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Let Us Play: 2016-04-04

2016-04-05

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! I said last week was challenging, but this week has brought a bunch of big news controversies, and honestly, I really don’t know where to start. As I mentioned on my Facebook page, I don’t want to go into the Alison Rapp debacle, and the Buttroversy is the definition of non-news. So instead I’m leaving those topics be, and we’re focusing on Social advancement in the west, Korea and Bill Clinton’s cat? Are we suddenly in the 90s? Sure… why not?

Ladies and gentlemen of the congregation, Let Us Play!

My Nintendo Follow-up

mynintendoreleaseBack last Thursday, March 31st, Nintendo released their brand new rewards program My Nintendo. Seeing as I’ve already covered this topic in a previous Let Us Play article, let’s give a quick look now it’s finally released.

My Nintendo is the new Nintendo points and rewards program, replacing the old Club Nintendo. My Nintendo currently uses three digital currencies, that can be collected by completing “missions”. Firstly you have your Gold Points which are acquired through completing missions that involve real world purchases. When you purchase a game on the Nintendo eShop, whether for WiiU or 3DS systems, using the Nintendo Network account that is linked to your My Nintendo account, you can “complete” the Gold Point missions. the higher the price of the purchase, the more Gold Points you can earn, within raged thresholds. The Terms of Service also talk about other potential methods for collecting Gold Points which may vary depending upon your country of origin. These methods include physical, in store purchases through specific retailers, physical games with additional download codes, and purchases through the Nintendo online store.

The rewards for collecting Gold Points range from decent sized discounts, on some of the more expensive games, like Wonderful 101 and Splatoon, free full game downloads, and free DLC packs.

gold

The Platinum Points come in two forms, the standard Platinum Points and Miitomo Points. These seem to have the same value, but are accumulated differently. The standard Platinum Points are collected through completing “missions” relating to your various Nintendo accounts. After setting up a profile you will be given points for connecting your My Nintendo account to Twitter, Facebook, G+, Miiverse and Nintendo Network ID. After these have been achieved, you can collect Platinum Points on a Weekly basis, by logging in to My Nintendo, the Nintendo eShop and Nintendo Miiverse. These will net you 30 points each.

The Miitomo Platinum Points are collected by completing weekly and daily missions in the Miitomo App for Android and iOS. These points can be spent on in app purchases. Interestingly, any Miitomo Points collected on you Android device, will not be shared if you have a second account on an iOS device. However, all Miitomo points regardless of where they were collected, will be available on the My Nintendo website, where they are the same value as standard Platinum Points. This suggests that there may be more App specific currencies added in the future, such as with the Pokémon GO! app, and those too will have the same value as Platinum Points.

The rewards that can be received in exchange for both forms of Platinum Points include discounts on games, though lesser than the Gold Point counterparts, simple games like Picross, and Nintendo 3DS themes.

platinum

Overall, I’m actually rather impressed with this new system. At first I was annoyed that the points expire after six months, but then I actually did some math and realised how easy accumulating points actually was. Ignoring the Miitomo points for a moment, if you were to log in to the Nintendo eShop, Miiverse and My Nintendo pages weekly, you will accumulate 90 Plat per week. Over the course of six months (assuming four week months), that’s 2,160 Platinum Points before they expire. So far the highest priced Platinum Points item, has only been 1000 Plat, meaning that you can buy the most expensive My Nintendo rewards every three months. Considering this is all for free, that’s a good deal! Then assuming that you save up your Miitomo Points rather than spending them in-app, you are easily able to afford those 1000 Plat rewards on nearly a monthly basis!

Of course one downside of this new system is the fact that there are only digital goods. While of course that if Nintendo’s prerogative, one thing I did love about Club Nintendo was the t-shirts, game soundtracks, and collectibles. So it’s sad that there won’t be any of that in the near future.

Miitomo Release

miitomoreleaseAlso on March 31st, Nintendo released it’s first foray into the mobile app market with Miitomo. Miitomo is a social app, similar in many way to an AR Tomodachi Life. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a Windows phone, and Miitomo isn’t supported on that platform. Despite that I’ve been keeping an eye on the news and statistics, and despite a number of articles calling Miitomo pointless, the consensus seems to be that Miitomo is a hit!

There are some teething problems and there are lots of people commenting on the App store and the Google Play store, that they can’t get their download to run. My wife couldn’t get the app to install, my friend Austin found his tablet stuck in a constant shut down and restart loop, before opening in safe mode and removing it from his system, and other friends, have found it to be incredibly buggy. A lot of the problems seem to stem from the device being rooted, or modified in some way, something which is common in the android using community, but no solid causes have been confirmed.

Generally speaking, you’re going to want a newer device, one that hasn’t been rooted or jailbreaked (jailbroken?), with plenty of room on the device’s native storage, rather than using the SD card.

Based purely on the statistics, with over one million unique downloads, there only seems to be a few thousand complaints, meaning that at most there is a 1% margin where the app won’t work on your device. So if you’ve been thinking about getting it, don’t let the errors that are being reported put you off, and going back to my previous segment, think of all the platinum you can earn!

I’m still interested in Miitomo, and looking forward to Pokémon GO! so when it comes time to change up my phones, I may end up getting an Android rather than replacing my Windows Phone with another. For me, it’s worth it.

Nintendo of Korea is losing money

koreaIf you cast your mind back a few years, we saw the caliber of a man in Satoru Iwata, when he took a substantial pay cut to keep the lower rung members of the Nintendo Japan company from being made redundant, when the WiiU was failing to perform in the market. Sadly for the people of the small Nintendo of Korea office, no such help was coming to them. Nothing can be done when there’s no money left.

In the past four years Nintendo of Korea has seen significant losses, and this is causing Nintendo to take drastic steps in the region, including a large scale restructuring of the local branch. Out of the fifty employees at the NoK branch in Seoul, now only ten remain, including CEO Fukuda Hiroyuki. In addition, the office will no longer be located in Seoul, and has instead been moved outside of the city, where it’s cheaper.

At the moment it’s not know if Nintendo have any further plans to cut costs in the region, but at the moment things are looking grim.

Cats on the Hill

socksDear siblings, do you remember the 90s? Bill Clinton is president of the United States of America, and the question on everyone’s mind is “How do I get my kid a copy of Socks the Cat for the Super NES this Christmas?” Don’t recall that? Don’t worry you wouldn’t be the only one. You hate the politicization of video games? Then check this out!

In 1993, in response to Bill Clinton winning the Presidential election, Kaneko USA decided that they were going to make a game for the SNES and Sega Genesis, which would put you in the shoes (or socks if you will) of Bill Clinton’s real life pet cat, Socks, in a platforming adventure game, as he makes his way through various US locations, to get to the White House and his Presidential parent Bill Clinton, that nuke control codes have been stolen by republicans. No seriously, that was the basic gist of the game. While it wasn’t strictly going state that the enemies were republicans, it included “corrupt politicians” as enemies, and stage bosses that were parodies of former republican presidents, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush, among others, with a plan to blow up the world.

Yeah. This was a thing!

Well. It was nearly a thing, and it could yet be a thing. The development of “Socks Rocks The Hill” got as far as marketing and promotional materials being made and in some cases distributed, before Kaneko closed it’s US branch in the Summer of 1994, cancelling all games that were in development. This is where stories get a little confusing. Some claim that the game was nearly complete, while others like director of product development Jeff Hill, said in an interview with Evan G., “The game was nowhere near complete — and development was stopped at least six months before Kaneko closed the US office.”

Some stories indicate that there may have been pressure to cancel the game, because of Nintendo’s disinterest in the game, due to their known policies at the time that prohibited politically or propaganda driven games. Despite this Ellen Foug told Evan G. “[Nintendo] liked the idea; they liked the game. Everyone did.”

Kinda flies int he face of the fact the game was never released, but you make up your own minds on this.

Skip ahead eighteen years, and a prototype copy of the game surfaces and is snatched up by Tom Curtain, for, as he puts it, the price of “a decent used car”. Then just last year in 2015, Curtain was able to acquire the trademark for the game, and now, with a team around him, he intends to set up a Kickstarter in the coming year, to get the game finished, and distributed. Though to be fair the game looks pretty polished in a short video that was posted to YouTube as proof of it’s existence. He has been criticised since releasing the video with angry gamers claiming that he has hoarded the game for himself, and posted the video to rub it in peoples faces. Quite surprisingly this game has quite the cult following. Others have criticised his decision to kickstart it’s distribution rather than dropping the files online. To which Curtain replied “The game deserves a real release: A box, a manual, a physical cartridge that you can plug in. People have been waiting 20 years to play this game; I feel like that’s the right way to do it.”

I can completely understand his perspective. This is a piece of gaming history, as absurd as it is, and it really does deserve to be treated with the respect that comes with that. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get back a niche game that has been lost for twenty years, and to hear that it’s going to get a full physical copy release on a SNES cartridge, is just spectacular!

DSi Ware Shop to close in 2017

dsiAre you one of the people who bought the Nintendo DSi? Are you someone who still plays their DSi? If so I have some bad news for you. As of March 31st, 2017 Nintendo will be closing down the DSi Ware shop, meaning that if you own a DSi, and it still has games on it that have not been transferred to a 3DS system, NEVER delete those games! As the service will not be available after that date to allow them to be re-downloaded.

For 3DS users I’m glad to say that the DSi Ware section of the eShop will remain open, so anyone who has already transferred their games and data to a 3DS Nintendo Network account, your games are safe.

There’s not been a lot of information regarding this shut down, except for the date, however, it’s assumed that this will also affect transfers from the DSi to 3DS systems, so please be sure to transfer your data to a new 3DS system before March of next year, if you are thinking of doing so.

And Finally…

Thank you brothers and sisters for joining me again today. My apologies for the late update again this week, we’re just starting a new update system on Badly.Productions that I’m taking care of, and on top of that if you’ve been keeping up with my current personal status, with the sleeping and my health, things are currently pretty tough. If you haven’t and you want to keep up with my more regular postings on various social media platforms, I welcome you to like my Facebook Page, or follow me on Twitter.

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.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this awesome infographic that Amazon has been using to promote the new Legend of Zelda releases, Twilight Princess HD and Hyrule Warriors Legends.

original

Thank you all once again dear sibling.

Peace and high scores!