Interview with Tanabe: Paper Mario, the future of Metroid and Donkey Kong, and More

TBC: Hello everyone welcome to a new episode of black cat books live. I’m your host, the Black Cat, and today I have a very special guest. Kensuke Tanabe of Nintendo.

Tanabe; Hello.

TBC: Thank you so much for joining us today, Kensuke. I know I told you this before the show, but you were behind a ton of my favorite games growing up. You supervised Eternal Darkness, Co-produced Metroid Prime, and were responsible for the reboots of Donkey Kong Country and Luigi’s Mansion.

Tanabe: I’m honored that you play and enjoy my games.

TBC: I’m sure you feel the same way about the fans! Anyway, I decided to reach out to you today to discuss your newest project. Paper Mario The Origami King. I’ve been playing through the game myself and have been really enjoying it so far.

I couldn’t help but notice that Paper Mario has long extendable ARMS. Like in the fighting game.

Tanabe: Oh yes. Yes, ARMS was a huge success for us, one of our best selling games aimed at a traditional fighting game audience. The idea was so unique and appealing, and has won so many fans, that we thought it would be cool to incorporate it into other games. Everyone at Nintendo is incredibly enthusiastic about this IP, and want to see more of it. I main Helix, by the way.

TBC: I was under the impression that the game flopped. That’s what IGN told me.

Tanabe: Why are you listening to IGN? *Laughs*

TBC: Since we’re on the subject of game reviews, how do you feel about the critical reception to Origami King?

Tanabe: We here are Nintendo don’t really adhere to reviews. We find that traditional game reviews are oriented too closely to the widest possible, lowest common denominator audience. For example, Red Dead Redemption 2 got perfect or near perfect scores simply for being an open world game. Games that are comparably smaller in scale, such as 2D platformers like Donkey Kong or adventure games like Paper Mario, tend to get lower scores simply for being smaller. I feel as if critics don’t really understand how a turn based battle system can be appealing.

TBC: Square Enix ruined Final Fantasy to try and appeal to these people.

Tanabe: That’s right. They tried so hard to appeal to people outside of their typical demographic that they lost sight of what made the game interesting to begin with.

TBC: A lot of people are suggesting that you’ve done the same with Paper Mario.

Tanabe: Why? Because the toads aren’t wearing hats? *Laughs*

TBC: The argument I hear from critics is that you scuttled the battle system, stripped all personality from the games, and refuse to give them a real story.

Tanabe: Yes, we’ve been getting these complaints since Super Paper Mario. Unfortunately the deviation from that release has created this demographic of people that will not be pleased no matter what we do.

TBC: You blame Super for the criticisms towards modern Paper Mario?

Tanabe: Of course. We deviated too much from the formula from the first two games. Returning to form with the new Paper Mario games, that is Sticker Star, Color Splash, and now Origami King was quite a monumental task. Plenty of people disliked the 2D segments, and all of the feedback we got at the time complained about the focus on the story rather than gameplay.

TBC: So what you’re saying is that Sticker Star was designed to be a gaemplay focused title.

Tanabe: That’s right. I think players would be surprised to go back to Super Paper Mario and see how much of the game is padded out by exposition and dialogue. I wanted to make a turn based game that wasn’t bogged down by such things. Removing things like the experience points and partners was an important part of that.

TBC: Playing Origami King I noticed that the pacing of the game was blazing fast.

Tanabe: That’s right. The new gameplay formula we established allow us to go crazy with unique ideas and settings that can be built up, played, and resolved in a matter of minutes, rather than the hours it took in the first couple of games.

TBC: So these changes were made to improve the pacing?

Tanabe: That’s right, yes. Super Paper Mario made us realize that the heart and soul of Paper Mario was not in the story or setting, but in the aesthetic and gameplay. So we simply refined the first two games into what you see now.

TBC: A lot of people liked the partners, though.

Tanabe: We got nothing but negative feedback about how they were implemented in Super. It was decided that in order to showcase as many personalities as possible in these, we would incorporate a vast array of NPCs into the world that can all do a variety of different things. So rather than simply having a goomba with a hat who occasionally speaks during story segments, we have dozens of characters in any given area who can help you in a variety of different ways.

TBC: When people praise the partners, they usually are talking about the first two games…

Tanabe: There were no major differences between how the partners were developed between The Thousand Year Door and Super. All of Super’s major problems, such as the lack of exploration and backtracking, have roots in the first two games.

TBC: How is Metroid coming along?

Tanabe: Trying to get me to reveal something, are you? *Laughs* Metroid is fine. Did you play Federation Force?

TBC: Oh yeah, I love Federation Force.

Tanabe: Most real fans did. Well Federation Force was the most excited I’ve been to work on Metroid since the series began. It reminded me a lot of how I felt when working on Sticker Star. And how everything was beginning to ‘click.’ That’s all I can say about upcoming Metroid games.

TBC: Did the fan reaction to Federation Force discourage you?

Tanabe: As I said, real fans bought and played the game. Those who believe that Metroid is meant to be a dark, brooding story driven game don’t understand the core appeal of the series.

TBC: Was that a jab at Sakamoto?

Tanabe: That’s actually Sakamoto-san’s stance on the matter.

TBC: Really? But he made Other M?

Tanabe: Why do you think he hates stories in games? *Laughs* Other M was actually a very educational experience for us at Nintendo. Story driven games are not games. Sakamoto-san found himself creatively limited by the constraints he had set for himself in his outline for the story, and in trying to make everything fit he failed to make a compelling game.

TBC: He didn’t put the gameplay first.

Tanabe: Exactly. That is not a mistake that Nintendo is ever going to make again.

TBC: Newer Nintendo games like ARMS and Splatoon tend to drip feed the lore and information about the setting…

Tanabe: Yes, indeed. For games it’s better to make the game first and create an excuse for it to happen afterward.

TBC: The opposite of what Naughty Dog does then.

Tanabe: Exactly! *Laughs*

TBC: So can you give us any more information on why Metroid Prime 4 was delayed?

Tanabe: Oh, it never actually entered production. We just announced it to get people to stop asking where Metroid was. It didn’t actually begin production until we announced the delay.

TBC: You found to be a necessary step?

Tanabe: Absolutely. A lot of these manchildren Nintendo fans- these twenty, thirty year old unmarried types- they have masculinity issues. They tend to be unemployed, live with their parents, live off of government assistance and have crippling social disorders. To them playing cool games aimed at ‘adults’ is the closest thing they can get to having  a happy or successful life. A lot of these people see ‘hardcore’ franchises as a way to prove their masculinity. Metroid is one of the most common fixations of these people, due to featuring an attractive female protagonist in a bleak, desolate setting.

TBC: My readers aren’t going to like this.

Tanabe: Hey, I said it, not you. *laughs* My advice to these people is to take a shower and get a job. You don’t need a new Metroid game. You need to get a life.

TBC: That’s harsh.

Tanabe: Not harsh enough!

TBC: I think we’ve covered all of the topics I wanted to go over today. Do you have anything more to say to the fans?

Tanabe: Thank you all for your support!

TBC: And thank you for your time!

Original published on blackcatbooks.org.

 

 

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Resident Evil 4 is Pro Trump Propaganda

As I am currently awaiting the release of The Last of Us Part II, I decided it would be best for me to go back and experience some of the older zombie games that I have not played in years. The original TLOU is an absolute classic and one of the best games ever made, but I truly cannot stress just how important Resident Evil is to me as a feminist and a writer.

The end of the Nintendo domination over the gaming industry was a golden age of creativity in gaming. For the first time developers were free to challenge the established patriarchal concepts introduced (And to this day suppported) by the former gaming giant. Games like Final Fantasy VII challenged the idea of women being nothing more than damsels to be rescued, while games like Metal Gear Solid emphasized strong, intelligent female characters in the lore of the story and world.

However, in my mind, Resident Evil is the first TRULY feminist video game franchise. For the first time ever, you could choose between a male and a female character. And for the first time EVER, the female character had clear advantages over the male one. Now, she wasn’t ever BETTER, per se, but it was so mind blowing to me how Capcom put so much time and effort into making such compelling female characters.

And then Resident Evil 4 ruined everything.

This is the first time I’ve played RE4 in years. I was one of those people that disliked the game from the onset, due to being developed for a purple lunchbox rather than a real video game console. The game had clearly been extremely casualized to appeal to fans of games like Wind Waker and Pikmin. It was more action oriented than previous entries, with little in the way of puzzles and the subtle, creative horrors that the original three games produced. And worst of all, the female lead, Ashley, was relegated to that despised damsel in distress role. How the mighty have fallen.

However returning to Resident Evil 4 after over fifteen years has given me a new perspective. A new, disgusting angle that my naive younger self did not catch up on.

Resident Evil 4 HATES Mexicans.

The plot of Resident Evil 4 is as follows. Leon S.Kennedy, the ambigously gay, emo haired protagonist is sent on a rescue mission to Mexico to recover the daughter of the President of the United States. Now this is a relatively simple, less complex plot compared to past entries, possibly to appeal to Nintendo fans and their childish tastes… but it has a theme to it.

TOXIC, EVIL FOREIGNERS ARE OUT TO GET THE PRESIDENT AND HIS FAMILY.

That’s it. That’s the plot, summed up in a single sentence. And in an age where immigrants are being attacked and hated by the current administration it TRULY gives me pause. Resident Evil 5 was condemned for being racist (And rightfully so) but I believe the trend started in Resident Evil 4. Seeing the blonde, handsome American gun down unarmed brown skinned Mexicans sends a shiver down my spine. THIS is the media I grew up with? Is this the world we fantasize about living in?

One of the game’s most famous scenes involves Leon, Ashley, and another man hiding out in a cabin while wave after wave of Mexicans break in and attack. The only way to defend yourself from this onslaught is to invoke your second amendment rights and shoot them dead. The only thing that is protecting you from the illegals? WALLS and GUNS.

Disgusting. We know very little about Ashley and her Father’s politics, but she’s clearly a Republican, going by her shitty attitude and outfit. What the goals of the Mexicans? Why are they rebelling against the President? Could their goals possibly be noble? I find it difficult to believe that a group of people who refuse to use guns could be all that bad. They take care of their animals and seem to live in harmony with nature… rather different than American societies.

Maybe humanity is the real virus.

#MeToo My Masuda Story

I am coming forward in solidarity in order to pledge support for those who have accused Junichi Masuda of rape. I know it’s true, because I, alongside countless other fans and the Pokemon franchise as a whole, have been his victims.

Junichi Masuda is the man with a plan that involves a van. On days when he is supposed to be sitting inside coding each and every pokemon into Pokemon Sword and Shield he is cruising around Tokyo, looking for children dressed in Pokemon costumes to abduct. I was one of those children.

I was born in a military base to one father and one Mother. Following my Father’s decision to go AWOL, my Mother was left abandoned in Japan. She gave birth to me outside the Pokemon World Store after hanging herself from a lamp post. I fell into a bag of Trubbish dolls that had been mistaken for real trash and left outside. Immediately Junichi Masuda was there to take me in, leaving my Mother’s body to rot.

He began raping me as I was able to squeeze into the smallest possible Pikachu costume. I, and several other young Pokemon fans, spent our time either being raped or playing Pokemon while in costume. Masuda would come in every day, before, during, and after work hours in order to have his way with us in turn. After his abnormally small penis was done with us, which usually took about three seconds, he deleted all of our files on Pokemon and told us to start over.

Masuda hates the old games. He thinks they’re too difficult and has never been able to beat Brock in Gen One, even when trades with a level hundred Blastoise from another game. He keeps forgetting the type advantages and teaches his Pokémon moves that can’t actually kill the opponent.

Every female Gym Leader is designed with Masuda’s personal sexual preference in mind, and girls are brought in from all over Japan to please him. This is where the budget for Sword and Shield went. Going straight to Jeffrey Epstein to fund this operation. By the way Epstein didn’t kill himself.

It is jot enough to rape  young girls. Masuda’s tastes are far too sinister for that. He takes sexual pleasures in removing beloved features in Pokemon games. He masturbates with a hollowed out Pokemon Green cartridge while reading angry 2ch posts.

please. Listen to me. Although I am a rape victim, one of several, I don’t care what’s happened to me. I don’t care what happens to the people I’ve been imprisoned with or what happens to Masuda.

All I want is for the National Dex to make a return in Sword and Shield. Gotta catch em all!

Astral Chain: The most Problematic game of the Year

Social Justice in games is becoming a well discussed topic among intellectuals in the gaming community like Jim Sterling and Extra Credits. I, Isabelle Sunny Moon, would very much like to throw my own hat into the ring in regards to this subject with my new series. Problematics in Video games.

Although Western games in recent years have become incredibly progressive and friendly to WLGBTQP indivduals, Japanese games have becoming increasingly known for being incredibly problematic. Nintendo games in particular are a strong offender, as they still seem to think that it is acceptable to design entire games around the concept of rescuing a woman.

In a lot of ways Astral Chain is worse than even that. I could not believe the amount of problematic material that is present in this one release. There were a couple of things I complained about on twitter when the first trailer was released, and I still maintain that these are serious issues.

First, and perhaps most importantly… the oversexualized female character design. Although I applaud the developers for attempting to create a narrative that is virtually unchanged whether or not you choose a male or female character, a narrative that allows the female character to kick ass and take names, the female PC’s design is incredible problematic. That tiny waist. Those shorts. That ass that is somehow always in frame.  Those stockings.

Well okay I love the stockings and definitely am going to buy something like that for my next GF but my point still stands that real women DO NOT LOOK LIKE THIS. It’s disgusting how often she’s sexually portrayed for the benefit of male viewer. In the male path she must recover from a severe injury at once point and shows a lot of skin. You see a lot of her breats and that abnormally flat stomach. Disgusting.

Other female characters aren’t much better. Most fail the Bechdel test in that the vast majority of them revolve their lives around men. Blatant offenders are Alicia and Marie.

What should have been a story about badass female cops kicking ass and smashing the patriarchy becomes a mess when you realize that the men in the game are not the villains! Instead of arresting male criminals you are mostly fighting an otherworldly entity… which seems to like taking the form of oversexualized females.

Also there’s no lesbian dating option. I wanna be with ALL of these girls. PlatinumGames… you know what to do!

Roger Ebert returns from Grave to review Death Stranding

Death Stranding has been a momental success. Everything from it’s acting to the pacing to the story was meticulously crafted by mastermind Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima by hand. Developing a small indie game entirely Solo with no backing from Konami may have seemed daunting and even impossible, but Kojima has singlehandedly developed the greatest game of the year, and perhaps of all time until The Last of Us 2 comes out.

Death Stranding is so good, in fact, that legendary film reviewer Roger Ebert was channeled via a Fey family Spirit medium to cover the release. Ebert, who has long been critical of the idea of games being set, had this to say:

”Games will never be art. However Death Stranding is more than a game. It is a film, and as such I consider it higher than a game. I still hate it though.”

Ebert, unable to clear the game even on the Very Easy mode that was specifically designed for his use, resorted to watching all of the game’s cutscenes on YouTube.

“The film is an incomprehensible mess.” Ebert complained. “The acting is poor, the dialogue is stilted, and I don’t care about these characters.”

Upon being informed of these criticisms, Kojima simply responded that he had made such a deep, insightful storyline that many who misunderstood it’s message would hate it. He himself couldn’t understand it.

”One would have to watch many Rick and Morty episodes in order to understand Death Stranding.” One Twitter user said.

Gene Siskel, Roger’s longtime partner was unavailable for comment as he is currently burning in hell for not liking Halloween III: Season of the Witch.

Epic Games Store becomes first Ghost Store

It is no secret that the Epic Game Store has had a bit of a rocky start. Fans and critics alike have not been too fond of the new store for a number of reasons, and it is well known among gaming enthusiasts that the Epic Game Store, more commonly known as the EGS, is not exactly popular. However a recent report seems to indicate that the Epic Games Store is far more unpopular than anyone could have imagined.

Not a single purchase has ever been made on the service. No accounts have been made. For the purposes of this article we here at TheHeroes7 tried to register an account and play a round of Fortnite, but were shocked to discover that the register button was broken. The Epic Games Store is so unpopular, and so hated among its userbase, that it has become a ‘ghost’ server. A completely empty waste of space on the internet that is only notable for being the reason that certain games are not coming to Steam.

What may surprise you even more is that this is completely intentional. The EGS relishes in the negative attention and needs it to thrive and grow and remain relevant. The EGS is not a game store so much as it centerpiece for something far more sinister.

The EGS is empty, so cut off from the rest of the internet and the rest of society that it has become more than a failed game store that no one uses. It is the center of something more, something otherworldly. It very well be the first proven instance of an online store being possessed by actual fucking ghosts.

Similar to how ghost towns and abandoned amusement parks tend to attract wayward spirits, the EGS seems to have drawn in a group of spirits. Renowned paranormal investigators such as Chris Bores seem to agree that the haunting of online communities and stores is quite different than regular hauntings and possessions. Users attempting to log into and use the EGS run into a number of issues, including random flashes on the screen that replace the store with a woman with flaming blue hair and laughter blaring through your speakers… even if they’re turned down or off. This writer experienced a situation where the laughing got louder and louder, despite trying everything to turn the volume off.

We know very little about these ghosts- yet. But certain online researchers believe that online hauntings may become more and more common as online suicides and disasters become more and more common on Youtube and other platforms.

As to the Epic Game Store specifically, the EGS? No one knows who these ghosts are or what they want. We know they are all female. We know they enjoy angsty whiny music aimed at teenagers.We know the flaming hair. We know the words- EGS. Epic Games Store. But there have been reports that EGS has some kind of supernatural, otherworldly meaning. It may mean something else to these ghosts. There have been whisperings that the EGS does not stand for Epic Games Store at all, and instead stands for something completely different, with a long, sordid history online.

Ember Ghost Squad. The Ember Ghost Squad is the Epic Game Store.

Top Fortnite Players slam Toby Fox

Professional Fortnite players spend their days training to compete in grand tournaments with huge prize pools. One may think that these individuals despise each other more than anything, but that could not be further from the truth.

“It’s a competition.” Top pro Apolloyon, who was recently walked away from a tournament with several million dollars. “You can’t help but respect your competition.”

The atmosphere among the professional scene itself may be amicable and friendly, far more so than most other competitive gaming scenes. Which is why so many were amazed when Apolloyon, during his victory speech closed off with a surprising statement.

“Fuck Undertale, and fuck Toby Fox.”

Although Apolloyon was fined several thousand dollars for his statement, he was quick to reveal on twitter that he was not at all regretful of what he had done. And in fact, nearly every single player in the scene agrees with him.

“That should be a hashtag.” Ninja said, on twitter. “#FuckTobyFox”

Why exactly do Fortnite professionals have such a problem with Undertale, one of the most successful and critically accalimed games ever made?”

“He’s arrogant.” Apolloyon said, in his post tournament interview. “He and his fans always go on about how rich he is and how successful Undertale has made him, when virtually every pro in the Fortnite scene makes more than his net worth every weekend.”

Not only were other pros quick to verify his statement, several Youtubers revealed that it was also the case for them. Fortnite, in their eyes, is more popular than Undertale ever was.

Toby Fox has become notorious among Fortnite pros and their fans for his tendency to make appearances at Fortnite events and conventions. Fox will spend $45,000 to sit at a desk and sign autographs.

“We’re always asked what he’s doing there.” Apolloyon said. “And I’m just like… I don’t know.”

“He loves being the center of attention.” Another pro who wished to remain anonymous informed us. “And he’ll do anything for that attention.”

Fox has reached out to Epic numerous times  to try and implement Undertale content into Fortnite, but Epic was quick to refuse.

“Undertale is a game that deserves to stay exclusive to Steam.” Tim Sweeney stated in an interview. “We have no intentions of allowing Undertale into the Ember Ghost Squad- the Epic Games Store ever.”

Toby Fox has not been deterred. He has reached out to another famous game developer CryZenX, the man that Nintendo needs to hire for putting Ocarina of Time on Unreal Engine 4.

“We’re going to remake Undertale.” Fox said. “On Unreal Engine 4 with realistic visuals. I estimate that should sell about a billion copies. With all that money and resources, I shall acquire Epic in order to obtain what the fans want more than anything in the world. Sans in Fortnite.”

Fox also confirmed that Undertale would be coming to Super Smash Bros Ultimate, sooner rather than later.

“I talk to Sakurai about Undertale almost daily.” He said. “It will happen. Sakurai and Shigesato Itoi both love Undertale and want to see it in Smash.”

Toby Fox is undoubtedly a genius with an incredibly large penis. This gaming journalist likes to think that Fortnite pros are simply upset that Toby Fox upstages them at their own events.

#FuckTobyFox? More like… #IFuckTobyFox

 

 

 

The hopes and dreams of Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Travis will Strike Again.

Rain, Sun, and Flower

If you need a summary of the story: https://pastebin.com/VyS08R7M

Travis Strikes Again is Suda’s most personal game yet. Showing his most vulnerable side since the original Silver Case, Suda is throwing all his cards into this one game that happens at a crossroad for the company. Grasshopper Manufacture have been considerably downsized down to 25 employees, they have moved offices away from Gung-Ho, their parent company, hinting at a split between both of them, and we know of at least Hideyuki Shin (director of Killer is Dead and Let it Die) leaving the company behind.

But this game is also the return of Suda51 at the directorial chair, something many fans wanted for a decade. It is also their first attempt at self-publishing since their inception. All of this points to Suda tidying up its business in order to go back to the right track. It is even more important…

View original post 3,757 more words

Industry Insider reveals that everyone in Overwatch is gay

Tracer made headlines two years ago when she was revealed as the first ever lesbian video game character to be featured in a video game. History has repeated itself with the recent revelation that Soldier 76 has had a relationship with another man, And if recent insider information from notable video game insider Liam Robertson is any indication, every single playable character in Overwatch is gay.

“Blizzard has done more than simply tack on a sexuality to a pre-existing character.” Robertson revealed to us. “It was the developers’ intent from the very beginning to be the first major AAA release with an entirely LGBT cast.”

Details are still scarce on the specifics, but Robertson has confirmed that new tie in comics will elaborate more on the cast and their colorful history with partners. It was also confirmed to us that iconic franchises like Diablo and Warcraft will receive much more LGBT representation than they did in the past.

“Diablo Immortal very well be the first time that an openly gay character goes up against an equally gay villain. The possibilities are endless!”

Blizzard is well on its way to becoming the most progressive video game company out there. They certainly have my, and my partners, support.

 

Disney has acquired Playstation from Sony in historic buy out

Gaming enthusiasts the world over, rejoice. A new age is dawning on the gaming scene. A new player has entered the game, but not quite in the way you may expect.

After a heavy negotiation period of several years, Disney has acquired the rights to the Playstation platform from Sony. This deal includes the ownership of the platform itself, all of the Sony owned trademarks related to it, all of the developers that are owned by Sony, and every single game they have ever produced are now owned by the Walt Disney company. Star Wars is now Playstation exclusive. Beloved characters like Aloy can now be considered part of the Disney Princess line, and Mickey Mouse is now considered a major video game icon. Bigger than Mario ever was.

“The time has come for us to control the video game market ourselves.” Disney executives announced after the purchase was confirmed to the public. “For too long have we ignored the potential of this wonderful medium.”

The announcement may come as a bit of a surprise to some Playstation fans, who were under the impression that Sony would never sell one of their iconic brands this way. But they needn’t worry. Disney already has very clear plans for the future of all of Playstation’s beloved IPs.

“Beloved video game icons like Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn deserve will continue to receive new installments in their franchises.” Disney told us. “And of course we are looking to expand into new IPs and franchises.”

Disney has been interested in entering the video game market since the 90’s. The company, every year without fail, has been trying to acquire Nintendo since 1990.

“As time as gone on, we have slowly begun to realize that Playstation is a far larger and more culturally relevant platform than Nintendo ever was.” Disney told us. “Which led to the shift in direction.”

The buy out may not come as a surprise to some people. The new policy against female exploitation in games was due entirely to the incoming Disney buyout.

“Games are something that everyone should enjoy. There is no room for hate on our platform.”

Another year goes by, and the Walt Disney company continues to get bigger.