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Let Us Play: 21-02-2016

2016-02-21

“I think there are some things that you have to do, even if they’re a crime.
Someone has to do them, even if it means taking the blame.”
– Yuri Lowell, Tales of Vespiria

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. If there are any news stories you want me to follow, you can Tweet to me or leave me a message on my Facebook Page.

This week I’m looking at the My Nintendo rewards system, Hideo Kojima, D.I.C.E. Gaming Awards, a new game from Comcept and Inti Creates, and Street Fighter V, among others!

So without further ado, siblings… LET US PLAY!

mynintendoopen

mynintendoThe long awaited replacement for Club Nintendo rewards program, My Nintendo, has finally started to open its servers to pre-registration before going live in just a couple of weeks. Anyone who registers now, will receive a so far undisclosed number of Nintendo Platinum points, one of two credit systems that will be used with the new rewards program. Additionally, you will be notified to remind you of the launch on Nintendo’s first mobile platform app, Miitomo.

The Miitomo and Pre-registration website has given a little more insight to the way that Nintendo’s Platinum Points may work. The Platinum Points are referred to as “Premium points” meaning that these are the points that will be received by exchanging real world money, rather than the Gold Points which previously seemed to be the case. It also states that the Platinum Points will expire six months after the launch of Miitomo, but it’s unclear if this 6 month limit applies to all Platinum Points or just these free ones you receive for pre-registration.

While the majority of fans are understandably excited for the up-coming My Nintendo, there are a good number of malcontents declaring boldly that these attempts to modernise by Nintendo are too little, too late, and are actively trying to boycott the new rewards system. This sort of attitude I have never understood. Unless a games company has gone into bankruptcy there’s no point where they can’t claw their way, tooth and nail back into the limelight. While Nintendo may be a bit behind the times in regards to its online interactions and strict, nanny-like moderation of their Miiverse, the Wii U, its systems and games are far from being beyond salvaging, and really, Nintendo are by no means too far gone.

Nintendo are now laying the infrastructure for the upcoming NX systems, and from the outset they appear to be more diverse, more interesting and are actually giving fans what they want in regards to Nintendo points going towards game purchases. There’s always going to be a small crowd of people who want to tear down something that looks good, whether it be because they don’t like it and don’t want anyone else to enjoy it, or that they simply want to bash Nintendo, as is the trendy thing to do these days.

In this instance though, Nintendo really have done nothing wrong, they are trying to meet the audience half way, and have pulled through a trying time for the company. These are all good steps.

Pre-registration closes with the release of Miitomo in March, so get registered and earn points as soon as possible. From what I’ve read, you do not need to actually use Miitomo, which is available on Androis and iOS, to get the free Platinum Points, which is a bonus for me, who has a Windows phone.

 

nintendoselects

nintendoselectsVideoGamePlus, a Canadian videogames retailer has revealed this week a selection of Nintendo titles that are joining the “Nintendo Selects” range. For those out of the loop, Nintendo Selects are a series of games similar to Playstation’s Platinum Games. This collection includes some of Nintendo’s best sellers from the latest console generations, and includes games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D from the 3DS, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns from the Wii and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Pikmin 3 from Wii U.

Interestingly this list also includes Super Mario All Stars. Super Mario All Stars was a game from the Super Nintendo, which re-released all of the previous Mario games to that point (Super Mario Bros,  Super Mario Bros 2 (USA), Super Mario Bros 2 (JP), and Super Mario Bros. 3), but updated to 16-bit graphics. The collection was subsequently re-released on the Wii for the 25th Anniversary.

With Nintendo choosing a number of new Select games, a whole mess of speculation has started circulating concerning the Nintendo NX, and that we may end up seeing these games on the Nintendo eShop.

At this point we know that the Wii U is coming to the end of its life span. Whether it be this year or next, the Wii U will inevitably be replaced for the alluded to new console. So speculating as to what making these games a part of the select range means for the Wii U is actually kind of moot. Questions about the eShop on the other hand, a good number of these games are already on the eShop, so the rest of them joining the list would be awesome!

 

hgn

I was going to come to you today with a photograph that had been tweeted out by Hideo Kojima of himself and Norman Reedus, and speculating what it could mean for the future of Silent Hills, also known as PT. And here it is:

hideoandnorman

 

Before posting this article though, this happened at the D.I.C.E. Summit 2016:

 

Now I really want you to watch this interview with Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, it’s a spectacular insight into the minds of these two creative geniuses, so I’ll make this brief.

We know that Del Toro has been incredibly soured on the idea of getting involved with games development in the future, and certainly hasn’t changed his mind about how ridiculous it was that Konami scrapped Silent Hills, without naming any company in particular (though I think we know exactly who he was talking about) Del Toro states:

“It is a marriage that happens in every big industry. The storytellers look ahead to see what they can discover, and the money people look back to see what is a safe route. There is a tension there… Like in the cinema, you have beautiful indie games that are subtle, or poetic. It’s limitless. It’s only limited by the bastards with money.”

Back in August last year Del Toro said in an interview that he had decided that he “will never again get involved in video games.” However during the DICE interview, he went back on that previous statement, and pointing to Kojima says: “Except with this man, I’ll do whatever the fuck he wants.”

With all the recent meetings between Kojima, Del Toro and Reedus, supposedly talking about “business”, Del Toro’s decision to work on games again with Kojima, I hope this means that there is some good news on the way in regards to a return to PT. Sadly however, there was no big announcement from the pair at D.I.C.E. 2016.

 

iwatamemorial

iwatarememberedSpeaking of D.I.C.E., “Design. Innovate. Create. Entertain.” Is more than just a simple industry expo, where different developers go to advertise themselves to publishers, and executives come to chat about the coming fiscal year. D.I.C.E. also holds an awards ceremony and this year a memorial was held for the late Satoru Iwata.

The President and CEO of Nintendo for thirteen years, Satoru Iwata, aged only 55, passed away on July 11th 2015, due to a complication from a tumor of the bile duct, much to the surprise and dismay of many fans and colleagues alike.

At this year’s D.I.C.E. Summit Awards Show, Satoru Iwata was posthumously awarded the Life Time Achievement Award, for his contributions to the gaming industry. The award was presented by John Schappert Founder and CEO of Shiver Entertainment, and was received by Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime.

Schappert spoke of his adoration of games, and how a lot of the games he played, had Iwata-san’s finger prints on them, and how through meeting Iwata-san, he was inspired by his dedication to the industry, to other developers, to Nintendo, and above all, to gaming. Iwata himself said:

“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.”

Through his programming and development of games, through his ascent in in Nintendo, and the direction he steered Nintendo, he let his love for gaming shine. A short montage of photos and videos of Iwata-san played on the back screen, which ended with a clip from a Nintendo Direct, of Iwata saying “Thank you for watching” and waving goodbye. I’m not ashamed to admit, it made me tear up. Following the montage Reggie took the stage and talked about one of their first meetings after Reggie had been made President of Nintendo of America, and reference to the words of Shigesato Itoi, creator of the Mother series of games, he spoke of how Iwata-san always put himself second to the needs and wants of others. How he always went out of his way to make everyone else comfortable.

Reggie ended by saying that he was never second, he always was, and always will be number one.

 

gunvolt2

I want to be heavily critical of the existence of this game, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen, because I’m too damn happy!

Comcept, the development company headed up by Megaman creator Keiji Inafune, the one that has yet to deliver on the Mighty No.9 Kickstarter (just because I’m not being critical, doesn’t mean I won’t be bitter), along with Inti Creates, have announced the development of Azure Striker: Gunvolt 2, this weekend at MAGfest, during a panel with Keiji Inafune and the Inti Creates development team.

 

Very few details were shared at the panel, only that Gunvolt’s design has been changed slightly, and the creators have remade his sprite sheets, and that there is a “whole lot of stuff” that we have yet to see that should be exciting.

I really enjoyed the first game, and the side game Mighty GunVolt, and I’m looking forward to hearing more from this title!

 

earlySF5

SFVI wrote an article last year talking about the difficulties that people were experiencing with the Street Fighter V closed beta, and the complaints that people were having about how slow the development was, and how long it took Capcom to react to a lot of the problems that people were facing eventually shutting down the closed beta that people had ostensibly paid to be in. Street Fighter V has been under a lot of scrutiny but it’s development process has not really been in the limelight, and people who bought the game on release, can now probably understand why.

Out of the box on day one, Street Fighter V is incomplete. While reviews are coming in thick and fast that the basic game mechanics are fantastic, with improved graphics, hit boxes, frame rate and new gimmicks that feel like they truly belong, the features and game modes, are incredibly light on the ground, and the ones that are in the game are bare bones at best.

Series staples such as Arcade Mode are gone, the story mode consists of between three and five “chapters” and that includes the epilogue cut scene as a separate chapter, allowing you to easily complete each a characters “story” in around ten minutes at most. Characters like Rashid, Zangief and Nash only have two fights in their “story mode” before hitting 100%.

Gaming online seems to be simply atrocious, with a few people reporting lag, and game crashes. Spectator Mode has been removed, and you cannot host a lobby with more than just the two players that are fighting.

 

Capcom’s response to this has been to claim that they have released a platform, on which they will build. A similar method to how Splatoon was released on the Wii U. However, Capcom does not have a stellar reputation when it comes to DLC and their constant re-releasing of games, especially in the Street Fighter franchise. In the past Capcom have charged for game upgrades (read: necessary patches), this time it seems that all of these updates will be available for free or through use of in game currency, gained through playing matches, as well as via purchase. While it is possible, it’s also going to be extremely difficult to get these unlocks, Angry Joe estimates that it’ll take over nine hundred rounds, to gain all the alt colours for the sixteen starting characters (a small starting line up to be sure). On to if that there will be the unlockable characters and stages. It seems that despite the illusion of choice, due to the sheer difficulty, players will still, most likely resign themselves to paying for it anyway, and Hylia forbid, that the full cinematic story mode, as well as other important features, also be distributed the same way.

I was interested in getting Street Fighter V, however I’m glad I didn’t preorder. I’m going to wait and find out how Capcom deal with the future updates before putting any money down. I want to believe that Capcom have become more consumer friendly and are no longer gouging customers with their updates, but I’m sceptical to say the least.

 

bayXzone

bayonettaXFinally (I promise), If there is one cross over that lover of spectacle fighters have been wanting for a while, it’s Bayonetta X Devil May Cry (original Dante, not the new dweeb). Their character, the themes of their respective games, all fit together perfectly, to the extent that a lot of fans already consider them to be in the same universe. As it happens though, there was an offer for both Bayonetta and Dante Sparda to appear in the same game, but not the crossover you might be thinking of.

An offer was made by the creators of SEGA, Namco Bandai and Capcom’s joint brain child, Project X Zone, to Hideki Kamiya, creator of Bayonetta, to have her join the line-up of fighters in the second outing for the series. Kamiya-san declined this offer. However, in a tweet on Fabruary 19th, Hideki Kamiya-san stated that he regretted this decision. His plan was to make his own crossover game with Dante and Bayonetta, but now realises that he was thinking of himself and not the fans of the characters, and wants Bayonetta included if they ever make a Project X Zone 3.

While I’m sad that Bayonetta didn’t make it into the game, I’m glad the Kamiya-san has realised his mistake and is open for interactions between the companies in the future. With Nintendo joining the frey in PXZ2 with characters from Xenoblade Chronicles and Fire Emblem, I can’t wait to see where this series goes in the future.

So I guess that’s all for today… wait… The hell did I just say Kamiya-san tweeted?

bayodante

He wants to make the game himself!? Oh this better happen now!!

(Bayonetta sprite was created by Pablo The Dynamic)

andfinally

That is all for this weeks Let Us Play! I will be uploading a new article every Sunday from now on, and will be collecting and writing news stories throughout the week. If you have a story that you think I should look at, please feel free to leave a link in the comments section below, or on my Facebook Page, or you you can tweet to me @AndyFrogman, a word of warning though, my twitter feed can get quite politically charged. What do you think of the stories in today’s update? What characters would you like to see in Project X Zone 3, or maybe as DLC? Have you pre-registered for My Nintendo?

I will be back next week dear siblings, and in the mean time, observe your daily plays, be excellent to one another and remember, we are all brothers and sisters in the blessed congregation of the game.

Peace and High scores to you all!