Massively Multiplayer: Gaming In The New Millennium

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by RySenkari, Aug 11, 2016.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Summer 2012 (Part 2) - Argonaut's Passion Projects

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Quintessence

    Quintessence is a rail shooter developed by Argonaut and published by Nintendo for the Connect handheld. Though it has a few gameplay similarities with Star Fox, it has a much-more arcadey feel to it, with a running score counter and much faster paced action. The game itself takes some cues from bullet hell titles, and is significantly more difficult than the classic Star Fox games, but isn't quite as difficult as the typical bullet hell shooter would be, and has an "easy to learn, hard to master" style that sucks players in and makes them want to get better at the game. It's also much lighter on plot than the Star Fox series, with only a sort of basic storyline surrounding its gameplay. The storyline casts the player as space fighter pilot Raid Conlan, an elite starfighter who is tasked with flying the experimental Five-Ship, a ship with the power to channel four different elemental energy beams and the capability to create a fifth beam of pure aether, which is charged up in battle and can be used to deal devastating damage to foes. Raid doesn't have any wingmen, per se, though he sometimes flies alongside pilots in the same armada who can help him out a bit (though most of the time, he ends up helping them out). With the ability to fire four different types of elemental bursts, it adds a significant degree of strategy, as there are ten different possible combinations, and three different types of projectiles, making for up to 42 different basic weapons, not including the Aether Beam, which adds more combo possibilities. Enemies have their own different elemental weaknesses and strengths, and the player is tasked with using their elemental beams that have the best effect on enemies. It's possible to get by with the basic fire/wind/water/earth beams, using Aether here and there when one's charge is built up, but getting the best scores in battle requires the use of several different combinations of attacks depending on the kinds of enemies being faced. Combinations can include wind/fire/cutter, which fires a devastating and quick pulse of blazing energy, or water/earth/scatter, which can be used to slow large groups of enemies. Water/fire/scatter can create a powerful cloud of acidic steam, while earth/wind/cutter can send spikes of hard light into enemies directly. Experimentation and finding what works best is the name of the game, with the Aether weapon able to be used against large groups of enemies or against bosses to deal huge damage and really rack up combo points. In addition to firing at enemies, the game also has destructible environments, such as enemy ships, asteroids, and forcefields that can be blasted through or turned against enemies. Practically everything the player does can score points, and triggering combos of cascading damage against tough enemies can score lots of points, with players challenged to improve their score every time they go through a level. The game has 18 levels in all, divided into three groups of six, though, like Starfox, it's possible to go from an easy track to a hard one depending on what the player accomplishes during a certain level. The player can choose between three levels to start from (unlike in Starfox, which usually has a default level, with one level being the hardest and one being the easiest, but it's not recommended for beginning players to start right on the hard level even though it makes it easier to remain on the hard track. Each level has a boss enemy, with some levels having multiple boss enemies, and it's possible for players to encounter "secret" boss enemies that only show up if certain conditions are met. Levels are somewhat short, a bit short than typical Starfox levels, though they're also dense with hazards and things to do, so they do seem a bit longer than they really are. The average player can usually finish up a six level Quintessence session in 15-20 minutes depending on skill level, so it is possible to see the entire game in an hour (provided one doesn't die in their first playthrough, which is a difficult thing to accomplish). The game features absolutely stunning graphics for a Connect game, with incredibly detailed enemies and environments, and plenty happening on screen, with an incredible amount of detail in the worlds and the space vessels seen by the player. There's voice acting, including from Raid himself as well as his friends and foes, though the dialogue is much more serious than in the typical Starfox game. As mentioned before, the game's plot is fairly simple, with Raid Conlon as a mostly lone starfighter going up against a powerful invading army. The villain is more serious and three-dimensional than Andross from the Starfox series, and serves as a sort of foil to raid: a highly decorated pilot turned emperor who seeks peace through overwhelming force, and wants to gain the power of aether to force everyone to bend to his will. To this end, he commands a massive army and seeks to take Raid's Five-Ship in order to drain its mysterious power. In the end, the villain engages Raid in a one-on-one ship fight, followed by deploying a space station/robot in an attempt to destroy him with overwhelming firepower. In the end, Raid defeats the villain, restoring peace to the galaxy, though he can't help but wonder how things might have turned out if the villain hadn't become a conqueror.

    Quintessence is released in August 2012 as one of the year's biggest Connect exclusives. It's praised for its gameplay and graphics, but criticized for its relatively short length, especially as a fully priced Connect title. Even with its incredible replay value, some fans and critics feel cheated at the idea of such a short game. For the most part however, reviews are excellent, and sales are quite good as well thanks to hype beforehand and word of mouth after. It feels like the Starfox gameplay formula perfected, and those who loved Starfox but hated the storyline/characters feel quite vindicated by Quintessence. It's considered a major success for Argonaut, who, while not creating games at the pace they used to, is still considered one of Nintendo's most important second parties.

    -

    Fans waiting for a new title in the Zeppelin Age series, however, might have to wait. According to Argonaut's lead developer Dylan Cuthbert, the studio is putting 100 percent of its efforts into the next Squad Four game, expected to be a title for Nintendo's next generation console.

    "I can't confirm anything about the platform, only that it'll be coming to Nintendo," Cuthbert told us. "Every single person at Argonaut is working on the game, which we expect to be our biggest ever and something that will take the series in an entirely new direction."

    We pressed Cuthbert for more information, but he responded to most of our queries with 'no comment', and we could only get a few tantalizingly short answers from him. Most notably, we learned that the new Squad Four game will feature significantly improved fighting animation from previous games in the series, both in gameplay and in cutscenes.

    "We've got an entirely new team working on fight animations, and they've been working on the game already for about three years. The new Squad Four will feature unprecedented visuals, and the most realistically animated characters ever put on a console."

    We've been teased for the past few months that Squad Four's sixth console game will feature incredible fight animation, and we're taking that to mean that the series might continue the hack and slash direction that Protectors took the series in. However, we asked Cuthbert about Protectors, and his answer gave us a bit of doubt about our hypothesis.

    "You know, Protectors wasn't for everyone. It was a very good game, and it did quite well, but when we asked fans what their favorite game in the series is, Protectors didn't come up too often."

    Instead, Rebellion was said to be the most popular installment of the series amongst fans, and it's not even close. Second place was Eclipse, and third, close behind Eclipse, was Upheaval, the fourth installment of the series that launched on the Nintendo Wave and had a good reception, but was said to not have been enough of a progression from Rebellion. Cuthbert mentioned that while he's not dwelling too much on fan criticisms and that the game's direction will be driven primarily by the developers, he did mention that he's listened to fan criticisms of the series for the past two decades and that he takes their input into account for each new Squad Four the team makes.

    "We are listening," said Cuthbert. "We might not take all the fans' advice, or even most of it, but we do try to learn from our mistakes."

    The sixth Squad Four game has year to be formally announced, but with Nintendo set to announce the Sapphire's successor likely before the end of the year, a Squad Four-related announcement could be forthcoming.

    -from an article on NintendoLifeUK, posted on August 23, 2012
     
    Narissa, Bookmark1995, Kalvan and 9 others like this.
  2. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Your weapon system for quintessence is exactly what could work for another version of star fox I'm writing up.
     
    Nivek likes this.
  3. Threadmarks: A Look At Collectible Card Games

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Long Running Card Game Featuring Sony Game Characters To End With September's "Final Clash" Expansion

    Sony's Game Masters, which was at one point the third most popular collectible card game in the world behind only Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, will be ceasing production after thirteen years, with its final expansion set to be released in the fall. The card game, which featured characters from more than 30 different video game franchises battling it out with one another across 45 different expansions, will be ending with the "Final Clash" expansion, a sort of "all star" set featuring more than 200 different cards. Sony's game was a slower paced affair than rival game Magic, with less powerful cards, at least initially, a sort of response to the powerful Magic sets that dominated that particular game in early 1999 when Game Masters launched. Later on, however, Sony quickened the pace of the game with more powerful cards, something that split the player base between people who enjoyed the new cards and people who believed them to be far too game-breaking. Sony's game eventually slipped out of the top three in the mid 2000s thanks to the popularity of games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Death Diplomacy, both of which surpassed Game Masters in overall player popularity, but remained quite popular even until the recession at the end of the decade, when sales slipped ultimately below the point of profitability. It was thought that popular Sony titles such as Mystic would bring more people back into the fold, and last year's "Horizon" expansion, featuring cards based on the hit game Tales Of The Seven Seas: Horizon sold more cards than any other set in the past five years, but it wasn't quite enough to save the beleaguered game. Sony will be holding a series of tournaments and events during the latter half of the year as a sort of send-off to its hit trading card game, and more events are expected to be held in the coming years by independent gaming organizations, but Sony itself will cease support for Game Masters at the end of the year. Hasbro expressed interest in buying the rights to the card game, where it would be published by their subsidiary Wizards Of The Coast, but negotiations seemingly fell through and the game's demise is now imminent. Game Masters retains a fairly large fan community, and some of the most popular and powerful cards, including "Victoria, Bride Of The Seven Seas" from 2000's "Legacy" expansion, "Blinding Tesseract" from 2006's "Dimensional Journey" expansion, and "Lake, Future's Guardian" from 2008's "Mystic" expansion command high prices in good condition, with a BGS 10 2000 Comic-Con exclusive premium foil of "Victoria, Bride Of The Seven Seas" signed by Olivia D'Abo (the character's voice actress at the time) recently selling for $9,500 on Ebay. The end of Game Masters has left the shrinking CCG market with one less major game, though upstart card games, particularly those published in Korea, are starting to make increasing headways in the market even with Magic and Pokemon both doing stronger than ever.

    -from an August 22, 2012 article on Kotaku

    -

    List Of Magic: The Gathering Expansions From 2003 Onward (Before 2003, all expansions were the same as OTL, with minor butterfly differences regarding individual cards and the game's overall storyline. Also, core sets and special sets also happened, but aren't listed, this list only covers the main storyline sets.)

    Rise Of Tezugame- Fall 2003
    Fall Of Tezugame- Winter 2004
    Rebirth Of Tezugame- Spring 2004
    (The Japanese-themed set happens one year earlier than OTL, and rather than being called Kamigawa, it's called Tezugame. It's far stronger than OTL's Kamigawa set, analogous to Mirrodin in terms of overall strength, but with an Arcane theme rather than an Artifacts theme. This is also the set to introduce equipment and the new card frame ITTL.)

    Blacksea- Fall 2004
    Blacksea Horizon- Winter 2005
    Abyss- Spring 2005
    (A pirate-themed series focused on legendary creatures with a minor artifact focus, this set combines a pirate theme with an attempt to do a sort of modern Legends/Antiquities-style series. It's Ixalan, but without the dinosaurs and tribal themes, and takes place on a waterworld plane featuring a few islands scattered here and there.)

    Ravnica: City Of Guilds- Fall 2005
    Guildpact- Winter 2006
    Dissension- Spring 2006
    (Ravnica still happens as IOTL, and has similar themes to OTL's set, including a focus on color combinations, while introducing the shocklands for the first time. The overall plot has some significant differences, but gameplay-wise this is mostly the same.)
    Coldsnap- Summer 2006
    (We also get the Coldsnap set, as OTL.)

    Time Spiral- Fall 2006
    Alterplane- Winter 2007
    Future Sight- Spring 2007
    (Another series of sets that's mostly the same as OTL, though Planar Chaos has a different name ITTL. Another difference from OTL is that more of TTL Future Sight's ideas eventually filter down into future sets, including the card frame, and we get our very first planeswalker cards in the set as well.)

    Lorwyn- Fall 2007
    Morningtide- Winter 2008
    Shadowmoor- Spring 2008
    Eventide- Summer 2008
    (The third consecutive series of OTL sets that also appear IOTL, though they're significantly different from OTL's sets and are themed much similarly to OTL's Throne Of Eldraine, with human characters and more of an emphasis on fairytales. Indeed, Lorwyn is the fairytale set, while Shadowmoor is the fable set, drawing a stark contrast between the two.)

    Karthul- Fall 2008
    The Wild- January 2009
    The Balance- Spring 2009
    (This series takes place on the plane of Karthul, the site of an ancient civilization which originally housed great technology. This technology has been given a life of its own, but amidst the ruins grows a wilderness full of incredible creatures, and in the war between the survivors of Karthul and the creatures of the wilds, the plane is reborn. This is mostly a creature-centric block, and the setting is fairly popular.)

    Innistrad- Fall 2009
    Sins Of The Archons- Winter 2010
    Innistrad Redeemed- Spring 2010
    (Innistrad appears two years earlier than it did IOTL, and is similarly themed, though the storyline itself focuses even more heavily on Liliana Vess, and casts her as a rebel against the dark mage rulers of Innistrad, the Archons. The character of Avacyn doesn't exist ITTL, but Innistrad is still saved by angelic forces at the end of the storyline.)

    Xanarica- Fall 2010
    Corruption- January 2011
    New Phyrexia- Spring 2011
    (With no Mirrodin ITTL, but the game's developers wanting to bring back Phyrexia, a more tragic tale is told: a tale of Xanarica, a plane where even the young can learn powerful magic, but a plane that also grows quite arrogant, allowing for Phyrexian corruption to take hold. This plane has a lot of similarities with Atlantis, or with Zeal in Chrono Trigger. The first part of the story introduces beloved characters, most of whom suffer horrific fates, though a few survive and at least one would become a longtime fan favorite hero.)

    Return To Ravnica- Fall 2011
    Guildwar- January 2012
    Heroes Of Ravnica- Spring 2012
    (Ravnica is revisited a year earlier than OTL, and this storyline has the ten guilds engaging in an all-out war, with numerous heroic planeswalkers caught in the middle. This is another legendary creature-themed set, introducing some new mechanics and is generally more powerful/popular than OTL's Return To Ravnica set.)

    Zendikar- Fall 2012
    Discovery- January 2013
    Beyond The Sky- Spring 2013
    (With no Eldrazi in TTL's Magic: The Gathering, the original Zendikar set, which also debuts three years later than OTL's, is more of a straight-up adventure themed set, though at the end of the story for this block, something is discovered that will have huge implications down the road.)

    -

    In addition, the Zendikar set will introduce what Wizards of the Coast has deemed "masterpieces", reprinted premium foil versions of classic Magic: The Gathering cards which will be inserted into random packs at a rate of about 1 in 200, or about one in every six booster boxes. The first set of masterpieces, called Expeditions, will include classic land cards from a wide variety of sets, and for the first time ever, will re-introduce "reserved list" cards into regular booster packs.

    This is only possible because of a "premium foil loophole" that Wizards of the Coast has maintained as an exception to their policy of not reprinting cards that have been placed on the reserved list. This list includes some of the most famous and valuable cards in the history of the game, including Black Lotus, the Moxes, Library of Alexandria, and Juzam Djinn. The premium foil loophole allows Wizards to reprint reserved list cards as foil judge promos (given as rewards to long-time tournament judges) or recently in their From The Vault premium collector's series, which started including Reserved List cards in 2009 and has included them in the last four sets, including 2012's From The Vault: Realms, which included the Reserved List cards Rainbow Vale, Serra's Sanctum, and Tolarian Academy. In 2010, Wizards of the Coast invited a small number of longtime players and collectors to a special forum in which the future of the reserved list was discussed, and as a result, Wizards re-affirmed the status quo, continuing to maintain that reserved list cards would not be reprinted, but keeping the premium foil loophole open. As a result, the special Masterpiece series will include (among other non-reserved cards) a total of 24 Reserved List lands, including the aforementioned Rainbow Vale, Serra's Sanctum, and Tolarian Academy, along with cards such as Gaea's Cradle, City Of Traitors, and the ten original dual lands, which haven't been reprinted since Revised. The cards will all feature brand new art, distinguishing them from the originals. Lands such as Library Of Alexandria, Bazaar of Baghdad, and Mishra's Workshop have not been reprinted in the new series, indicating that Wizards intends to maintain the collector's value of the 'best of the best' cards in Magic's history, at least for now.

    In a statement released alongside the Zendikar Expeditions announcement, creative director Mark Rosewater said: "We intend to keep the promise of the reserved list, but the premium foil loophole is something that has always existed alongside the list, and allows us to reprint these beloved cards in limited quantities that will give new players the chance to experience some of the most storied cards in Magic's history while also maintaining the collectability of the cards for longtime players who have held onto the originals."

    It's expected that Wizards will continue the series with future expansions, introducing different types of cards such as enchantments and creatures to the series.

    -from an article on CCGMasters.net, posted on September 14, 2012

    -

    The lines between video games and collectible card games are increasingly blurring, and it's not just because of games like Pokemon (owned by Nintendo) and Yu-Gi-Oh (owned by Konami). Companies are developing digital card games with an eye toward making them as fun, addictive, and profitable as the aforementioned physical card games, and are having increasing success in doing so. The growing mobile gaming platform is uniquely geared toward card games, with their touch screen interfaces and the ability for players to easily dip into and out of a game. One such game is Beta Bits, published by indie gaming company Heartfire. Beta Bits is a game in which players collect cards featuring tiny computer code creatures that can then hack into the opponent's creatures by using their own abilities and ability cards played alongside them. It's fast and it's exciting, with single turns sometimes involving multiple board wipes as creatures and cards are played back and forth in rapid fashion. Beta Bits, with a great deal of random gameplay, is a game that would be almost impossible to play physically, as it would require the game to stop for players to roll multiple simultaneous dice. In a digital format, the computer can do all the rolling, and it's quite easy for what would take human players minutes to figure out to take only seconds on the screen. Another fun indie digital card game is Gladiola, a fantasy-themed card game in which flower fairies clash above a colorful battlefield. Don't let the cutesy exterior fool you: Gladiola is highly complex, with deep strategy and multiple phases per turn, rivaling Magic: The Gathering in its complexity. It's a bit hard to learn, but the game's tutorial makes it a lot easier, and once you've got the rules down, you'll be creating flower fairies with the best of them. Gladiola is a South Korean game that's only recently come to the West, but it's started to gain somewhat of a foothold here. It's not just indie companies making these types of games: larger companies are now starting to get into the business of digital card games as well, with Sega launching a pair of them for the iOS platform, including a card game based on its popular Shining Force series. These games have fairly simple rules, and are free to play, but expansion packs do cost money, and building a great deck costs slightly more. Sega's card games are relatively cheap when compared with physical games like Magic and Pokemon, but it's still a growing sign of the encroachment of pay services into mobile titles, and might be a turn-off to more cash strapped players. So far, neither of Sega's games have caught on in the same way that the indie games have, but if these larger companies see these games as a way to make more money from existing properties, it's likely they'll continue to push digital card games well into the future. Wizards Of The Coast has made millions off its popular Magic Online, a PC version of its popular physical card game, and companies both large and small are developing games of their own. Will one of them become as big in the digital realm as Magic has been in the physical? So far, none have come close, but it seems like only a matter of time before a digital card game emerges as a rival to the original champion.

    -from an article on Games Over Matter, posted on August 1, 2012
     
    scretchy, Narissa, GJohn902 and 9 others like this.
  4. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    A shining force card game? I like it. It allows Valkyria Chronicles to take center stage as Sega's answer to Fire Emblem and (technically) Fanicom Wars.
     
    Nivek likes this.
  5. woweed New Hippie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    Hm. You know, I still wonder what tabletop games look like ITTL..
     
  6. Threadmarks: Summer 2012 (Part 3) - Capcom, Still In Apple's Corner

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Iron Combatant

    Iron Combatant is an action/mecha game and a full reboot of the original series, featuring a brand new protagonist but continuing the themes and gameplay of the originals. The game puts the player inside a combat exoskeleton and has them battling hordes of foes to save the world from calamity. The rebooted Iron Combatant ditches the apocalyptic setting of previous games in favor of a sci-fi/futuristic game taking place in Japan in the mid-21st century, and ditches iconic protagonist Layla (who died at the end of the original games) in favor of a new protagonist, a man named Gunn Storm who has been chosen to lead a squadron of mech-enhanced soldiers called "Iron Combatants" as they wage war against an army of rogue AIs led by a combat computer that has turned against humanity. This computer, named Sentinel, was originally programmed to protect humanity, but thanks to the actions of a traitorous scientist, Sentinel has become the ultimate enemy and seeks humanity's extermination. The Iron Combatants must not only prevent the apocalypse, but protect the people of Japan, allowing them to continue living relatively normal lives. Battles play out as a sort of 3-D beat 'em up in which Gunn must fulfill a series of objectives, usually involving either killing certain foes or all of them. His mech can be upgraded using scrapped parts from enemies, which forms the game's "level up" system as the player uses these scraps to build more and more powerful parts, collecting and earning blueprints by completing missions or finding them discarded. Gunn has the ability to protect or combine his attacks with his fellow Iron Combatants, who each have their own health bar. When one of them is killed, they drop out of the battle until it's over, so if the player knows they'll want to combo their attacks with a certain fighter, they'll need to make sure that person is protected. Special attacks or abilities can come equipped to certain parts, and that can play a role in which ones the player will want to use in battle or build towards. It's also possible to see what loot enemies are carrying with the help of a special ability or with the help of a certain character who's able to identify enemy loot. Missions play out in dynamic fashion, and it's possible to gain new mission objectives depending on how a battle plays out. Missions can be replayed for extra parts or to improve the player's final score, which is earned by defeating enemies quickly and stylishly. Iron Combatant definitely plays more smoothly than the originals did, with lots of quality of life improvements and of course a big step-up in graphics. The game itself is more lighthearted than some of the previous games, with the fact that this one takes place in a world that hasn't yet been destroyed playing a big role in that. Cinematics and in-mission dialogue are fairly short and sweet, and serve to both communicate plot information and to build character relationships. The plot itself starts out fairly straightforward, but there are some twists and turns along the way, especially toward the end. The game starts with Gunn and his squad spending most of their time beating back robots, but eventually, the scientist who reprogrammed Sentinel shows his face for the first time. Less an evil mastermind and more a well-intentioned extremist, the scientist believes that humanity's penchant for war will lead to its inevitable doom, and he has programmed Sentinel to ensure that the planet carries on after humans are gone. There's also the revelation, about three fourths of the way through the game, that Layla exists in this universe, but the game also seems to imply that this Iron Combatant isn't a prequel to the original series, but is instead an alternate timeline. Layla serves as a valuable ally to Gunn, who is able to convince the scientist who programmed Sentinel to undo what he has done. However, Sentinel's programming is no longer able to be overwritten, and the computer takes steps to bring forth the apocalypse by constructing a massive doomsday mech. It seems that the ending will play out with the world being destroyed and the apocalypse coming about, but Gunn and Layla are able to disable the mech just in time with the help of the scientist, who sacrifices himself to buy time. Gunn lands the finishing blow on the mech, and the world is saved, while Layla refuses to join the Iron Combatants and instead leaves for an unknown destination.

    Iron Combatant is released in August 2012, exclusively for the iTwin. It gets strong reviews, as people praise the game's fast-paced combat system and simple but engaging plot. However, the game itself is a bit short, lacking the epic qualities of previous Iron Combatant games, and the random loot drop system can get a bit frustrating, as some players feel they aren't allowed to make the builds they want to play. Famitsu gives the game a 36/40 review, better than it would achieve from most Western reviewers, and indeed, Japanese sales of the game are more than double what they are in North America. Overall, the game is a financial success, becoming one of Capcom's biggest iTwin titles of the year, and leads Capcom to continue their plans to bring the series back in style on the Virtua.

    -

    Mega Man Final

    Mega Man Final is the fifth and final game of the Mega Man Next series, and is exclusive to the Apple iTwin. It not only concludes the story from the previous four games, but also introduces elements from the original Mega Man series and the X titles, serving as a sort of "grand finale" to nearly every current Mega Man timeline, while being a strong game in its own right. Like previous games in the series, it's a fully 3-D Mega Man game that plays out like the OTL Super Mario 3D series, with mostly linear levels in which Mega Man is able to move and explore in all directions. Like in previous games, he's able to acquire weapons from defeated foes, and is also able to acquire some weapons from foes that were in previous games, giving him more weapons than ever before. Lee Nemmy, the antagonist from Mega Man Next 4, plays a crucial role in this system, and serves as a sort of helper/shop for Mega Man throughout his adventure. Mega Man is also able to communicate with Dr. Light and Dr. Cain from across space and time, getting both advice and upgrades from them. Most notably, Proto Man returns as well, first as an antagonist but then as a valuable ally. Melody and Zero make appearances in the game as well, while Dr. Wily serves as the primary antagonist, teaming up with a few other series villains to launch one final grand plan to defeat the Blue Bomber and conquer the universe. There are 16 base levels in all in which Mega Man must explore and gather weapons, and after those first 16 levels are beaten, Dr. Wily's Tower opens up, containing eight more levels for a total of 24 in all, more content than in any previous Mega Man game (with two years of development time, Inafune and his team were able to really put their hearts and souls into this game to create so many levels). This game introduces the "companion" system, in which Mega Man is able to team up with his dog Rush, his friends Zero or Melody, or, later into the game, Proto Man, each of whom has their own set of advantages and disadvantages in combat. Mega Man is able to find enhancements for his companions hidden throughout the game's levels, which can enhance their skills as they assist him, and it's up to the player to find the right balance between Mega Man's abilities and those of their companion. The game's levels play out fairly straightforwardly at first, with the player able to choose from one of eight levels to begin with. At the same time, they have the option to find and battle a pair of villains from previous series games: Protoman and Vile. Protoman seems reluctant to battle Mega Man, and claims to not be working with Wily but to be protecting the world and that Mega Man needs to stay out of his way. Meanwhile, Vile is more than happy to battle and defeat Mega Man and also claims to have his own agenda, as he works to gather up weapons from the foes that Mega Man defeats. Once the first set of eight levels is beaten, the next set of eight is opened up. Mega Man can now encounter Sigma and Cognus, both of whom claim to be serving as allies of Dr. Wily, while Protoman continues to show up from time to time as well. After the sixteenth level is beaten, Wily's Tower opens up, with the first level ending with a climactic showdown with Protoman in which his motives are finally explained. He tells Mega Man that the parts given to him from the future are destabilizing and are causing problems with the fabric of space-time, leading to a future apocalypse. Dr. Wily, who has come from the future to ensure that the apocalypse takes place, seeks to take the parts for himself, to turn himself into Cyber Wily, an all-powerful cyborg with the capability of ruling the universe until the end of time. Protoman witnessed Wily's transformation into Cyber Wily in the future and came back to the past to get the parts for himself, so that he can graft the parts onto himself, destroy Dr. Wily, and then destroy himself to ensure the parts will never be used. As Mega Man progresses through the tower, he comes across more of these future parts, then finally reaches the top of the tower, where he battles Dr. Wily in a giant mech. Dr. Wily is defeated and his mech is destroyed, but this causes Mega Man to begin to destabilize, opening up a rift through which Cyber Wily emerges from the future. Protoman sacrifices himself to stabilize Mega Man, allowing him to battle Cyber Wily in one epic final showdown. Finally, Cyber Wily is defeated, ending Dr. Wily's reign of terror once and for all. However, there's one last thing Mega Man knows he must do. In a Terminator 2-esque scene, he stands over a pit of scrap metal, ready to sacrifice himself, only for Dr. Light to show up with a way to separate the parts from Mega Man, allowing Mega Man to live on. In order to do so, he must transform Mega Man into a fully human boy. Mega Man agrees and the procedure is carried out. Mega Man becomes a boy named Rock, while the parts that allowed him to fight evil are destroyed, now no longer necessary. Mega Man is now able to live out his days as the human boy Rock, living amongst the humans he once protected. While this story is over, Dr. Light takes a glimpse through a time machine, showing that this is just one of many possible futures for Mega Man, and that in some other dimension somewhere, Mega Man remains a super fighting robot, battling the forces of evil.

    Mega Man Final is released in September 2012, to excellent reviews from both critics and fans (better than Next 3 or Next 4, but not quite as good as Next 2). Though some fans don't like the idea of "ending" the series, it's seen as an appropriate and excellent conclusion to many years of Mega Man lore, and an outstanding way to celebrate the Blue Bomber's 25th anniversary. The ending of course leaves things open for future titles, and Capcom confirms that indeed, more Mega Man games are coming, though there may not be another "traditional" game in the series for quite a while.

    -

    Capcom Said To Be "All In" On The Virtua, Planning Huge Slate For 2013 And Beyond

    Capcom's already had a big year on Apple's home console and handheld, releasing new installments of games in the popular Mega Man and Resident Evil franchises, among others. Their year isn't over yet, with Resident Evil 6 dropping in November, and indeed, the company's next generation plans have already begun, with multiple development studios said to be working feverishly on games for Apple's iTwin successor console. One of those games, an MMO dungeon crawler title called Deep Down, has been in development for years and is expected to be released sometime late next year or early in 2014, but other games have also been proposed, which are expected to heavily utilize the Virtua's technology. According to a producer at one of Capcom's game studios, the company is "really excited" about the Virtua and its potential for new games that will use its motion capture capabilities, and that a new Street Fighter game utilizing the tech is already in the works. We've also heard rumors that the company will attempt to bring back the Iron Battalion series, which famously used a realistic (and expensive) control console to allow players to pilot a combat mech. Translating those controls over to the Virtua would allow for a similar game to be released that could be sold to many more players, as there would be no need for the expensive controls when players could use their own bodies as the controller instead. There's also rumors that a first-person Mega Man title could be in the works, allowing players to take on the role of the Blue Bomber from Mega Man's perspective, and would serve as a brand new reboot to follow Mega Man Final, which concluded nearly every ongoing storyline in the series. Capcom still has no plans to produce games for any other company than Apple at this time, and it's rumored that Apple has invested massive amounts of money in the venerable Japanese gaming company. No third party has formed a closer working relationship with a console maker in recent years than Capcom has with Apple, and with Squaresoft announcing that they'll begin making games for Google's Nexus alongside Nintendo's consoles, it's a relationship that might just be unique in the industry. Capcom will play a major role in the Virtua's software library, and with all these upcoming games on the schedule for the Virtua, there's little doubt that the new technology is driving creativity at the company.

    -from a September 21, 2012 article on Games Over Matter
     
    scretchy, GJohn902, Kalvan and 8 others like this.
  7. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
  8. THAHORSEMEN Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2018
    The Capplecom saga continues
     
    Nivek likes this.
  9. Threadmarks: Summer 2012 (Part 4) - Wonder Twin Powers, Activate!

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Terror Trip

    Terror Trip is an adventure/mystery/horror title developed for console and PC by the independent game company Pyramid Games, and published by Psygnosis. The game, which was primarily written and programmed by twin siblings Alex and Ariel Hirsch, along with several other developers, tells the story of a pair of high school seniors who go on a class trip, only to find themselves separated from the group and lost in a mysterious, abandoned town, in which they unlock a series of mysteries that threaten the fate of the entire world, forcing them to team up with their friends to stop a worldwide calamity. The game, which has thematic similarities to OTL's Gravity Falls, while also playing similarly to OTL titles such as Alan Wake and Until Dawn, is a more serious take on Alex Hirsch's Gravity Falls idea, nixing a bit of the more absurdist and kid-friendly humor for some more serious fare, but maintaining a comedic edge throughout and never quite getting completely serious, with the Hirsch twins taking inspiration from the storylines of such TTL games as Pickton Lake, Dick, and Thrillseekers. It plays like a mix between a 3-D adventure game and a point and click, a sort of hybrid of the Resident Evil/Alan Wake archetypes of gameplay, in which players are free to move, roam, explore, and fight, but investigation and puzzle solving plays a major role in gameplay progression, with combat taking somewhat of a back seat and best avoided if at all possible. The primary protagonists, and the only two playable characters, are Dirt (real name Danny, though that's not revealed until near the end of the game and everyone calls him Dirt anyway) and his twin sister Claudia. Dirt is very much like his OTL counterpart Dipper Pines (right down to his voice actor, Jason Ritter). He's highly intelligent but also a bit of a socially awkward dork, and somewhat of a scaredy cat as well. He's 17, so he's a bit more mature than Dipper, and based heavily on Alex Hirsch himself, though with a bit more of a humorous innocence to him. Claudia, on the other hand, is somewhat different from OTL's Mabel: she's still a bit quirky and weird, but a lot more serious, sort of like a Mabel who's gone through high school and has spent time around more "normal" people. She's also quite smart, but whereas Dirt is more book smart, Claudia is more street smart and also quite people smart (though she's not an exceedingly popular girl at her school, she knows how to talk to people and people tend to like her once they've gotten to know her), she's very warm and nurturing but can also be quite aggressive when someone threatens her or the people she cares about. She's voiced by Danica McKellar using a voice that's quite close to her OTL Miss Martian Young Justice voice. Though Dirt and Claudia are the main protagonists, and spend quite a bit of time alone exploring together, eventually several other students on the trip get caught up in the mystery. These include Kim, a sort of TTL version of OTL's Wendy Corduroy: a badass, athletically capable redhead and Dirt's main love interest (and unlike OTL, she's the same age as Dirt, so there's no age gap problem). Kim's pretty friendly, but Dirt has a lot of awkwardness around her, and Kim's closer to Claudia than to Dirt, at least at the start of the game. Kim is voiced by AJ Michalka. There's also Julia, AKA Jules, the closest thing to OTL's Pacifica Northwest: Shallow, rich, and arrogant, and starts out the game as the queen bee character, but has some hidden depths later on. Jules is voiced by Tara Strong. Then there's Jesús, who has a few similarities to OTL's Soos, though he's not quite as big or as humorous, and instead serves as Dirt's "cool" best friend who tries to get him to open up more to Kim. Jesús is voiced by Carlos Alazraqui. There are a few characters in the game who can't easily be compared with OTL Gravity Falls characters, including Will, a somewhat preppy kid who serves as Jules' love interest and who also helps her bully the other characters, but when something tragic happens to him, Jules starts to turn over a new leaf. There's Rickon, a friendly kid from the football team who ends up being the second person to believe them about the weird stuff they've seen (Kim is the first), and also Alma, Dirt's friend from the computer club who has a sort of platonic friendship with him. There are many more major teen characters in the game than there are adult characters, with most of the major adult characters serving as antagonists. There's no Grunkle Stan expy in the game (Alex and Ariel have an idea for a similar character but want to use it in a future game), but there is a McGucket-like character (though, as is par for the course, he's played for somewhat less laughs than in OTL Gravity Falls). Finally, John Ritter plays the voice of the game's primary antagonist, Franklin Wainwright, a museum curator met early on who became immortal as a result of the government experimentation that forms the crux of the game's main mystery, and who eventually tries to kill Dirt, Claudia, and their friends after they threaten to destroy the sacred rune keeping him alive. He's only revealed as the villain quite late into the game, with the game positioning other characters and eldritch forces as potential main villains before Wainwright is revealed. Terror Trip is extremely heavy in terms of lore, with about two-thirds of the game's exploration being entirely optional and serving only to flesh out the game's backstory and lore. It's quite possible to do only a small amount of puzzle solving and exploration and solve the game in about six hours (with speedruns significantly shorter than that if you know what you're doing), but dilligent players who seek everything out will spend 20 hours or more solving all of the game's mysteries and experiencing the game's dialogue. Thanks to funding from Psygnosis, Terror Trip has fairly high production values for an indie game, comparable in some ways to OTL's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice as a sort of AAA-esque indie title. The graphics are decent, and the sound design and voice acting are considered outstanding for the game's production budget. It helps that despite all the exploration it's possible to do, Terror Trip isn't a very "big" world overall, consisting mostly of a small town area, some nearby research facilities, and a surrounding forest and beach area, much of which is blocked off. The game favors content density over having a big world, and it certainly has the effect of making the game feel a lot bigger than it actually is.

    Terror Trip takes place on a senior class trip to Willamette Falls National Park, a forested area in Oregon. While there's plenty to do, including camping, surfing, and some extreme sports, Dirt and Claudia quickly become bored with the desolate forest, and ditch their group to go exploring. They quickly stumble upon the ruins of an old town out in the forest, a 1930s/1940s era town said to have been used for World War II-era experiments. At first, the town seems fairly ordinary, but the twins do discover some strange discarded documents and hear some weird noises, which culminates in the two of them finding a mummified corpse that's impossibly preserved for being 70 years old. They return to their group and try to explain what they found, but hardly anyone believes them, and Claudia decides to return for proof despite Dirt's objections. This time, the two become truly lost, and awaken mysterious shambling zombie-like creatures that pursue them through the forest, leading them to an old research facility in which they eventually find a sealed door behind which something is banging, and also encounter a mysterious old man who can't remember anything but tells them to leave. The two can't get back to their group, but they do find a desolate museum and meet with Franklin Wainwright for the first time. They decide to camp out at the museum, since their student group is expected to come back there in the morning and they can reunite with them, but during the night, the strange shambling things attack and they're forced to abandon the museum and return to the town, where they find a door that leads to another underground facility in which they find evidence of government experiments, a mysterious cult, and an eldritch force that people were being sacrificed to. They are soon attacked by the cult and barely make it out alive. Soon afterwards, they reunite with their group and learn that some of the students were attacked. Will and Jules went out into the forest with one of the chaperones, while Kim decided to lead an expedition of her own into the forest to look for the source of what's been happening. Kim has found her way back to the research facility from chapter 2, and Dirt follows her there, while Claudia manages to find Jules, who has been taken prisoner by the cult who has already brainwashed Will. Claudia is forced to injure Will to save Jules, prompting a huge argument between the two, while Dirt and Kim manage to fight their way out of the research facility after freeing the thing trapped in the room, which turns out to be a scientist who has somehow remained alive since the 1940s, in mostly perfect shape save for a few strange scars. After some more events, Dirt and Claudia find themselves alone again, investigating deeper into the forest, tracking down the scientist they freed who has managed to stumble away. Horrified, they discover that the scientist has willingly allowed himself to be sacrificed by the cult, and Dirt and Claudia are powerless to stop it. The cult seems to be sacrificing people to feed an eldritch force known as Eidolon, which has promised eternal life to its followers in exchange for feeding it fresh souls. Eidolon's evil consumed the old town and now it's seeking out new victims, freed by someone who Dirt and Claudia strongly suspect to be the government official in charge of the park, and who has been set up to be the game's main villain. Meanwhile, as this is going down, Kim, Rickon, Jules, Alma, and a few other students are being pursued by the zombies, only for Wainwright to show up and save them (though Kim didn't really need saving). Dirt and Claudia eventually make it back to them, and they discuss what's been happening with Wainwright, who they hope can help them save the others from their group who have had their souls taken and stop the person they believe to be the cause of all of this, which can be done by stealing the Rune of Eidolon and smashing it. The artifact happens to be in Wainwright's museum, though when they return, they find it stolen, with cult members barring their exit. Wainwright is seemingly overrun, while the others try to escape. One by one, the students find themselves captured or seemingly killed, with Dirt and Kim the last survivors from one group, and Claudia and Jules the last survivors from the other. Dirt and Kim end up captured, while Claudia and Jules continue their argument amongst themselves. While captured, Dirt finally confesses his feelings for Kim, and starts to promise that he'll save her, only for Kim to interrupt him by promising him that she'll save him instead. Just when it looks like they're about to be sacrificed, Claudia and Jules manage to get their act together and save the day. However, Kim ends up having to sacrifice herself to cover the escape of the other three, leading to a big blow-up argument between Dirt and Claudia in which Jules tries to play mediator but ends up storming away after the two twins can't reconcile. This leads to the game's final chapter in which Dirt and Claudia both spend some time exploring on their own, both gradually piecing together that Wainwright is the real villain, while Jules stumbles into a way to cure the victims of the curse, only to be cursed herself after finding Wainwright and attempting to "save" him. At the same time that this scene is taking place, Dirt and Claudia reconcile after saving each other from a harrowing situation, only for them to put their clues together and realize that Wainwright is the one responsible for all of this. After giving a villainous speech revealing his actions and motives, Wainwright traps Dirt and Claudia in separate perils, with Kim pursuing Dirt and Jules pursuing Claudia. The two twins have to find a way to escape their situations and cure their friends, after which Kim takes charge holding off the zombies while Jules takes charge curing everyone and Dirt and Claudia take down Wainwright in a final boss "fight" that's more dialogue/mystery puzzle than fight, but still quite action packed and humorous and holds true to the spirit of the game. The Rune of Eidolon is destroyed by Dirt and Claudia together, causing Wainwright to crumble into dust and causing things to return mostly to normal. The possessed students and teachers are cured, while the souls of the townspeople are allowed to rest in peace. Dirt and Kim kiss for the first time, Jules and Will are reunited (though Jules now has some lessons to teach Will about not being such a jerk), while Claudia finds love and admiration from all the popular kids she saved (and if the player did a little bit of extra exploration, there's a super hilarious and satisfying scene here where Claudia pretty much tells off everyone who was mean to her and finds true friendship from an unlikely source). Terror Trip ends on a mostly happy note, though in typical horror fashion, there's a small "stinger"/sequel tease at the end implying that not everything is completely back to normal.

    Terror Trip is released in August 2012 for the Sapphire, iTwin, PC, and Macintosh, at a price of $29.99. It would get a Nexus port at the launch of that console in October, and would also be ported to the next-gen Nintendo and Apple systems, with a slightly less graphically intensive version of the game also coming to the mobile platform and handhelds later on. It's an immediate hit, and considered at the time to be one of the best indie titles ever released. Its characters and story would be extremely well received, and would achieve a similar level of fandom to OTL's Gravity Falls, essentially taking the same role as that series in the public consciousness ITTL. It would receive spinoff merchandise and novelizations, and while it wouldn't quite achieve the same level of massive fandom as say, Thrillseekers, it can be somewhat compared to that franchise in terms of overall notoriety in the gaming community. It makes Pyramid Games instantly one of the most beloved indie developers in the industry and makes the Hirsch twins famous, taking their place among the top indie developers and mentioned with similar reverence as people like Toby Fox would be IOTL. It sells several million copies across its multiple platforms, becoming one of the best selling indie titles of its generation, while its excellent critical reception makes it one of the top reviewed indie games of the year and a dark horse contender for Game of the Year overall. Thanks to this game, as well as games like Fez and FTL: Faster Than Light, 2012 would become the year when indie games finally truly established themselves as a major part of the industry, just in time for the eighth generation to begin.
     
    Roger Redux, GJohn902, Kalvan and 7 others like this.
  10. Neoteros Dux Mediolani

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Location:
    Duchy of Milan
    No Bill Cipher? :p
     
    GJohn902, Narissa and Nivek like this.
  11. woweed New Hippie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    I have a feeling Eidolon's true form will bear an uncanny resemblance. He'll be behind whatever happens in the sequel, and in game three...You want something done right...
     
  12. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Same with the grunkle pine twins.
     
    Narissa likes this.
  13. Threadmarks: Summer 2012 (Part 5) - The Connect's Big Summer

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Final Fantasy Brave

    Final Fantasy Brave is a portable spinoff game in the Final Fantasy series that launches as a Connect exclusive but eventually comes to mobile platforms. Its gameplay can best be compared to the OTL title Final Fantasy: All The Bravest, a game in which players put together a team of Final Fantasy heroes to battle boss creatures from various games in the series. It includes heroes from every Final Fantasy from I to XII, with over 80 total heroes in all to acquire over the course of the game, while also allowing for battles against villains from all the games as well. However, it has one major difference than OTL's All The Bravest: instead of being structured as a DLC-rich game that's barely more than a point and click experience that wastes the player's money, Final Fantasy Brave is structured like a full game, with new heroes acquired naturally through gameplay, and with a genuine progression system that rewards strategy and proper equipping of characters. The player begins by selecting one of the twelve main Final Fantasy heroes, and from there, is able to recruit more characters by completing missions. Soon, the player has a full team of five, and from there the fun really begins, with proper gauntlets of different dungeons and bosses, and the ability to acquire gold and treasure and level up characters to build the best team possible. The combat is still fairly simplistic, but players are now able to time their button presses to score combos and generate special attacks, and can also dodge and block boss attacks. It's still not the best Final Fantasy game by any means, but it's a fun and content rich distraction, and averages in the high 7s amongst reviewers, with decent sales (sales improve significantly once the game comes down to $19.99, which is fairly soon after release).

    -

    Soul Sacrifice

    TTL's Soul Sacrifice, which is a Sony produced Connect exclusive, is very similar to the OTL Vita title, with few differences in gameplay and story. The game is an action RPG in which the protagonist, who can be customized by the player and can be either male or female, is a victim of a powerful sorcerer, whose soul is trapped and enslaved in a hellish netherrealm. They are spared by the arrival of a magical book that grants them the power to utilize their own soul as a weapon against the sorcerer's forces, or to sacrifice both friend and foe to gain more power. The story takes place over a series of chapters, which feature increasingly difficult battles for the player to complete. Like OTL's game, the player's sacrifices are permanent unless a special type of soul currency is spent to restore the sacrificed body or soul parts. Perhaps the biggest difference between OTL's Soul Sacrifice and TTL's is the circumstances surrounding the game's production and promotion. Like OTL, Soul Sacrifice was developed from a concept by Keiji Inafune. While Capcom itself makes games only for Apple at this time, Inafune is a bit of a freelancer, and is able to work on games for consoles outside of Apple, with Soul Sacrifice being one of these concepts. The game's creation does somewhat widen the rift between Capcom and Inafune, leading to similar tensions between the creator and the company to the ones that took place IOTL. Regarding the game's promotion, IOTL it was hyped as a major Vita exclusive and the game that would help put the system back on its feet. ITTL, it's seen as just another Connect game, albeit one of their bigger 2012 exclusives. It becomes lost somewhat in the fold, though thanks to better sales for the Connect than for the Vita, the game's sales are about the same as they were IOTL, if not slightly bigger, making it a marginal hit. Without so much pressure put on the game to succeed, it's seen in somewhat of a better light, with reviews averaging a solid 8/10 overall.

    -

    Twisted Metal Liquid 2

    The sequel to 2009's Twisted Metal Liquid, which was a minor hit on the Supernova, Twisted Metal Liquid 2 takes keen advantage of the Connect's improved technology, providing an experience fairly close to that of the Nintendo Sapphire games. It maintains the future aesthetic of its predecessor, with sci-fi weaponry and a somewhat lighter theme than the Chaos titles, especially when compared to the nightmare worlds of Chaos 3. Its plot is also radically different, starring an Alita-like warrior from the future named Kurumi who rides around in a sleek sports car decked out with all sorts of laser weaponry, sent to battle not just the evil cyborg Sweet Tooth but a horde of AI cars programmed by an evil corporation to slaughter everyone who doesn't buy their products. It's bold, it's colorful, it's silly, and it's quite fun, probably the best looking Connect game to date, with some truly gorgeous animation and laser effects. It's also playable online, but many players actually prefer the single player campaign, which is fairly long for a Twisted Metal game and full of beautifully animated and fully voiced cutscenes, with Janice Kawaye as the voice of Kurumi (in a surprisingly serious performance, considering her fairly light and young sounding voice). They didn't have to make a handheld Twisted Metal game this good, but they did, and it sells more than twice as much as the original Liquid game and almost as much as Chaos 3, achieving some of the best review scores for a Connect game to date.

    -

    Kirby And The Princesses Of Popstar

    Kirby And The Princesses Of Popstar is an action platformer and the first Kirby game for the Nintendo Connect, while also being the second of three in a "pop culture" trilogy for Kirby. The second game in the series focuses on music, specifically pop music but branching into other genres, and it involves Kirby rescuing five musical princesses from an evil sorceress named Divalar who seeks to take their musical gifts away. The five princesses are based on punk rock, bubblegum pop, ballad pop, techno pop, and heavy metal, and while Kirby gets most of his familiar abilities to battle the bad guys with, he also gets twelve new abilities, all of them based around musical genres. There's a Pop Kirby, a Rock Kirby, a Metal Kirby, a Country Kirby, a Rap Kirby, a Techno Kirby, a Grunge Kirby, a Prog Kirby, an Opera Kirby, a Showtunes Kirby, a Classical Kirby, and a Ska Kirby, and each of the musical Kirbies wears an outfit based on a famous musician. Some of the standouts include an Elvis outfit for Rock Kirby, a Britney Spears outfit for Pop Kirby, a Freddie Mercury outfit for Prog Kirby, a Kurt Cobain outfit for Grunge Kirby, and a Gwen Stefani outfit for Ska Kirby. The game features a whimsical soundtrack mixed with some musical homages to various genres, and also has some bosses themed after classic musicians as well, including one boss that's a clear homage to Elton John. For the most part, this game plays mostly like a normal Kirby title, with a graphical style comparable to games like OTL's Star Allies (though without the multiplayer capability). It features six different worlds with 6-8 levels each, and boss challenges that open up once the main game and some of the minigames (which include rhythm minigames, as appropriate for a musical themed Kirby game) are beaten. It's quite fun and of course quite musical, and while reviews are only average for a Kirby game, fans love the different musical Kirbies, some of which become series staples. Ska Kirby/Gwen Stefani Kirby in particular becomes a MASSIVE meme, possibly one of the biggest game related memes of 2012.

    -

    Snap!

    A first-party Nintendo title, Snap is a camera-based game that utilizes both the Connect's camera function and the connectivity with both the Sapphire and its successor. It's essentially a 3-D platformer/adventure game in which the player can take pictures in-game and in the real world to achieve in-game bonuses and effects. The game includes several virtual levels in which the player navigates through a series of environments in search of interesting/funny pictures to take, somewhat like a real world version of OTL's Pokemon Snap or TTL's Pokemon Safari. There are twelve levels in all, each one packed with different things happening, interesting characters and interesting events, mostly light hearted though there are also some spooky and scary things going on (it's an E10+ game though, so nothing TOO scary). The real attraction of Snap!, and the thing that ends up making the game a MAJOR hit, is the ability for players to use the Connect's camera to take pictures of things in the real world and score points for them in the game. The game also has some augmented reality functions, but it's very good at identifying things in the real world, and there are literally thousands of different challenges, with hundreds of modifiers for each to score the player's pictures. In addition, with online functionality, there are daily challenges and all sorts of new things happening in the game, so the game itself rarely gets old as there's always something new to do. Snap! is released in September 2012, and though it's marketed as one of the Connect's big games of 2012, the reviews and especially the word of mouth from players ends up exceeding the hype significantly. One of the more successful Nintendo IP launches in recent memory, it's one of the Connect's best selling games overall, selling millions of copies by the time things are all said and done and becoming the second most successful handheld title of the summer behind only Sonic The Hedgehog 6.

    -

    "But despite Nintendo's Connect having more successful games overall than the Gemini, the Gemini was able to make up some ground in sales, even in North America where the system has been performing rather poorly. A major part of this success can be attributed to Sonic The Hedgehog 6, which achieved excellent critical reviews and a great reception from fans, but it can also be chalked up to Apple's successful marketing campaign for the device, which touted the Gemini's technical prowess and its ability to play iTwin games on the go. This, coupled with sales that in some places brought the Gemini's asking price down from $299 to $249, and Apple's handheld had everything it needed to see a big, sorely needed sales boost headed into the crucial fourth quarter of 2012. Though Nintendo's Connect still sold more units overall this summer, Apple's Gemini lagged only slightly behind, and is now on pace to pass ten million overall sales before the end of the year, a benchmark that might not have been possible without the summer sales boost it's received. Those declaring the current handheld battle over are now being forced to reconsider, and it's clear that despite the Connect's big lead out of the gate, Apple's Gemini isn't going to go down without a fight, perhaps even bigger than the one that the iPod Play gave the Supernova last generation."

    -from an article on Gamespot.com, posted on September 30, 2012
     
    GJohn902, Kalvan, Roger Redux and 8 others like this.
  14. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    So does Ska Kirby mean that Hollaback Girl wasn't a thing ittl?
     
    Nivek likes this.
  15. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    *adds game to alt-universe shopping cart*
     
    TheDetailer likes this.
  16. Threadmarks: Summer 2012 (Part 6) - Ninkata

    RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Ninkata

    Ninkata is an action/adventure game for the Apple iTwin. It's published by Apple, and developed by an in-house team of both American and Japanese developers. It stars a fairly generic ninja character who must journey through a series of stages, battling hordes of enemies along the way. The main attraction of the game is the control scheme, both its traditional controls and especially its motion controls, which allow players to swing both of the ninja's twin weapons independently, taking out enemies with slick swings and pulling off incredible combos. The basic gameplay is similar to hack and slash titles, with the ninja having full range of motion, able to run, jump, and climb similar to most platforming heroes. The ninja can equip two swords (which is their default weapon), one large sword, a pair of nunchaku, throwing stars, a crossbow, blunt instruments, or some combination of these weapons. Essentially, anything that you've seen a ninja use in a typical ninja movie or game, this ninja is able to wield. The game features a variety of different weapons in each type, each with their own unique attributes, allowing players to mix and match based on their own style of play, or pick up stronger weapons later into the game. It's possible to use weapons either in "two-handed style" or "one handed style", with two handed style allowing players to use their hands independently of one another, and one handed style allowing players to use both hands in conjunction. This can be done either with a traditional controller or with the twin controllers, with the traditional controllers using the shoulder buttons to attack while twin controller players utilize either the shoulder buttons or pure motion controls. The game is at its best when using motion controls, as it's quite easy for players to move the ninja in a fluid way while swinging the swords as they would in real life, mimicking real sword swinging motions to cut down enemies. The game's tagline is "You Are The Ninja", and indeed, the game is designed to make players feel like a true ninja when they're playing, taking out enemies left and right with deft, accurate swings. Enemies mostly consist of other humans, but the ninja also fights a variety of demons and monsters on the course of their quest, with some of the game's best battles involving fights against large creatures. Many of these battles involved timed strikes and slick combinations in which the player can do severe damage to enemies by swinging and attacking at the perfect time, pulling off the best move for the situation. The game features several difficulty levels, with easier modes for younger players and harder modes for true experts (though nothing truly hard like Ninja Gaiden, which leads to some criticism). Unlike many ninja games, Ninkata doesn't have any blood or gore. The game is rated T for Teen, but is meant for even younger players, with more light-hearted animation. Human enemies can't be dismembered, though certain bosses can (nothing more violent than the typical Zelda game). Dungeons and environments are full of combat, with little in the way of puzzles or super difficult platforming. There are also some stealth segments, but nothing too tricky unless one is playing on the hardest modes (and even then, these segments are designed to avoid frustrating the player). For the most part, Ninkata plays like an intuitive game designed to slowly teach players the rules as they progress, making them feel tougher and tougher with every segment they beat, focused more on fun than on anything else. Graphically, the game is fairly slick, not especially detailed but quite colorful and stylish. The music is fairly typical ninja adventure fare, ominous but also fast-paced, very Japanese-influenced. There's some voice acting, but not a lot of it, with a decent story but with gameplay taking precedence.

    As mentioned earlier, the plot of the game takes a back seat to its gameplay. However, Ninkata does feature a fun and fast-paced plot in which the player character (who always wears black ninja garb concealing their face, so it's impossible to tell what they truly look like, but can also be described as either male or female depending on how the player chooses to see them) is hired by a feudal lord to abduct a princess, only for the princess to reveal that she is part of a magical resistance group seeking to prevent the feudal lord from calling forth an ancient curse. The princess and the ninja are then attacked by demons, who carry the princess away. The ninja meets with the rest of her group and decides to help rescue her, battling the first of numerous bosses in doing so. After the princess is rescued, she uses her magic to transport the ninja to a dream world in which another powerful demon must be defeated. Meanwhile, the feudal lord has sent a squad of evil ninjas who must also be battled one by one, with four evil ninjas in all showing up throughout the remainder of the game. The plot proceeds from there in a mostly straightforward fashion, though with a few sidetracks and twists along the way, such as the ninja being trapped on a boat full of zombies, or the ninja getting swallowed by a massive dragon and forced to fight their way out. Eventually, the ninja confronts the feudal lord himself, who turns out to be the reincarnation of a powerful demon king. Once the demon king is defeated, the ninja must go to the demon world with the princess to purify it and restore all the lost souls trapped there, while also battling the demon king's master, the mighty Demon God, in a battle taking place across several phases. Once the Demon God is defeated, the ninja and the princess return to the real world, which has been restored back to normal with all the lost souls being able to rest. The ninja is also finally able to rest, returning to their home and sleeping up for their next mission, as the life and work of a ninja is never truly over.

    Ninkata scores strong reviews with critics, who especially praise the game's motion control system as one of the best the iTwin has to offer. Some critics lament that with the Virtua on the way, it took too long for the iTwin's motion controls to finally be perfected, and express hope that the game will see a sequel on the Virtua. The game's fairly low difficulty and lack of seriousness is also a knock against it, especially amongst critics used to the brutality and difficulty of Ninja Gaiden, with one critic calling the game Ninja Gaiden Babies. However, most love the game for its accessibility and sheer fun level. Released in September 2012, the game isn't quite as big of a success as Super Mario Laboratory, but it does exceed Mega Man Final's sales by a significant margin, proving that Apple has one of the biggest hits of the year on their hands. It's seen as perhaps the last great first party iTwin game, and fulfills the machine's promise while also offering a preview of what might be possible on the Virtua.
     
    Narissa, Ambusher11, woweed and 7 others like this.
  17. eldandythedoubter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    "Oh I'm sorry I don't want to always go through your sadist wank fantasy! I'll just enjoy this and ignore your stupid opinion."-A concerned gamer in response to this review.
     
    Roger Redux and Nivek like this.
  18. TheFaultsofAlts Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2018
    "It's funny that this critic compared the game to the Muppet Babies trend, when that person clearly acts like he or she is in that show's target audience!"
    -Someone like the Angry Video Game Nerd. Or even the Nerd himself. I can only hope.
     
  19. RySenkari Lisa Simpson 2020

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Dave Filoni is actually working on the OTL Clone Wars games, while Jon Favreau is still directing movies (he still did Elf ITTL).

    Nope, she's producing other big movies but no Star Wars.

    It's actually got some similarities to OTL's Starlink with the elemental properties, but plays more like an arcade shooter than an RPG.

    Perhaps Inez and Regan will pop up for more reviews in 2016 or later (though they mostly play board games like Catan and Gloomhaven, they don't really do miniature games, Regan's dabbled in them but she doesn't have time to build armies and the like with all the other games she plays and things she does).

    I still think I overdid the power of the TTL SNES CD considering everything that's come out about it since we've started writing.

    It still was, but they still gave Ska Kirby Gwen Stefani's look, since they just wanted to make a Kirby that looks like her XD
     
  20. Nivek Mental Anime,Videogames,Football And Baseball Fan

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Santa Marta,Magdalena,West Venezuela
    A little...maybe the thing was to future proof more...still i'm proud the system, i think i based more in the future model that was already 32-bit. The thing we dunno now many models and ideas exist that add.on
     
Loading...