Please note that this opinion piece will discuss spoilers. Therefore, I’ve implemented a jump. For those who are curious as to what I think but don’t want anything ruined, I will write the majority of the piece without spoilers, and then flag the offending words AFTER the trailer at the bottom. So you can read through the article with nary a concern until you see the trailer at the bottom, in which I will discuss some of the key story bits and how they were executed. (more…)
All posts tagged nintendo
Posted by WildcatJF on January 7, 2013
No Virtual Console support this week for North America usually translates to me writing a VC No-Shows, but I’ve noticed a disturbing trend as of late. SimCity for the SNES disappeared from the VC the day after New Years, joining several other games that have been removed from the service over the last couple of years. I’d like to list all of these titles and keep this post as a running tally of what games used to be a part of the VC library and posit why they were removed.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami)
Date Removed – 1/26/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – When Konami and UBI Soft reached a deal to release Konami’s TMNT titles on various DL services, it signaled a hopeful flood of Konami’s classic TMNT lineup for the Virtual Console. Only Konami’s first NES effort made it onto Nintendo’s services, and all of the games issued across all consoles as part of that agreement are now no longer available. Tragic, as this game is easily the weakest of the bunch, and seeing the others would have been a boon.
Date Removed – 1/2/2013
Why is it Missing Now? – I can only presume that Nintendo had some sort of arrangement with Electronic Arts to re-release their take on Maxis’ classic, and perhaps 1/2/2013 was the end of their agreement. Otherwise, I’ve got no idea! It’s apparently still available in Europe as of this writing.
Donkey Kong Country series (Nintendo/Rare)
Date Removed – All were taken down 11/16/12
Why are they Missing Now? – The sudden disappearance of one of Nintendo’s SNES stalwart franchises was a surprise last November. They did at least announce their removal in advance (unlike SimCity above). Screwattack posits that Nintendo has to work out a licensing deal with Rare (despite owning the franchise and characters) every time they re-release the SNES games, and they chose to let the Wii VC license expire. Hopefully, once the WiiU VC is established, these will return.
Super R-Type (Irem)
Date Removed – 3/30/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Simple explanation here; Irem pulled all of their DL titles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in March 2012 due to financial hardships and company restructuring.
Date Removed – 9/30/2011
Why is it Missing Now? – This was the first game to be dropped from the VC, and I imagine it was due to Irem’s monetary difficulties much as the later removals were.
Date Removed – 3/30/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Try not to mind the parroting, but it is the same as Super R-Type above; Irem pulled all of their DL titles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in March 2012 due to financial hardships and company restructuring. Expect to see it some more…
Date Removed – 3/30/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Irem pulled all of their DL titles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in March 2012 due to financial hardships and company restructuring. *squawk*
Ninja Spirit (Irem)
Date Removed – 3/30/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Irem pulled all of their DL titles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in March 2012 due to financial hardships and company restructuring…*Wildcat wants a cracker!*
Legend of Hero Tohma (Irem)
Date Removed – 3/30/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Irem pulled all of their DL titles from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft in March 2012 due to financial hardships and company restructuring…and that’s the last time we should see that! (sorry for the bad parrot puns :p )
Silent Debuggers (Data East/G-Mode)
Date Removed – 3/1/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – G-Mode pulled three of their Data East-developed titles for the TG-16, but it’s unclear why exactly they did so. The NeoGeo and NES Data East titles remain on the service (Magical Drop 2/3, Street Slam, Spinmaster, Fighter’s History Dynamite and Burgertime [which was just released in December 2012!]), so who really knows what happened here.
Bloody Wolf (Data East/G-Mode)
Date Removed – 3/1/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Another Data East-developed title yanked for the TG-16 by G-Mode for unknown reasons.
Drop-Off (Data East/G-Mode)
Date Removed – 3/1/2012
Why is it Missing Now? – Another Data East-developed title yanked for the TG-16 by G-Mode for unknown reasons. *cough*
That’s all of them as of January 5th, 2013. Let’s hope the purging ceases or that the Wii U VC opens up and brings back some of these along with it.
Posted by WildcatJF on January 5, 2013
The Last Story – “Theme” (Title Screen, Wii, Nintendo/Mistwalker/XSEED, Nobuo Uematsu)
I’ve been greatly enjoying my time with The Last Story. Every time I start it up I’m greeted by this delightful, emotional piece. It fits the mood of the game pretty well, methinks. Uematsu did a pretty solid job on the overall soundtrack, so expect some more Last Story picks down the road.
Posted by WildcatJF on January 2, 2013
106. Excitebike 64 (N64, Nintendo/Left Field Productions)
Brief Synopsis – This is the sequel to the NES Excitebike, developed by Left Field Productions. It is considered one of the better racing games on the console, featuring one of the earliest attempts of a random track (the desert track pictured here), which warps and changes depending on the player’s interaction with it.
Why is it Missing? – There’s two reasons I can immediately think of, plus a lesser yet likely third. The first? It includes the original NES Excitebike as an unlockable, which presents competition for the standalone title. The second? It includes licensed bike brands that would need to be programmed out. Waverace 64 and 1080 Snowboarding did as well and are up on the VC without those licenses, so that’s the weaker of the three reasons. The third is the fragmentation of the relationship between Nintendo and Left Field. The two were pretty good buddies in the Nintendo 64 era, working on three Kobe Byrant NBA games and this particular title. Nintendo did invest in Left Field in 1998, but Left Field bought out that stake in 2002 and regained independence, leading to a split between the two. The company was working on the sequel to 1080 Snowboarding before the separation, but that project was stalled, forcing Nintendo Software Technologies to step in and create what became 1080 Avalanche. This is the only game that could potentially see Virtual Console release out of Left Field’s contributions, but I do not know if Nintendo cares enough to try to work out a deal with the company again to re-release it…if that’s even a concern. I’m sure Nintendo owns the code and all, but the second party issue is one we’ve seen time and time again (Rare, anyone?), and that may be the sticking point here.
Other (Legal) Options – The Nintendo 64 is the sole choice for you here.
Posted by WildcatJF on December 20, 2012
Banjo-Kazooie – Freezeezy Peak (N64, Nintendo/Rare, Grant Kirkhope)
If you want to roam around in an icy platformer level this holiday season, may I recommend, for maximum festivities, Banjo-Kazooie’s Freezeezy Peak. Not only does the music sound like some long lost Christmas tune, but the whole level is ripe with Christmas imagery. Kirkhope did a smashing job on the whole soundtrack, but this is one that truly fits the level it belongs to like a glove. How could I not pick this to be a Song Highlight this time of year?
Posted by WildcatJF on December 19, 2012
With winter break fully upon our lives, I’ve decided to finally begin my playtime with The Last Story. I ranted, raved and rambled about the game since it was announced back in 2010, and I must admit, it’s still surreal having a North American copy of the game in my hands. It was quite the ride to get to this point. I know I said I would no longer do impression pieces, but this is not so much a reactionary piece but more of a analysis. Was all of the clamoring that I made worth it?
Two hours into the game, I’m feeling pretty happy with the experience so far. The demo-esque first dungeon gave a decent idea of what combat is like; I’m still a little shaky on the whole engine, but it seems intriguing. The camaraderie of your team is pretty infectious; the cast are a little derpy at times (more on that in a bit), but they genuinely have a clear fondness for each other. They look out for each other, barb each other on (especially Syrenne), and treat each other like friends. It adds a lot to the atmosphere. The early environments are a little deviant from the standard cave/underground area you normally see in RPG’s. Similar yet unique. The enemies are also nice alternates of the common tropes; the skeletons in particular were pretty cool looking. It’s too early to know for sure if I am fully supportive of the battling part of the game, but it seems promising.
I’ve spent about half of my time exploring the city and taking in its scope. The Last Story features one of the more believable and alive cityscapes I’ve played in a game. Lots of people reacting to you, little touches that sell the accuracy (hitting Zael’s head on a sign, for one), mostly solid VA work that backs the majority of the dialogue…this is grand stuff. The music is quite lovely, too.
The tavern lets Zael interact with his teammates, and…here’s where the derp mention earlier comes in. I knew Syrenne was an alcohol lover; I did not realize she was an full-blown alcoholic. Yikes. Lowell’s flirty playboy behavior is comical, but I can imagine that it’ll rub me the wrong way sooner or later. Calista (or Lisa at this early stage) takes the ignorant princess/noble routine to the extreme, and it was a little wince-worthy at times. Zael can be charmingly stupid at times, too. However, it’s really early on in the game, so I’m withholding my judgment until the end. I do hope things swing a little from this point, though. I do like the cast, but I haven’t fully embraced them quite yet.
So, two hours in, I’m curious to see where the game takes me. I admit: I dreamed about this most of the night, so despite a little criticism here I’m clearly relishing what I’m doing. When you have so much anticipation built up, it’s impossible not to feel a bit of disappointment. Luckily, my issues are fairly minor and I’m excited to play more.
Posted by WildcatJF on December 16, 2012
Study 25 – Kirby’s Adventure/Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (NES/Famicom, Nintendo/HAL Labs)
Kirby’s Adventure, or Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari in Japan, was a pivotal game in the budding Kirby franchise. Its predecessor, the Game Boy Kirby’s Dream Land/Hoshi no Kirby, was a cute platformer that featured a gray ball-shaped blob named Kirby. He could suck up enemies and spit them out as stars as his main form of attack. In Kirby’s Adventure, the blob became pink, and his inhaling capabilities gained an upgrade! He could now gain powers from his foes if he swallowed them over spitting them out, and developer HAL Labs came up with 20 fairly unique abilities for Kirby to balance throughout the game. The quest also was a much larger endeavor, and all of those new skills would come in handy!
Localization changes on Kirby’s Adventure were rather minimal. However, there are a few small changes that make it worth doing an article on this (and help get me back into the swing of doing these features more regularly). Let’s begin, like we usually do, with some box art.
The Famicom box is almost a dead ringer for the title screen, with it displaying several of Kirby’s new powers as a background. Quite representative of what awaited players!
The NES box is quite nice, too, although there’s a menacing aspect to the underlying darkness that is usually absent from Kirby games. Still pretty cute, though.
Onto the screens! The Famicom version will be on the top, NES on the bottom.
For the title screens, the logo is drastically different, and the North American background seems a little less colorful (and more purple).
The second major change is in the name of one of Kirby’s powers. We know his dashing burst of flame as “Fireball”, but in Japan it was titled “Burning”.
The remaining alterations are pretty minor.
When Kirby beats a stage in Hoshi no Kirby, an exclamation in Japanese (as I don’t readily know Japanese, I’m not sure what exactly it means) is under the victory tape. In America, it reads GOAL.
Ice Cream Island was IceCream Island in Japan.
The Fountain of Dreams is also slightly different in Japan, lacking the “s” in Dreams. Sensible given the lack of plurals in Japan. You can also see here that the logo is different for the two cutscenes.
Nothing too drastic here, but I feel that looking even at the minute can lead to interesting things. For example, why was Kirby’s fireball move called “Burning” in Japan? It’s appropriate I suppose, given that he is literally “burning” when he uses it. It easily flows from the tongue when you refer to the power as “Burning Kirby”. However, I suppose Nintendo of America didn’t want to associate that power with that particular word; maybe they felt it would be a drug reference or something. :p Next time, I’ll pick something a little more elaborate. And egads, I need to stop taking three month hiatuses! XD
The Cutting Room Floor page for Kirby’s Adventure – http://tcrf.net/Kirby%27s_Adventure
Vizzed page for Hoshi no Kirby: Yume no Izumi no Monogatari (note: emulation page!) – http://www.vizzed.com/playonlinegames/game.php?id=13228
GameFAQs page for Kirby’s Adventure – http://www.gamefaqs.com/nes/563432-kirbys-adventure/images
SauseandPepper blog entry for Hoshi no Kirby – http://sauseandpepper.blog63.fc2.com/blog-entry-204.html
Box vs Box entry for Kirby’s Adventure – http://boxvsbox.tumblr.com/post/23545592566/kirbysadventure
Posted by WildcatJF on December 15, 2012
It’s been a while, but TheSpeedGamers are back, and about to kick off their 72-hour Mario Marathon later today (December 14) at 7 pm EST/4 pm PST. As you can imagine, they’ll be playing tons of Mario games from past and present, including the recently released New Super Mario Bros U.
They will also be raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with an initial goal of $10,000.
You can view the marathon live at their official site, thespeedgamers.com. There will also be contests, prizes, and other fun events, so please check it out and spread the word!
Posted by Nester on December 14, 2012
This Saturday, October 20, Pat the NES Punk will be holding yet another marathon in which he and Ian spend night and day playing nothing but NES games. Unlike the previous years, however, the NES games they play this time are determined by donations. As such, they’re attempting to raise as much money as possible before the marathon even starts, with an ultimate goal of $25,000. As usual, all donations go to the Child’s Play charity.
Get the full details in the video below, and by visiting the official site: nesmarathon.com.
Posted by Nester on October 17, 2012