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Let Us Play: 2016-03-29

2016-03-29

Well met brothers and sisters, may the blessings of the game be upon you! I am your humble missionary from the Church of the Game, Andy Frogman, AKA the Priest of Gamers! The news this week has been challenging to say the least, contract law is not something that’s easy to understand for the layman. Today we’re going to be looking at Hyrule Warriors Legends DLC packs, Ark: Survival Evolved, Star Fox Zero, and more!

Ladies and gentlemen of the congregation, Let Us Play!

Hyrule Warriors reveals a new Legend

hwlegendsOn Thursday this week, Hyrule Warriors Legends was released for the Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS, and I never imagined a week ago, that I would be saying this but, it’s a far superior game than its WiiU counterpart. The addition of new mechanics gives you a greater command of the battlefield, which in turn leads to brand new challenges and enemy types, unseen on the WiiU. On top of that you have the inclusion of more characters, and of course Linkle, whom I’ve fallen in love with. I mean to start with, male fans of Legend of Zelda finally have someone to Cosplay as!

In the Nintendo Direct from the beginning of March (yes I’m getting to it), Nintendo announced that there would be four new DLC packs, one being an exclusive Master Quest pack for the 3DS, and three new themed DLC packs, which will include new weapons, characters and adventure mode maps. The first one to be released will be the 3DS exclusive Master Quest pack, but as of June, the Link’s Awakening pack will be released, with a new character joining the fray.

That character was confirmed this week to be Marin, the young girl who finds Link on the shore of Koholint Island, and likes to sing to the Wind Fish.

marin

I have no idea how Marin will play, as she is the most passive character to grace the roster thus far. Characters such as Tingle and the upcoming Medli, at least have an active role in Link’s Adventure, taking part in dungeons, or directly helping in some way. Marin is simply there to start the adventure, and sings the tune that will awaken the Wind Fish, she has no action roles in the game. People have speculated that she will have powers relating to music, using the Wind Fish instruments, or singing at the enemies, however, that’s kind of obvious, and there are already a lot of music related weapons, such as the Goddess Harp, The Wind Waker, and Medli’s Pipes.

While her voice could be her weapon, I really want to believe that she is actually going to use Madam Meowmeow’s pet Chain-Chomp, named Bow-wow. Fingers crossed!

Ark: Survival… not so certain…

arkseOk, this is a difficult one, because it’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it as concise as possible, also it involves contract law, so brace yourselves!

If you are a fan of the game Ark: Survival Evolved, I recommend you get the most out of it now, while you still can, as the games developer, Studio Wildcard, have come under legal fire from Trendy Entertainment, the development studio behind the Dungeon Defenders series, over a dispute regarding non-compete and non-interference clauses in the contract of ex-Trendy President and CTO, Jeremey Stieglitz.

In short, a non-compete clause, is a device used on contract law, that prohibits the employee, from perusing employment in a competing company, or starting a competing company, within a given period of time. In this case it was three years reduced to just twelve months, after negotiations. The non-interference clause states that he may not employ or solicit employment from employees of Trendy Entertainment that he had direct contact with for a given period of time. This was originally six months, increased to indefinitely in the same negotiation.

Trendy Entertainment alleges that Stieglitz breached his contract and in only a few days after his leaving, he attempted to scalp members of the Trendy Entertainment team for a new development venture, which they claim would become Wildcard, and the development of Ark: Survival Evolved. Their allegations are that he breached his non-compete and non-interference clauses, as well as using technology and software developed while still at Trendy, and caused an overall negative impact to the company.

Ok, so this is where things get tricky. I’m not well versed in contract law, so if I’m wrong, please correct me, however it seems pretty clear that Trendy may not have a legal case here.

Firstly, Let’s drop some facts that seem rather incriminating. Studio Wildcard was co-founded by Jesse Rapczak a friend of Jeremy’s from collage, and Susan Browning, AKA Susan Stieglitz, Jeremy’s wife. This seems pretty damning, but it’s only circumstancial.

Trendy Entertainment, are suing Studio Wildcard for these breaches, rather than Jeremy Stieglitz as a free agent. This means that they have to prove that Jeremey Stieglitz is a controlling partner in Studio Wildcard, using his wife’s name as a cover in what they have referred to as running the company in “Stealth mode”, otherwise the entirety of this part of the case falls flat. He neither operates a competing company, and Wildcard are not required to uphold a contract they did not sign, preventing the employment of ex-Trendy Entertainment employees.

Even if they went after him as an individual, he still has not breached his contract, while no official statement has been given, Jesse Rapczak, co-founder of Studio Wildcard was approached by Kotaku about this case, his response was that Stieglitz had consulted on the game, but was not yet a part of the company, he stated, “He’s joining us, if not already, then soon.”

Studio Wildcard’s lawyers have dismissed these allegations, say that they are “more like a salacious tabloid story than a short and plain statement of the ultimate facts… Many of the allegations are disparaging and included simply to be provocative.”

Such as one stating that it is beyond belief that Susan Stieglitz was ever really the Business Manager of the company as she is not a developer, and instead makes cupcakes. To which she responded with this tweet from March 22nd:

susanclaire002

And later that same day:

susanclaire001

There is of course a lot more to this story, some which has been officially released, and probably a lot more that hasn’t. Trendy Entertainment are now burdened with the task of proving that Jeremy Stieglitz has been instrumental in the establishment and running of Wildcard Studios, to be able to claim the “injunctive relief and damages” that they are bidding for. Something they are going to find difficult. If they succeed however, this could result in financial problems and instability for Studio Wildcard.

As Mundane Matt put it: “This lawsuit feels like a vengeful ex that is super angry that you’ve moved on and are happier than before.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Star Fox Amiibo compatibility revealed!

blackarwing001In just under a month’s time, Star Fox Zero will be gracing the WiiU’s of awaiting fans worldwide! During the Nintendo Direct announcement at the beginning of the March, it was revealed that the Fox McCloud Smash Brothers series Amiibo, would unlock the retro Arwing, from the original SNES Star Fox game. I must admit, this made me squee.

Just recently though, in a YouTube Livestream, user AbdallahSmash026 played through the first hour of the game, and also managed to scan through Amiibo to find out what they would do. As we were told in the Nintendo Direct, the Fox Amiibo unlocks the retro Arwing. What viewers were waiting for however, was the Falco Amiibo, and it didn’t disappoint.

Scanning the Falco Amiibo unlocked this sweet black and red Arwing, a screenshot of which, was later posted on twitter:

blackarwing002

I really like the look of this Arwing, it’s different so I’m expecting a few people to dislike it, more on that in a moment, but in my opinion, it’s really cool and makes me wonder if any other Amiibo will have any effect on the game. Will scanning Samus Aran unlock her ship from the Metroid series? Will Scanning Captain Falcon unlock the Blue Falcon?

Who knows, but this is the sort of unlocks that we should be seeing with Amiibo, it’s not something that effects gameplay, and it’s not something that people will be overly upset about missing out on if they don’t have the Amiibo. It’s just a cosmetic bonus, for owning an excellent Falco figurine.

I’m hoping that we get a Star Fox range of Amiibo, and with them even more cool unlocks!

Nintendo NX controller leak was a hoax!

nxcontrollerI wanted to write something about this supposed leak last weekend, but there was a lot bothering me about the photograph, and the source of the first article about it. However, I won’t go into that here. In the end the article was getting long, so I ended up cutting the story, and moving it to an Addendum post, like I had done with the NX rumours from the week before, but I never got around to finishing it.

My post tore the picture apart, I went into detail about how a final controller design will never look like the patent image, as the patent is designs to be a symbolic representation of the concept of a controller, and not the actual design of the controller itself, and I talked about how the image displayed on the controller, was actually taken from the “Caves” demo of the Unreal 4 Engine, though I acknowledged that could simply mean that the new console would run Unreal Engine, something that the rumours from the week before could substantiate. However, the big point of contention for me, was the photographs never showed the underside of the prototype controller, and there were no labels or Nintendo markings on the controller what so ever.

If it was a final design, it had no Nintendo branding, and if I were a prototype, it had no prototype marking or labels, to prevent theft.

So I wasn’t surprised to find out three days ago that the controller was confirmed fake, and to be honest I’m glad. Personally, I didn’t mind the design, it seemed simple, and effective with that full screen face, however I’m a fan of real buttons, not touch screen buttons.

VBThe other thing that makes me glad this wasn’t the real one is because of the sheer amount of backlash it received. As with most Nintendo products, if that was real, it’s actually revolutionary. Nintendo have always been at the cutting edge of hardware development, the Virtual Boy may not have been a success, but it was the first 3D-Come-Virtual Reality console on the home market, Wii may not have had the grunt of the PS3 or Xbox 360, but it’s motion control gimmick sold units and made bank. The same goes for that controller, the Free Form LCD screen that Nintendo is developing with Sharp, is not as simple as cutting edges off a screen. With most circular displays, you have a square screen, with parts of it hidden behind the frame, with this technology, you don’t need that at all, and this is actually quite the feat, if it both works and is affordable.

However, I think we’re at yet another period where it’s fashionable to attack Nintendo. Even people who for years have been making their bread and butter talking about Nintendo products are attacking their products left right and centre for no good reason.

Games like Federation Force look really fun, but people have decided it’s bad before it even comes out, same goes for Paper Mario Colour Splash, and before we have any confirmation on the NX hardware at all, people are already coming up with their own ideas of what the console will have in terms of hardware and are already advising people not to ever get it, and that the NX will be terrible, and Nintendo’s last ever console.

This is akin to people saying “What if Joe were to call me a dick?” and then getting mad at him because you imagined he would.

I get frustrated when people speculate high, and think this is going to be the best console ever, I may have covered the rumour, but I always preach caution. Don’t get your hopes up too high, or you’re going to be disappointed when the console doesn’t materialise physical copies of games with its inbuilt teleporter. However, it really annoys me when people try to turn you off something, that they have decided months or even years in advance, that they WILL NOT like.

Be open siblings, not to these overhyped fanatics, and not to the pessimistic naysayers. Be open to the possibilities of both, but most importantly, be open to having your opinions changed when presented with the console, the hardware and the games themselves. When Nintendo finally confirm the NX, is the time to start forming opinions, not based on information driven by other people’s desires and prejudices.

Pokémon Sun and Moon information!

sunandmoonThis week, I’m leaving you on a preview for next weeks update:

The extremely brief Pokémon Direct, left a lot of people with more questions than any real answers. None the less, tireless fans of the hit series have dissected and theorised on every little aspect of those few minutes of video footage, from the sketches and art, to the shots of the development team. However, finally some concrete information may be coming on April 3rd.

Pokémon series director Junichi Masuda, will be joined by Shigeki Morimoto and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Director Shigeru Ohmori, when they appear on the popular official Japanese Pokémon variety show “Pokémon no Uchi Atsumaru” or “Gathering At The Pokémon House”, and are expected to reveal more information about the upcoming games, Pokémon Sun and Moon.

With a line up like that you’re going to think that there may be a lot of information that will be coming out in this update, maybe even game footage and a trailer. Could Pokémon Company be revealing new game elements, and possibly even a new battle style?

Who knows, this is all just speculation for now, but by next week, I’ll have all the information!

And Finally

Thank you brothers and sisters for joining me again today, if you wish to find me on social media, you can like my Facebook Page, or follow me on Twitter, those are the two best ways to get hold of me. If you liked what you read here, please check out some of my other articles, they shouldn’t be too hard to find here on Badly.Productions, and if you want to support me and my continued ecclesiastical efforts, I do have a Patreon, and anything you can spare would be much appreciated.

Thank you all once again dear sibling.

Peace and high scores!