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Let Us Play: 2016-03-21

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Welcome back brothers and sisters, to more news from this past week in the gaming world. I am Andy Frogman AKA The Priest of Gamers, and today we’re delving into more news from Hyrule Warriors Legends, Mario Maker, Bravely Second, and finally the answer to that enigmatic message from Sonic Team. Let me just stop you there… please don’t your hopes up.

This weeks update is a little longer than I was expecting, I ended up just writing and writing without paying attention to my word count. I’ve cut this weeks news down a little, but I’m still hovering just over three thousand words, to please bear with me.

With that said, I’m not going to beat around the bush with a long introduction, so dear siblings, Let Us Play…

 

Hyrule Warriors Legends DLC Confirmation

HyruleWarriorsLegendsThis week Nintendo revealed more information regarding the DLC for Hyrule Warriors for Wii U and Hyrule Warriors Legends for the 3DS. There has been some confusion concerning how the characters sharing and new DLC will work for the two games, and thankfully those questions have finally been addressed. However, some of our fears about the characters and DLC have been also been confirmed.

The new characters Toon Link, Tetra, Daphnes (King of Red Lions), Skull Kid, and Linkle, along with Ganandorf’s Trident, will be available as a purchasable DLC for the Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U, WITHOUT having to buy the 3DS game Hyrule Warriors Legends. Unfortunately, the characters are all you will be getting. The DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U will not include the new storyline, nor will it contain the new Wind Waker Adventure map that will be included in the 3DS game. This means that while you will get the characters, the new story elements for Linkle and the Wind Waker areas will not be playable at all, on Wii U. Unfortunately, buying the game will not do you any better, as by connecting the games all you will be recieving on the Wii U is free copy of the above mentioned character pack DLC.

To me this is a huge disappointment. With a lot of the really cool technical upgrades that Legends is receiving, like character swapping on the battle field, despite its lower overall game quality, it would have been nice to see those new additions incorporated into the Wii U version, as well as the new storyline for Linkle and Skull Kid. Instead it feels like Nintendo have given up on Wii U games continued story, in favour of a much weaker portable game, that no one was really asking for.

On the plus side however, of the four new DLC packs that will be coming out of the course of 2016, three of them will be coming to the Wii U. The four packs will be as follows:

Master Wind Waker Pack (3DS Exclusive): This pack will include a Master Quest map for the Wind Waker Adventure map and sixteen new costumes for My Fairy. (Still not entirely sure what that is all about.)

Links Awakening Pack (3DS and WiiU): This pack will include a new character, a new weapon for Linkle, and a Link’s Awakening adventure map. First off, a set based on Link’s Awakening is pretty awesome. There are a number of characters I would like to see from the game, though there is only a small pool to choose from. I personally would like to see Richard the Noble Swordsman, Martha the Mermaid, or something ridiculous like Sale the Crocodile. As for the weapon, it could be any of the musical instruments, but the only really significant “item” from Link’s Awakening, would be Bow-Wow to chain chomp. Despite already having a chain chomp skin for Link’s Ball and Chain, a weapon where you control the Chain Chomp rather than Linkle, the wielder (like the Great Fairy for Link) would be awesome and adorable, as she gets yanked around.

Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks Pack (3DS and WiiU): This pack includes a new character, a new weapon for Toon Link, a new Adventure Mode map, and another 16 costumes for My Fairy. The characters that come to mind for this set are Linebeck or Phantom Zelda. Either of which would be really interesting characters, especially Phantom Zelda with potential possession abilities. As for the Toon Link weapon, that’s entirely up in the air, it could be a new sword; the Locomo Sword, The Phantom Sword etc, it could be the Sand Wand, Spirit Flute, or even a train car…

A Link Between Worlds Pack (3DS and WiiU): This pack will include two new playable characters, a new Adventure Mode Map and another 15 My Fairy costumes. Well this is a really cool development, A Link Between Worlds is a fantastic game, and full to the brim of characters. I can understand why there may be two characters from this game, my preferences would be Ravio and Yuga, with Hilda being a new costume for Zelda somewhere down the line.

What new characters are you hoping to see become DLC in the future? Are there any other items or weapons you want available for your Hyrule Warriors arsenal?

 

Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary Announcement

25thRevealIt’s been teased for some time that SEGA and Sonic Team were building up to something for the 25th Anniversary. We first got wind of it a couple of months back that something may be in development for 2016, then a couple of weeks ago we got the cryptic message that used lyrics from an album by DJ, Madeon, and finally we were told that there would be an announcement at South by South West.

Their Sonic The Hedgehog 25th Anniversary panel happened just on Saturday, and we knew we were off to a bad start when Aaron Webber introduces the “Announcements” segment with:

“Let’s talk announcements. Right? It was obviously talked about earlier, right before the panel, people were like ‘they’re going to announce a bunch of new games’ and I was like “no no no no, hang on, hang on. Don’t let that rumour start.”

Oh dear…

They announced that Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics had just been released that day in the US (Saturday, March 19th), and that the WiiU version will be out in June. Two things we already knew from the Nintendo Direct video from two weeks ago.

Then they confirmed that Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, which had previously been delayed, was getting a release on September 27th, 2016 for 3DS. I actually liked the 3DS Sonic Boom game, so this isn’t really a terrible thing. A lot of people seem to be so frustrated by Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, that they never gave Shattered Crystal a fair try (if they even tried it at all). It’s a decent platformer, with exploration elements, it had some repetitiveness, but it was NOTHING like the broken Rise of Lyric.

Then finally they talked about the cryptic message and the numbers. We’re told that there’s a lot to talk about, more than they have time for, so they are only giving the brief outline of what’s happening. They explained that the numbers were a part of a secret scheme that’s been going on since a photograph of The Game Grumps Arin and Daniel, holding a plus of Big the Cat from around six months ago. I’m not going into details, but there’s a lot of numbers to be aware of, and adding them all together gets you the numbers 7-22-16, or the date July 22nd, 2016.

The big reveal…

Sonic The Hedgehog, 25th Anniversary event and the House of Blues in San Diego. Tickets on sale now.

Fan-frigging-tastic.

The crowd gave a confused cheer, followed by Aaron Webber saying:

“If you are looking forward to a game announcement: I’m not saying there’s going to be a game announcement at this party, but you should totally come to this party.”

I can’t go to the event, I live in Australia, but even if it were an option, I’d give it a miss. Sonic Team. SEGA. You need to pull your thumbs out of your asses and actually start wowing your fan base. At the moment the best Sonic games out there aren’t even made by you guys. They are made by Nintendo.

Get your act together or sell the Sonic property to a company that’s actually going to utilise it and produce good games for a change. This is actually worse than Megaman. At least Capcom are ignoring that franchise, not making a concerted effort to destroy it. With a long running campaign of clues and hints like this, the best you can offer is a freaking event? Where there MAY be a game announcement!?

I’m tired of defending you, SEGA. You keep making terrible games, and disappointing your fanbase.

If you want to watch the entire panel, you can find it here.

 

It’s a me, Mari-[deleted]

MarioMakerDeletedIt seems that there may be some trouble in the Mushroom Kingdom, as people are starting to find their custom-made levels, deleted without warning, and without explanation from the Nintendo servers.

An announcement was made from Nintendo some time back that due to the sheer number of levels that have been uploaded, they had been forced to remove certain low priority levels. Levels that are too easy, without likes and were still unplayed after long periods of time, or anything that is deemed offensive, without possibility of the same level being uploaded again (based on its unique identification number). However, the algorithms that are used to determine what is and isn’t an appropriate level seem to be going haywire, as people are starting to come forward with stories of levels that have seemingly been deleted for no good reason.

One such level was created by the daughter of YouTuber, BakeToRise. After she had completed a level and uploaded, it just an hour later, they discovered that the level had been removed. A video of the young girl, now upset over the deletion of her creation, playing the inoffensive level can be found here.

BakeToRise commented on this situation saying:

“I know this has been post about before, but I am so angry.

The level my daughter spent the better part of three hours making, named “Maria Cake Yoshi” got deleted after being uploaded for less than 1 hour.

We were playing 100 Mario Challenge and afterwords got a notification that somebody played and starred her level. We went to go checkout the stats and the level was deleted. No reason as to why it was deleted.

As far as I know from reading the reddit posts on the subject, nothing in the level would flag it for getting deleted.

I wish Nintendo would give a description of what causes levels to get deleted and tell you why if your level is deleted.”

GameFAQs user MarioMan847 is another user who has lost levels. His response was to call up Nintendo directly, and ask them why his levels had been removed. The customer service representative, looked over the users account, and found no complaints or violations. In the end the customer service rep had no explanation for why these levels had been removed, saying “I got nothing. Probably the only ones that really know are the ones that came up with the algorithms at Nintendo of Japan.”

Have you had any courses removed from Mario Maker? Did you get a good answer for why? Please let us know in the comments below.

 

No memes. Such Monster Hunter. Wow.

nomemesAside from the constant unwanted censorship of games as they are brought to the west, Nintendo of America are also coming under a lot of flak for their ridiculous dialogue localisations. From “translators” who can’t speak Japanese, to localisation writers declaring proudly, that they “make stuff up” and actively change conversations, so that they bear no resemblance what so ever to the original Japanese script, to injecting social justice rhetoric, reducing touching moments to asinine chit chat, and an over reliance on memes, Nintendo of America’s Treehouse is becoming known as a laughing stock in the fanbase and among other companies.

On Friday at the Game Developers Conference 2016, Capcom’s localisation director, Andrew Alfonso addressed his team and their efforts to keep Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, a smart, meme-free localisation. He told the crowd:

“I started thinking that I don’t want people picking up my games on release saying, ‘I like these in-style meme references,’ and then another player picking up the games four years later and thinking, ‘They referenced 300 — that sucks!'”

Now if only the hipsters at Treehouse would learn this lesson, or better yet, their higher ups. Reggie, I’m looking at you. I want to believe you are better than this. I want to believe you do care about the actual fans of your games. We want strong characters, meaningful interactions, and we want the consequences of our actions to matter in the game. Good or bad. You need to take heed to your audience speaking out against this, or you won’t have an audience for much longer.

 

Content Removed from Bravely Second in European market

bravelysecondSpeaking of….

This past week it was revealed that certain content has been removed from the European release of Bravely Second: End Layer, the follow up game to Square-Enix hit game from 2012: Bravely Default.

The original Japanese version of the game included a side quest, for which the main characters team up with one of two sides in a conflict. in the Japanese release, regardless of which side the player chooses, it always results in a bad ending. The party regrets taking a side, and the results that came from the conflict they became a part of. While this side quest is still in the game, the end results have changed so that they don’t end on a down note.

According to an official statement from Nintendo, there were “overwhelming” complaints from the Japanese market, that these seemingly lose only endings were unsatisfying. Nintendo said:

Based on feedback received after Bravely Second: End Layer’s release in Japan, the development team at Square Enix, in conjunction with Silicon Studio, decided to implement a number of revisions to the game for the purpose of improving its quality and creating a more enjoyable product.

One such change affects the game’s optional side quests, where players encounter a conflict between two opposing parties and choose which party to side with.

When the game was released in Japan, each side quest would end with the team lamenting the decision they made, regardless of the player’s decision. This was intended to help players empathise with the characters’ situation, but overwhelming feedback from players indicated that they felt an unsatisfying disconnect between their intentions and the characters’ reactions. In response, these side quest endings were amended to show the party readily coming to terms with their actions in a manner that does not cause the player undue regret for their decisions.

These changes do not affect the gameplay or the course of events in the game, and were made with the intention of improving the game experience for players.

As you might expect there is a decent amount of backlash from the gaming community in the West, and I can understand both perspectives. On one hand, if this side quest in particular has received so much ire, I can understand Nintendo and/or Square-Enix changing it, fearing that it may affect sales here. On the other hand, I can understand the frustration that once again people in the west are being unwantingly “protected” from real feelings.

One criticism that has popped up with Nintendo’s statement has been that the game was changed in the European release, but has not been patched in Japan. To some who are looking for reasons to get angry at Nintendo, this is going to look like censorship for the West, however, fact is the damage has already been done in Japan, they have no reason to need to change it.

The way I see it personally, disappointment, regret, lamenting ones mistakes, is a part of life. Things don’t always turn out for the best. “Best laid plans…” and all that jazz. It’s not Nintendo’s job to protect us from those emotions, if the games designer wants that interaction in there. Even the best of intentions can lead you to regret, and this humanises the characters, they aren’t just following a script and can do no wrong, and if you are able to empathise with that, you grow a much stronger bond with the cast. However, if there is a disconnect, and it falls flat, then it can push you out of the immersion and spoil your experience of the game.

While I recognise the complaints, I don’t think this was done to “protect” the public.

Bravely Second: End Layer will release for the Nintendo 3DS, in the North America region, on April 15th.

 

Miitomo for the win!

miitomoOn March 17th, the Nintendo social media mobile app, Miitomo, went live in Japan, and was met with instant overwhelming success. Miitomo went straight to the top of the download charts for social apps, and even beat out long standing number one app, Line, for the top spot. While there has been a lot of skepticism here in the West about Miitomo, but since its release, it’s being eaten up like hot cakes in Japan, creating a new air of optimism.

Let’s just hope Nintendo of America don’t screw the pooch on this one too.

Sadly, as I’ve said in the past I won’t be able to get a copy of Miitomo, as I have a Windows phone, and unfortunately the app is only available on iPhone and Android. However, I really do hope this is successful, and we see Nintendo expanding into broader horizons in the future.

for those who will be looking into getting Miitomo on your smart devices, don’t forget to pre-register.

 

Shantae Shakes her hips back onto Nintendo WiiU!

riskysrevengeThis is the news I’ve been waiting for, for a very long time. Back when I had a Nintendo DSi, I remember seeing a cute little game on the eShop, that interested me, but much to my regret, I never actually purchased. Flash forward now, to Octaber 2014, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of WayForward’s newest game Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse.

I played the game, and I loved it! It was everything I hoped. I classic style, side scrolling, action-platformer, with tight controls, great humour and an absolutely adorable protagonist. While browsing in the eShop I discover the original GameBoy Color game from 2002, and I snatch that up too. I wanted more. So I looked online and much to my dismay, I was reminded of another Shantae game that I missed on the DSi. Shantae: Risky’s Revenge.

Last year while awaiting news of the characters that would appear in Smash Brothers from the fan base ballot, praying for Shantae, I came across a release list for December stating that Shantae: Risky’s Revenge was going to be rereleased, December 2015. Alas, however, December came and went. Then yesterday, I see this:

Brothers and sisters, I know I’m not the only one who has been waiting, but Shantae is finally coming home, as Risky’s Revenge is finally being rereleased on the WiiU in all regions, on March 24th!

Finally something to tide us over until Half Genie Hero comes out…

 

And Finally

That is all from me this week, I’ll be back again next week for another Let Us Play, but if you want to keep up with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. What did you think about these news stories? Feel free to leave a comment down below, there’s been a lot of topics covered today, so it’ll be awesome to get some conversation going.

Before I go though, there is one last thing that I wanted to share with you from this past weeks GDC2016. Please take a look…

…I cried.