releases in Japan and US, but now, finally, the Dreamcast, SEGA Saturn and Classic Arcade themes are coming to the European/Australian region!

sega3ds02

 

New Sonic Game? Or are sonic team making fools of us again?

As most of you are probably aware, 2016 is Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th Anniversary! Surely SEGA and Sonic Team will be doing something to celebrate, right? Right?

So far aside from a comment by Andrew Webber back in July last year, stating “there’s definitely stuff in the works for the 25th anniversary”, with no follow up details, there has been no confirmation that there is anything in development to celebrate the Blue Blur’s quarter century. That could be a bad sign. Or if you’re a pessimist when it comes to new Sonic games like I am, this could be a good sign. If there’s no new game, then it’s going to be a lot harder for SEGA/Sonic Team to screw it up.

There has however been a cryptic message posted by the Official Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter page. The tweet was simpley “The key lies with @Madeon. Good luck.” Followed by an image.

sonic-twitter01

The text is a really simple character replacement for English-Roman alphabet, but manipulation of the image reveals more hidden at the bottom of the image. It reads:

“Hello Hugo

The secret is inside the empire

We can get it back

The fated son of Daedalus

Add the numbers”

As it turns out Madeon is a musician, with an album called Adventure, which seems to be what this code is referring to. I think Hello Hugo referrs to the album intro. That’s song 1. The secret is in the Empire, is a reference to Pixel Empire, song 11. “We can get it back” is a reference to the back cover of the single “Technicolor” which is song 17. Fated son of Daedalus is Icarus, song 13.

Adding the numbers gives us 42 (or 41 if you don’t count “Hello Hugo” as a clue). Could this mean that something is going to be announced of the First or Second of April? Is this all an elaborate April Fool’s joke? As it happens, Madeon is just as confused as the rest of us.

sonic-twitter02

I want to be blunt here though. Let’s not forget that this year is also the ten-year anniversary of Sonic The Hedgehog for the Xbox 360, commonly (and scornfully) known as Sonic ’06, the lowest point in Sonic history until Sonic Boom was released in 2014. In fact, in this past decade, only two Sonic games have stood out as being commonly accepted as good games, Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations. Don’t get me wrong though I would love to have a brand new Sonic game that will knock my socks off, but I just don’t see it happening.

 

Fire Emblem Petting Game Back In!

FEFatesI said that I wanted to stay out of this increasingly ridiculous conversation, and yet, here I am. Nintendo has gone back on its decision to completely remove the petting feature from the Western release of Fire Emblem Fates. Despite this it is still receiving a number of complaints of censorship seeing as the feature has not been returned entirely intact.

In Fire Emblem Fates in the West you are capable of inviting other characters in the game, to your bedroom for conversations. No really, it is actually that innocent. However, with potential marriage partners and your spouse, you are able to raise your affection, by petting them using the touch screen, in a similar feature to Poké Mon-Aime. In the Japanese version you can pet the character all over their entire body, and after a certain achievement in the game, you can also receive saucy comments back from your partner. In the Western release you are only able to pet their head, and it’s believed that the naughty retorts have been removed.

This is still receiving complaints of censorship, and fair enough, it is being censored from the Japanese release, and censorship is never a good thing. However, at the same time I understand the concerns that Nintendo have, releasing a sexy little mini game into the Western market, which the Japanese perceive to have a fanatical Politically Correct social landscape. It would be financial suicide. Some are arguing that this is all because of Nintendo of America being a nest of Social Justice types, but if Nintendo Japan didn’t want these changes to happen, they wouldn’t.

It turns out that there is specific content that has also been censored from the Japanese version of the game, that will be in the Western version. So actually being able to see the two versions of the game side by side would certainly be interesting.

 

New Releases

SMTFEIn a recent Facebook post I announced that I would be dropping the New Releases segment of the Let Us Play articles. Previously I had been posting a bullet point list of new games, Amiibo and other peripherals, but there was no real substance there. It was literally just a list. Moreover, I didn’t even really know what it was I should have been writing in that section. Would it be best to write about games that were released in the past week, or that would be released int he coming week? Eitherway, it’s unlikely that I would have bought all of them (or any if I were to post about upcoming games) so I wouldn’t be able to give my personal opinion on them, and without saying something about the games, it just felt empty.

As such, I will indeed be dropping this segment. If there are any new release games that I want to talk about in the future, I will do so as it’s own segment. After all this article series isn’t really a news article, but instead my opinions on current gaming news, a new release is news, so I’ll be giving my opinion on it.

Simples.

 

And Finally…

That’s all for this week, I want to thank you all for your patience. For those who are unaware I recently lost my grandmother, and I’m in the process of going back to the UK to spend some time at home, and to just generally have a break from the real world. This is what’s caused my schedule to be completely out of whack, and right after I said that I’m going to try to get these articles updated every Sunday too. If you are interested in keeping up to date with whats going on with me, I am posting intermittently about my plans on my Facebook Page, and for those who are on there, or have spoken to me personally, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, for the support you’ve shown during this trying time.

I will be back next week, but until then, Brothers ans Sisters in the game, I bid you farewell, and wish you peace and high scores for all your days!