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Let Us Play: 2016-04-11

2016-04-11

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’ve said this in the past, everything I write is in a constant state of development, each week I look for ways to improve and cut the fat. My focus has always been on Nintendo, and I can’t see that changing, so I wonder if I should only focus on Nintendo, and replace “Let Us Play” with “Big N Breakdown”. Then something happens, like what’s happened with Blizzard in the past few days, and I realise, that it’s not just something I can talk about, but something I SHOULD talk about. This week I’m looking at guns, The Legend of Zelda, and Nostalrius.

Ladies and gentlemen of the congregation, Let Us Play!

Nostalgia in Azaroth

youthinkyoudoI want to start today’s article by talking about situation surrounding the shutting down of the World of Warcraft private server, Nostalrius. This is pretty much all opinion, so I want to get it out f the way. If you aren’t interested in World of Warcraft, feel free to skip ahead. I have never been a fan of Blizzard. I remember playing Warcraft 2, but I never really enjoyed Starcraft, and while I played a little WoW early on, I found other MMO’s that I enjoyed more, like Guild Wars. Despite this, after the release of Wrath of the Litch King, I went back to playing Vanilla WoW on a private server with a pretty cool community, run by a friend of mine. While the community was very small, we helped each other out and got along really well. Here is where my interest in the recent events stem from.

World of Warcraft is a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) by games development studio Blizzard, released in November 2004, and since then there have been a series of expansions that have updated, and to some, improved on the game. World of Warcraft (WoW) would go on to see continued success with an ever increasing user base, up to and throughout it’s third expansion, Wrath of the Litch King, reaching a height of around 12 million subscriptions (Note: this is the number of accounts, not players, and players may have multiple accounts), only to see sharp downturn in subscriptions after the release of the fourth expansion, Cataclysm in 2010. Between 2010 and now, the game has lost more than half of it’s accounts, with a mere 5.5 million accounts remaining as of Q3 2015, and presumable has continued in a similar trend to today.

Many players felt that the game had changed too much from the hard core MMORPG experience that they came to love in the previous iterations. Players wanted to be able to play the older versions of the game, and even requested official legacy servers, always to negative response. In an ultimate act of Blizzard telling users what they want; at the Blizzcon 2013 Warlords of Draenor Q&A panel, J. Allen Brack, the games Executive Producer and World of Warcraft VP, when asked about the possibility of including legacy servers, to which the audience broke out into cheers and applause, responded with and incredibly smug grin saying:

“No. And by the way, you don’t want to do that either. You think you do, but you don’t. ” (Link)

However, Blizzard couldn’t be more wrong, as hundreds of private vanilla servers (servers that run the original World of Warcraft game, without the expansions) were already up all around the internet. The most popular of which being Nostalrius. With over 800 thousand registered members, and over one 150 thousand regularly active members, Nostalrius proved that there was a significant demand for WoW Legacy servers. So what did Blizzard do?

Shut them down of course.

Now let’s be absolutely clear here. Blizzard are well within their rights to protect their IP and issue a cease and desist to private server owners. Whether or not they are making a profit, which Nostalrius was not. However, as Jeff Goldblum said so succinctly in Jurassic Park, they were “so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

These were not 800 thousand customers stolen away by the dazzle of free WoW, these were customers Blizzard had already lost by turning a deaf ear to their requests, and belittling their opinions. These were 800 thousand people that wanted something that Blizzard were no longer offering, and found someone who was. World Of War craft today is so much different than it was in 2004, some might say that’s a good thing, and more power too you. However, not everyone agrees, at least half of the audience that WoW had in 2012 is gone by 2016.

Now a large, and close community of fans of the original game has been forced to disband, and it breaks my heart dear siblings, whether I like World of Warcraft or not, it breaks my heart to see this community decimated like this.

No one wants vanilla, or legacy World of Warcraft, Blizzard? Well here are at least 150 thousand people who disagree! What you see in the videos below, are only a fraction of the players online at the end of their world. In and of it’s self it’s a facinating study in how people react to something they love being taken from them for good. These people have nothing but love for the game and one another.

So much so that hundreds of people from the Horde, made one last march across Azeroth to die together one last time in Thunder Bluff, but no, according to Blizzard, no one wants this.

No… no one want’s THIS, Blizzard! Dick move.

There is a petition on Change.org to try to convince Blizzard that this IS something that the community wants!

Peace and the highest of scores to all denizens of Nostalrius.

Zapper Troubles

ningunTexas gun makers Precision Syndicate LLC. came under fire as it were, this week, when they unveiled a Nintendo (NES) “Zapper” themed custom Glock handgun. Precision Syndicate LLC who post their custom weapons on Facebook and Instagram, were then shortly after inundated with negative comments, primarily about the gun looking like a toy, while intermingled with questions about legality using the Nintendo brand on the side of the gun, as well as some positive reactions from the niche market from the Venn Diagram where “Nintendo Collector” and “Gun Enthusiast” overlap.

So much so it’s received media attention, and caused the small US Veteran owned company to make a statement regarding the gun:

In light of the “Nintendo Glock” drama, we feel that the media and our fans need to know that this firearm will not be mass produced nor will it ever be. This is a one off custom build for a friend of ours. [Due] to the thousands of emails and messages we have received in the past 2 days we have been unable to contact everyone in a timely manner, please be patient we will get to you as soon as possible. Thank you all for your support! Oh, and please.. keep your guns locked up and away from children, it’s common sense.

So this Glock isn’t even a production piece, it’s a one off custom job for a friend. As of right now the comments appear to have evened out, with more people appreciating the weapon for the work of art it was intended to be, rather than complaining about the fact that guns exist.

The complaint that I’ve seen quoted the most is that the gun looks like a toy, and therefore more kids are going to get their hands on it and potentially kill someone, like their friends or family. I’m very curious about the logic here, because these complaints skip a lot of steps required for a child to get hold of a loaded weapon. Of course the intention is to blame the gun or the manufacturer, while unburdening incompetent parents of any responsibility.

Here’s the real question: Why are you leaving a child left unattended, with easy access to a loaded weapon?

Whatever your opinions on guns may be, you have to see that in any situation that a gun is used by a child, it’s rarely, if ever, the kids fault, nor is it the guns fault. If YOU leave YOUR gun out in the open, the only person to blame is YOURSELF. All firearms will look like toys to kids unless they have been properly educated. So educate your kids to stay away from firearms, the same way that you teach them not to pull on the power cord of a hot iron, climb inside the oven, or stick their fingers in the light sockets. Oh yeah, and keep your guns out of reach of the kids. It’s basic parenting if you have a gun in the house!

If you are responsible with your weapons,  it doesn’t matter if you own a gun that looks like Hello Kitty, the kids aren’t going to get hold of it.

So who would want a gun that looks like a toy? As crazy as it may sound, the NES is now nearly THIRTY THREE years old, released in July 1983 in Japan as the Famicom. This isn’t made to look like a Wii or Wii U, it’s modeled on an old system, for people who are nostalgic for their youth, most people who owned an NES new, are over thirty years old, and old enough to own a firearm and appreciate the sentiment.

Nintendo Vs Capcom

nintendovscapcomStreet Fighter series Producer, Yoshinori Ono, was recently, briefly interviewed by StreetPass UK, at a public appearance by him, for the launch of Street Fighter V. In the interview Ono-san was asked what other Street Fighter characters he would like to see in future Smash Brothers games. Ono-san said that he was sure that if more than one character were added to the series, that Sakurai-san would probably want a non-fireball character, someone who was more of a fighter or grappler, and Zangief or Blanka would be good choices. He even went on to say that because Blanka is not currently in Street Fighter V, it would be cool to say that he went away to join another tournament before returning to Street Fighter later.

When asked what characters Ono-san might like to see from Nintendo in a future Street Fighter game, he instead suggested that he wouldn’t want to pick just one or two, and instead would like to see a Nintendo Vs Capcom game, so that the game could be specifically designed with those characters in mind, rather than attempting to fit someone like Mario into the Street Fighter framework.

I really like the idea of a Nintendo Vs Capcom game, but trying to imagine a game where the cartoonish characters of Nintendo interact seamlessly with the more realistic fighters of the Street Fighter series, leaves me just thinking about Smash Brothers with additional Street Fighter characters. Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Super Smash Brothers series, has done an amazing job when it comes to creating a fighting game that could lend it’s self to so many different styles of fighting, and put a lot of hard work and effort into getting permission to use such a large and diverse cast of characters. Let’s just hope that we get to see Nintendo Vs Capcom in the future, after all Yoshinori Ono would be the guy to get it done, and he’s already expressed an interest in the idea.

These Colours DO Run

runbow13AM Studios creators of the excellent Nintendo Wii U eShop exclusive game, Runbow, have announced that there will be new DLC for the game, coming very soon. In a YouTube video posted through Nintendo Life, the game’s Producer Dave Proctor and Creative Designer Alex Rushdy reveal a few new things coming soon for the indy running game.

Firstly they talk about a new community section on their website, to show off screenshots, and fan artwork, and that merchandise is now available through their Sanshee store.

The majority of the video though was showcasing the brand new DLC for the game, including skin and music packs, and a new story mode expansion. There are four skin and music packs in total, each with a different theme.

  • Anime Pack – Adds a Magical Girl costume skin for the series main pair Hue and Val, as well as a new J-pop inspired song called “Ready for Moé”
  • Winter Pack – Adds snow gear costumes for Hue and Val, as well as a new winter themed song full of bells, called “You Sleigh Me”
  • Professional Pack – Adds a Sherlock Holms style detective costume for Hue, and a suspiciously TF2 looking female medic for Val.
  • Steampunk Pack – Adds steampunk costumes for Hue and Val, as well as a 1990’s rave inspired version of the Runbow theme called “xRUNBOWxRAVEx1999x”

All of the above music is also available for purchase or to stream for free through their Bandcamp page.

In addition to those costumes there is a new indy character being added to the roster as free DLC. Lilac from Freedom Planet will be joining a roster of guest characters such as Shovel Knight, Gunvolt, Juan and Tostada from Guacamelee, Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter and CommanderVideo from the BIT.TRIP series.

Finally, the last piece of DLC they show is an expansion for the story mode, called Satura’s Space Adventure” where you play as the villain from the original Story Mode, to overcome even more crazy levels and puzzles.

i really like this game, but mostly the multiplayer when I’m sitting around with friends on a Saturday night and we want to play a big party game. It’s loads of fun, lots of close calls, and anything that can expand this game the better, as if there is anything that is a let down, with each race being only a couple of minutes at most, it’s the limited number of stages can become tedious, but with thirteen new multiplayer stages things should start to feel fresh again.

Each of the costume packs are priced at $1.99 USD each, except for the Winter Pack which is $2.99 USD, though I’m not entirely sure why that is. The new Story Expansion is $6.99 USD. All together this would normally cost $15.95 USD, but there will also be a complete set the “Extra Val-Hue Bundle” priced at $12.99 USD. These prices will vary from region to region, and will be available this coming Thursday, April 14th.

The Rumour Mill: Legend of Zelda

legendofzelda2016Video game rumours are everywhere these days, you can’t take a walk on the internet without tripping on a rumour. Seriously, do they really think Virtual Reality and entering cyber space is going to be considered safe with all these rumours lying around? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this and each week I want to take a quick fire look at some Nintendo rumours. This week sees three rumours come out relating to the new Legend of Zelda title. The three rumours this week are: NX release, Voice Acting and Link is a Girl.

No you haven’t accidentally been whisked away, back six months with the Ocarina of Time, it’s just that once again these rumours have floated to the surface, so lets put these rumours before the mill stone and start turning!

  • At this point Legend Of Zelda being released on the NX is an almost certainty. That is to say I am 99.99% sure that there will be at least a version of this new game on the NX, if it’s not exclusively going to be released on the NX as a launch title to sell the hardware.
  • Voice acting is a topic that comes up every now and again and is always an interesting point of contention in the fan community. There seems to be some division in the community over this, and if I were to pick a side, it would be that I want voice acting in the game, but only for NPCs, and not Link himself. While I’m happy to see the Legend of Zelda series grow and advance as an action RPG, the direction they seem to be going in suggests that the game will be more open or free roaming, which I feel is counter intuitive to having Link speak, unless yout have multiple choices, but the last thing I want is to see the Zelda series become the next Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls like game. Legend of Zelda needs to remain it’s own thing.
  • And of course, Link being a girl. Or I should say, you having the option for Link to be a girl. As far as I am concerned this has multiple problems. First of which is the question, “Does it really matter if you can be female? You could always choose a male and it won’t make a difference.” I’ve seen this argument in a lot of places, and to me the question it’s it’s own answer. Does it matter? No, and that’s the problem. If it doesn’t matter than Link as a character doesn’t have as much of an impact on the game, as I would like him to have. Link in Twilight Princess felt like he was a part of Ordon Village, he had a story that tied him to the world. Whether you liked Skyward Sword or not, Link’s story and his relationship with Zelda was masterfully crafted.
    If it makes no difference whether Link is male or female, then the fact that it doesn’t matter is a problem when it comes to effective storytelling. This isn’t Pokémon, we’re not talking about an avatar character here. While Link may have been created as the player’s “link” to the game world, he’s become more than that through development over the past thirty years. While I have talked in the past about why I don’t want a female Link, I would much rather a female Link and a male Zelda, than an option.
    On the other hand, if there were two different characters, with two different personal stories, Link and his twin sister Linkle, and throughout the game you can switch between the both of them to complete your quest. That’s the sort of option I would be more than OK with. In fact that’t the unique sort of storytelling I owuld like to see from a new Zelda game.

And Finally…

Thank you brothers and sisters for joining me again today. It’s a long one today, though unfortunately, I haven’t covered a number of news stories that I wanted to. I may write an Addendum post this week, or I may wait and add some of this weeks news stories to next weeks update. Let me know in the comments below, or on social media, what you think of posts this long. At the moment I’m clocking in at just over 3250 words. Is that too long? What do you think of the Rumour Mill segment? Do you think it might be better suited as it’s own article?

If you haven’t already, you keep up with my more regular postings on various social media platforms, like my Facebook Page, or follow me on Twitter. It’s all good.

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.

Last of all I want to leave you with this. What if Sonic the Hedgehog, the original, had the same voice acting as Sonic Boom? Why imagine, when you can experience it!

Thanks again brothers and sisters!

Peace and High Scores!