Take Two: “If Switch is successful, we will support it selectively.”

For those of you who don’t speak bullshit, this basically just means decade old ports.

During the Wii U years, detractors managed to justify the lack of real third party support as being due to the hardware. “It’s hard to develop for, the gimmicks are annoying, it’s underpowered, it’s not selling enough…”

All this talk was meant to slide the blame to Nintendo for the issue. But as I said then, and maintain today, Nintendo is not and never has been the problem.

The Switch has been a massive success right out of the gate and will continue to do well for the foreseeable future. The future looks very bright for this platform but we still…. STILL… see third parties refusing to truly support it.

GTAV for Switch should have been announced by now. RDR2 should have a Switch version in development. Older games should be ported over as well.

But instead of that we get… nothing. Nothing at all. All we get are vague promises that ‘maybe’ we’ll get something if the Switch is successful enough.

Meanwhile they continue to support Xbox One, a console that has quite possibly destroyed Microsoft’s chance of ever being able to compete in the industry again. As long as it’s not a Nintendo console, they’ll support it to it’s grave.

Advertisements

The Joy of a well made remake

Although I have not quite gotten through all of Fire Emblem Echoes, I can safely say that the game is more than just well done. It’s stellar. It is now quite possibly my third favorite FE release, behind only POR and Awakening. I cannot sing this game’s praises enough.

I do not want to get into specifics until my more thorough review, but there is one thing about this release that I think should be praised above all others.

Namely, this is how a remake SHOULD be handled. Nintendo somehow took a very unpopular FE release and made something interesting out of it. It’s odd to me that people are ignoring how this release was handled, especially since the looming disaster that is Final Fantasy VII R is gl(still) on the way.

Let’s conpare these two games in particular, shall we?

Echoes was confirmed about a year after Fates launched. Right out of the gate, it addressed what the game was, that it was coming out in a little under four months, and that a Fire Emblem Switch was in development.

Final Fantasy VII R was announced to roaring fanfare at E3 2015. Recently, right before E3 2017, Square confirmed it would be out within the next three years.

This in spite of the fact that the game is episodic to speed up development.

And I haven’t even addressed the radical gameplay changes that will alienate any true FFVII fans.

Echoes was well received due to adding new, beloved features while staying true to the original release. And even if you aren’t interested in playing the game due to it’s age, at least you have a new FE to look forward to next year.

We are very likely going to get FE Switch in our hands before FFVII R even has a release date. That’s how dire the situation has gotten in the past ten years. I know people love to pretend that FFXV was a success, but it clearly wasn’t. Much like MGSV, Square burned so many bridges and cut so many corners to release the game that they simply have nowhere to take the series next. It is all going to go downhill from here, I assure you.

The Fire Emblem team, on the other hand,  is pumping out great games left and right. And not just Fire Emblem releases Codename S.T.E.A.M was great. I’m sure they have other great games on the way as well.

Square, like all of Playstation’s pet third parties, have nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

The staggered release schedule of Mario/Rabbids rumors

I’m sure there’s a lot of people going around pretending as if Emily Rogers and Laura Kate Dale have been ‘vindicated’ by the possibility of the Rabbids crossover existing. That because this game might be real, that they should be taken seriously as industry insiders.

In reality, I maintain that these people are hacks with no real credibility. In my opinion, the incorrect information they FAR outweighs that which they get right, which is more often than not lucky guesses.

But I think this whole Mario/Rabbids thing shows a shift in strategy from these people: They are staggering the information they do have in a way that keeps people interested in what little information they have. And they information that Rogers shared before the ‘reveal’ gives the illusion that she knows more than she’s letting on.

Take, for example, the other pictures in the leak that Nintendo World Report posted earlier today.

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/44682/new-details-about-mario–rabbids-kingom-battle-confirmed-for-switch

These aren’t just random assets: It seems as if these images were put together in a sort of presentation, possibly for executives.

So here’s my question: Why weren’t these images made readily available back when they were first leaked?

We are very well aware at this point that sites like Kotaku, Gamexplain, and Playeressence all received the documents from a source they refused to name. Kotaku even came out and said the source requested that the images NOT BE POSTED.

Kotaku is not supposed to share the Rabbids image.JPG

I have a very simple question: Why?

So they can repackage and sell the same information to you, again, this time with more things to back them up. “It supports our statements, so it must be true! We must be reliable, guys!”

The more I look at the images, the more convinced I am that it can’t possibly be real. The numerous spelling errors, odd phrasing of certain ideas, and not giving an entirely through description of what the game is or how it works strikes me as odd. Who were these images made for? And if the game is so close to launch… why is there still no sign of it? Games like Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Fire Emblem Switch have been announced already, despite launching much later.

My assumption, at this stage, is that it is a hoax. In this day and age it’s all too easy to fabricate images like this. Remember the Rayman being Smash leak? There are countless other examples of things like that happening, and I think it’s safe to say that the people hyping up the information as being true (Namely Liam Robertson, Emily Rogers, Laura Kate Dale, and all their affiliates) have every reason to lie to you about what is going behind the scenes when it comes to rumors and how they can be.

Fire Emblem Echoes is everything I wanted Fates to be

Out of all the games that came out in 2016, by far the one I was most disappointed in was Fire Emblem Fates.

This may come as a surprise to some people, especially those who believe that I blindly praise every Nintendo title that comes out, but I am not a blind fanboy. I take what I do on this blog and other outlets very seriously and always give my sincere opinion.

I genuinely LOVED Color Splash, Star Fox Zero, and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. I could not stand Fates, and to this day I have only completed a single path on it.

When Fates was first announced, to say that I had high hopes for it would be an understatement. I consider Awakening to be one of the best games on 3DS and one of my personal favorite games ever. Fates seemed to be more of the same with an interesting new premise and improvements to the combat. What could go wrong?

Something no fan could have seen coming: The in house writers outsourcing talent and bringing someone outside on board.

Let it be known that although I am aware that there are critics out there who dismiss Fire Emblem stories as being trite and cliche, I personally adore them. I feel as if the games bring a unique flavor to this kind of story, one that can’t get enough of. A big part of that is due to the characters, and how each and every one of them has a unique design and personality. You end up caring about all of your units and what’s going on in their lives.

Fates’ biggest problem, in my mind, is that it is impossible to take the characters and overarching conflict all that seriously. As I understand it, why this is depends on what version of the game you’re playing. I only played Birthright, so forgive me if I end up referring primarily to that version to explain what’s wrong with Fates’ plot.

And this brings us to our first major problem with Fate’s narrative, and quite possibly the most baffling design decision I’ve seen in my life. The decision to split the games into two different version, with the opposing path as DLC.

This was an ATROCIOUS idea and should have been shot down from the start. This runs directly against the major theme of the game. The idea that you’re ‘making a choice’ on who to support. In reality, you made your choice before you ever even played the game.

And that leads us to the problem with the tutorial. You are rushed through a tutorial where you are introduced to a number of characters that you don’t know anything about before you are railroaded into supporting your chosen side.

Birthright’s problem, I think, is that it absolutely BOTCHES the idea of siding with your family. You are given no real reason to turn your back on your family in Nohr, and in fact later revelations (See what I did there?) Elaborate that the entire thing is pointless. You aren’t related to the Hoshido royal family at all. I would know… I married Hinoka.

Hinoka

The thighs of a goddess. 

It’s bizarre how you travel from place to place, and how little any of it means in the long run. Meeting Leo again later on is barely impactful. You never really got to know him. Saving Tamaki from being possessed doesn’t really mean anything in this campaign (From what I understand he’s the final boss in Conquest in something… I really should play through it someday) You aren’t given a reason to care about Xander dying. Same with Elise. The only thing I found even remotely amusing about her in this is that she sells flowers in a city where they can’t grow… exactly like Aeris.

 

Aeris dies.jpg

Still a better death scene than anything in Fates

And don’t even get me started on Camilla, who I find to be incredibly creepy.  I’m not sure what is with the FE team and putting in these psycho broads into their games, but I’m sick of it.

At the very least, Faye in Echoes isn’t a main protagonist and at LEAST the game seems to acknowledge she’s creepy.

So speaking of Echoes… how does Echoes plot hold up against it?

Honestly? It may be the best Fire Emblem plot thus far. I found myself, almost right out of the gate, absolutely enraptured in the plot and characters. Every character here, even the aforementioned Faye, has tons of character and things to say. It feels like, to me, these characters have a history. A sense of belonging in the world. They have goals, interests, they talk about their pasts, why they’re fighting in the army. Right from the get go I felt significantly more engaged with the plot and characters than I ever did with Fates.

So what changed?

The writer they outsourced Fates too didn’t return. That’s it. He was the reason all the characters are so bland in Fates. He’s the reason the overall plot is incoherent and just plain offensive in some ways (I’m thinking specifically of the Dragon Ball Z time chamber where you send little babies to grow up and fight your war for you. That might be the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in any game, ever)

I was amazed when I looked up the design details for Fates and found that the characters I genuinely liked, specifically Oboro and Hinoka, were NOT in the original script and were added by the real development team. It really put the whole situation into perspective for me. Fates, as a game, is perfectly fine. It does feature several gameplay improvements over Awakening and is probably still worth a play if you’ve played Awakening and Echoes to death.

HOWEVER. It also fails as a story. It fails to make the conflict and situation interesting, and in some ways actively insults the player with nonsensical asspulls. I think that, overall, is it’s greatest weakness. It certainly isn’t a bad game. Really, the more I compare this game to some of the game that win awards on other consoles I remember just why I am a Nintendo fan.

But that also doesn’t mean that the game should be excused for it’s downright terrible elements. I don’t feel as if this game got nearly enough flak for what it did, especially since games like Star Fox Zero and Federation Force were slammed for no real reason at all.

Fates, to me, was one of the biggest disappointments of 2016. Echoes is one of the highlights of 2017.

Xenoblade Chronicles: It’s a mess

I have always been completely baffled by Xenoblade’s reputation as one of the best games on Wii. It always felt like an out of place title compared to the other great games in that library. Unlike a lot of other games on the Wii, it was welcomed with open arms by the very same people who shunned great games like Skyward Sword and The Last Story.

Of course, that means Xenoblade is a terrible game. But just why is it so terrible?

The gameplay itself is not that impressive. Not at all.

Xenoblade, rather like Warriors games, seems to have this idea that quantity is much more important than quality. So what if the environments are really stale and boring to explore? As long as there’s a lot of inane quests to fulfill and monsters to fight, that will keep people invested.

This tactic may have worked (And it did in the Wii U sequel) but not here. Not in Xenoblade. The problems with Xenoblade overall can be divided into two categories.

The problems with combat

And the problems with exploration.

Both of these aspects of the game were botched horribly. Please note that I’m focusing on what’s wrong with the game itself here. The story, although abysmal in it’s own right, deserves it’s own article.

Combat in Xenoblade is simply not fun. There is no real strategy to how you go about your battles, despite the game’s attempts to come off as not  complicated than it really is.

Exploring in Xenoblade is not fun. There is no value to do so unless you’re out questing, which is not rewarding enough to bother with. None of the quests in this game are particularly interesting, and many are mere wastes of time.

It’s amazing to me that a game with such flaws as this can have such a following. I strongly suspect the game’s following is primarily due to how hard it was to find in NA,  not with anything the game itself did for people.

Xenoblade is a lousy, hackneyed RPG that has no business being as well regarded as it is.

 

 

 

 

Never use Reddit

One of the things I was pleasantly surprised to find after I started this blog was that my readers were more than willing to share my content with other people. I have been very pleased with my progress so far in my quest to establish just how toxic the online gaming community can be towards Nintendo, and I see no reason to ever stop or reconsider my actions.

However, I have recently become aware that someone has done something I would never even think of doing. Something so vile and evil that even I would not dare consider it. This person posted certain articles of mine on Reddit.

This isn’t something I have talked about on this blog because it isn’t relevant to the overall reason it exists, but I despise Reddit as a platform for any sort of discussion, whether it be gaming, politics, or otherwise. I feel it’s management, staff, userbase, and general layout to be disgusting and borderline unusable. You will NEVER have a good discussion about anything on Reddit.

I understand I’ve been mostly harsh towards 4chan users in the past, but that is because I actually use 4chan. Reddit, in my mind, is not a viable platform for any kind of discussion due to how the upvote system works. Instead of allowing the ideas themselves to be considered, users write off controversial posts while praising popular ones.

I consider Reddit to be up and away the most worthless avenue of discussion online and not worth my or anyone else’s time. Anyone who uses the site, ESPECIALLY when it comes to discussing Nintendo products or gaming in general is setting themselves up to be drowned out by the screeching of fanboy drones. I think the person who shared my content is well aware of this fact. He was just some guy who wanted to share my content, but now Reddit seems convinced that he is me and writes off everything he posts because of that.

 

The Fan Game Fiasco

It has becoming increasingly apparent that the gaming community is intent on demonizing Nintendo for partaking in industry standard practices. Whether it is making changes to games during the localization process or taking down derivative fan content, Nintendo consistently gets slammed for perceived offenses against their fans while other companies get away with a lot.

As an example, Tokyo Mirage Sessions localization changes got a log more coverage and attention online than Persona 5’s, despite how much more well established of a brand Persona is. It’s very interesting to see just how many examples of this weird kind of double standards are out there. We have been consistently seeing companies, particularly western ones, get away with a lot worse than with what Nintendo has ever done. And in nearly all cases, particularly this recent fiasco regarding their policy towards fan games, Nintendo is doing nothing wrong.

They are well within their right, legally, to shut down projects like this if they feel the need to do so. I don’t think anyone is disputing this fact. No no no, the narrative now is that they SHOULDN’T because it creates ill will with the fans.

In fact, they should be supporting the really good ones, like AM2R, with official releases!

This idea probably started with Sonic Mania being revealed around the same time, but let it be known that these situations are not the same. Sonic Mania, although it is being worked on by fans, is an official release. AM2R was made with Nintendo’s permission or involvement.

“Then why doesn’t Nintendo make it official and sell it?”

It would confuse the fans. The real ones who actually play Metroid games. Causing confusion surrounding that sort of thing could seriously hurt the brand. In fact, it has. One of the reasons I grew to loathe AM2R so much is that it took away attention from the real Metroid game that released that same month, Federation Force. Nintendo, I’m sure, has noticed how people are rallying behind fan games as being the ‘real’ entries to fan favorite franchises and has reacted as they should. In taking them all down.

I know people have been crying about how NINTENDO WILL REGRET THIS DECISION and that the GAME WILL LIVE ON, but in reality it’s already been forgotten. It really was only just a rallying point for Pretendos to gather around and try and pretend that Nintendo was out of touch with what their audience wants.

The Pretendos, specifically those who cry about Metroid, are NOT Nintendo’s audience. Nintendo’s audience actually buys, plays, and enjoys the games they put out. Not whine and cry online about how certain franchises don’t get as many releases as others.