Earlier this year we were warned by Nintendo that their Wi-Fi Connection online multiplayer service would come to a close. Well, today is the day. From today onward, all games that used Nintendo Wi-Fi connection for online multiplayer will be going offline. All of these games were released on the original Nintendo DS and Wii. Wii U and 3DS games will be unaffected as they use Nintendo Network for their online infrastructure. Nintendo has a list of games on their website, but it only cites games they themselves have published. There’s a bigger list of all games, both first and third party on both Wii and DS, that show what is affected. There is a there is also this list of games affected, but you’ll see that it goes way beyond Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and further explains why this is happening.
Forecast Channel. News Channel. Everybody Votes. Check Mii Out. Nintendo Channel. These were several of the channels the original Wii offered to owners, some since launch. Forecast Channel reported on the weather. The News Channel fed you news straight from the AP. Everybody Votes presented questions for owners to answer and tallied them up. Check Mii Out gave you a chance to showcase the Miis you created to others worldwide. And finally Nintendo Channel was, in a way, the precursor to one-half of the current Nintendo eShop experience with videos, trailers, and the ability to rate the games you’ve played. From this day forward, these channels will cease to function.
[New to this edition is the addition of the Wii U campaign. Much of what was written from the previous edition is largely unchanged, save for some grammatical corrections that might’ve slipped by. Some parts might also have more info added. So sit back, relax, and read on.]
You have an idea for a product. You make the product. And now it’s time to sell the product. So what’s the one thing you’ll do to sell your product? Advertise it of course. This is pretty much the pattern that most product makers follow. In the game industry it’s no different. With catchy slogans, flashy graphics, and some off-the-wall shenanigans, an ad is supposed to convince you to buy the product they are selling. But ignoring all of the attempts to sell and actually looking at the ad, they always seem to be a product of the era that they were released in. So for this retrospective, we’re going to look at one of the longest living game companies, Nintendo, from when we played with power, to when we played it loud, to two guys asking us if Wii would like to play, to what we will play next.
Dubbed the black sheep of the Rainfall titles, Pandora’s Tower may very well be the last big release on the Wii. The company making the game, Ganbarion, doesn’t have the pedigree of Monolithsoft or Mistwalker, didn’t have stellar sales like Xenoblade and The Last Story, and critical reception was pretty average. However its premise and association with Operation Rainfall might make it a cult hit.
The story follows a girl, Elena, who has been cursed and is slowly turning into a monster. A soldier for the kingdom Athos, Aeron, takes Elena away from the festival they were in so that the townsfolk don’t kill her. In the trailer, we hear what Aeron has to do to lift the curse from Elena. We also get a glimpse of the relationship focus the game has with Elena questioning Aeron’s acceptance and love for her.
Pandora’s Tower was originally set to release on March 26th. However, according to Amazon, it’s been delayed to some time between April 22nd-April 26th. A pretty far delay, but makes sense considering what’s getting released this month. It hurts a bit, but a wise move nonetheless.
Pandora’s Tower 1st Official US Trailer [Youtube]
Despite the somewhat shaky launch of The Last Story, XSEED sent out a press release celebrating the game as their most successful title ever. This prompted XSEED to go ahead to the production of a second printing of the game without the artbook in it and sell it for $30. Even better, the launch copies of the game (the ones with the artbook) that might still out there will now sell for $40. So if you haven’t bought the game yet, now’s a good time to get it, and you might even be lucky if you find those launch copies. Also, to all you Wii U owners out there. The game might like better if you have an HDMI cable. While the Wii U doesn’t upscale Wii games, its passing via HDMI might be somewhat beneficial and make things look less like an .mpeg on an HDTV.
Hopefully Nintendo’s seeing this. While a success for XSEED might not have the same definition for Nintendo, they don’t have to put their expectations so damn high to the point that it’ll be unattainable. And you don’t have to spend a crapton on marketing. So Nintendo, especially NoA, don’t be so damn stingy with the games in Japan.
The Last Story is XSEED’s Most Successful Title [Operation Rainfall]
In the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the launch of the Wii U comes a silent announcement that starting on November 25th, 2012, Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, and 3 will be removed from the Wii’s Virtual Console. News of this came first from Nintendo Life from Twitter user NintenDaan who received a notice on the Wii Shop Channel. It states, “Hello, We would like to let you know you that the following titles will become unavailable for purchase on 25/11/12: Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2, Donkey Kong Country 3.” There was no prior warning as to why these titles were being pulled. Initially it seemed to only affect Europe. But it’s been confirmed that NA’s Virtual Console will also be lacking the Kongs.
There are already questions swirling if it has something to do with Rare being the original developers of these games. For those people who believe this, go here. It’s kinda sad to see these apes go. Without ’em on the VC, I wouldn’t have been able to play DKC 1 again after it bit the dust in my childhood. Or play DKC 2, the one game that’s eluded me for an extremely long time. Yeah yeah there’s emulators, but it’s nothing compared to actually playing these on a TV screen. If you haven’t played these games yet and have no plans to get the original carts, buy these three now before November 25th. If you have them still, hold on tight to them. And be sure your little Pikmin friends transfer those games safely to your shiny new Wii U if you get one!
The launch of the Wii U is almost upon us. Since its reveal, the latest Nintendo console has garnered the most skepticism since the reveal of the original Xbox. Almost every facet of this console has been monitored by both press and fans alike. “What’s the CPU?” “What’s the tablet gonna be like?” “Are the games gonna suck again?” Now, it’s our turn. What do we hope Nintendo does with the Wii U? What games, features and tablet controls do we want to see? Hit the jump to see what we speaketh.
Of the many titles Kevin Butler has donned during his tenure at Sony, VP of Lawsuit Defendant would probably be the last thing on his mind. The lawsuit was sparked after Jerry Lambert, who plays Kevin Butler in Sony’s Playstation 3 ads, appeared in a Bridgestone commercial as one of the scientists testing out tires. The ad was part of Bridgestone’s GameOn campaign where a tire purchase could net you a free Nintendo Wii. In the commercial itself, the scientists, including Lambert, are seen playing Mario Kart Wii. Sony wasn’t too fond of the man playing and advertising a competitor’s game and console, and on September 11th they filed a lawsuit against him citing IP violation. Bridgestone proceeded to remove Lambert’s image from all of their ads for the remainder of their campaign. This begs the question though: are they suing him for portraying a very similar character, or are they suing him for that plus associating himself with a competitor. I have a feeling that they would’ve let him be if he was doing something else as the character. But since he was playing a Wii, that probably wasn’t flying with Sony.
Either way, it looks like both parties might be coming to an out-of-court settlement. In a filing, the lawyer representing Sony called the courtroom deputy and said that they were coming to an agreement. The court then ordered Sony, “by October 12, 2012, to either: (1) withdraw the ex parte motion; or (2) file a status update describing the current status of the dispute and whether a ruling on the motion will be necessary.” So currently the case is still ongoing, but it looks like it’ll all come to an end soon. I guess we can rule out Kevin Butler being in Playstation All-Stars then huh?
A member of the Fragdolls somehow managed to snag herself a Wii U according to her tweet. Not sure how exactly she got it nor which convention she attended to get it. From the tweets, it looks like PAX but then says something about a Gamestop Convention (didn’t even know they did those). She also seemed to be involved with Ubisoft (either as a rep or just hanging around the area, I’m leaning on the former). In some more good WiiU related news, one of her earlier tweets says that ZombiU did well at the crowd. Ubisoft might have an early hit on their hands with the Wii U. Let’s just hope it’s not another Red Steel moment.
[via KAT Twitter]
Looks like Nintendo’s gonna do another Nintendo Direct. According to the message on the streaming page, they’ll only be focusing on Wii and 3DS software. They make it very clear that there will be no Wii U news on this. I have a feeling this is primarily going to be a 3DS showing as the Wii is on its last legs. If they’re going to show anything on the Wii, it’ll probably be extra stuff for games currently released, maybe some Fatal Frame II and Kirby 20th Anniversary news, etc. Remember, this is the Japanese Nintendo Direct, so any news coming out of this may not necessarily apply to the U.S. But who knows, maybe Iwata might break the flow, become aware of the U.S. audience watching it, and suddenly announce at the last minute that Pandora’s Tower‘s coming to the U.S.!
Since the broadcast starts at 8PM JST, using a timezone converter, that means it’ll start at… 7AM EST? Huh… I think I might have to wake my ass up early for this then. Use this. If I’m wrong, please correct me.
Yesterday I got dressed and was ready to haul ass to Gamestop in the Hub of South Bronx to pick up The Last Story. I called the Gamestop to make sure it was there. As soon as I asked the question, I was immediately responded with “It should be here tomorrow.” And I mean he immediately answered me, like he was asked that already by someone else. Considering how pompous I feel, being a gamer of such refined taste as I in a neighborhood such as this, I thought I was the only one in the neighborhood to preorder the game. I mean, I was the only one that preordered Xenoblade here and I had to make a second trip some days later for the artbook. I also preordered The Last Story that first day too. Certainly I deduced that I was remembered.
But I digress. I equated this to Gamestop being up to their old shenanigans again. But just out of curiosity I checked to see if other gamers were having this issue. And lo and behold, I wasn’t the only one. In fact, this was affecting many Gamestops and other stores in the U.S. Confirmation of shipping delays came straight from XSEED’s Twitter. Even Canada was having issues. So if you didn’t get The Last Story yesterday, check today. But do call ahead to make sure. Looks like Gamestop’s off the hook… for now.
Wii MMO Dragon Quest X was just released in Japan last week with much acclaim. Not only is it the first MMO for the Dragon Quest series, it’s also the first (and only) MMO for the Wii. One aspect that wasn’t quite touched upon was that you have to keep playing the game, otherwise your character data would be deleted. In other words, it you don’t sign in to Dragon Quest X for 3 months, your character’s data will be kaput. This most likely is a measure to make sure that data keeping is fresh for the server to save and not have orphaned and dormant accounts clogging the server. But at the same time this could have severe repercussions for those that want to come back and play for a while after being gone for so long. Who’s to say someone won’t be able to play the game because of school or work (more on this later today) and finally find the time to play, only to be greeted with a deletion message. Oi vey…
So far this only applies to Japanese gamers as the game has yet to come out in the States. Only time will tell if this measure will carry over to the worldwide release.
Amy Hoffman, a nursing researcher at Michigan University’s College Of Nursing, is getting a grant of $379,741.00 and a Nintendo Wii console to help lower the risk of fatigue her lung cancer patience suffer from, especially after surgery. NSCLC (Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer) is the most common lung cancer by about 85% and icauses life threatening risks alone, but even the treatments can also cause high risks. So Hoffman’s been looking for a solution as she mentioned “Nearly half of all Americans live with at least one chronic illness, and nearly a quarter of Americans having multiple chronic illnesses. The needs of the chronically ill are not being met, and a common challenge noted by patients with cancer is self-management of symptoms.”
There comes along, once in a while, a game that utterly stuns you with its uniqueness. It resides so far outside the bounds of what you, or others for that matter, are used to that even as you play it, you sit slack-jawed in disbelief. I’m not talking about a game with new, unique gameplay features or a boundry-pushing technological advancement. I’m talking about an air, a mood, a certain…something that lends it an aura of the special or the strange.
Looking through the catalogue of one Goichi “Suda 51” Suda, you will find several games that fit this category. His most recent contribution to gaming, Shadows of the Damned, was reviewed a ways back by my companion Suiko on this very site. Still, even that gem was diluted somewhat by the (not unappreciated) presence of Shinji Mikami. Suda’s games tend to be a bit rougher around the edges, both in terms of content and the game’s actual construction. Regarding his style, his magnum opus is probably Killer7, a horrifically dark and strange little gem that defies any real attempt at description. Being part surreal horror, part rail shooter, and 100% crazy and unique, not to mention touching on some rather ugly issues (terrorism, cult mentality, the variability of reality, child trafficking, suicide, rape), it handily shows Suda’s propensity for wholly individual and utterly unrestrained expression.
His other opus, No More Heroes, is similarly unbound, but for entirely different reasons. Where K7 was dark and disturbing, NMH is ridiculous and over-the-top. Where K7 asks you questions about the world around you, NMH just tells you to strap in for the ride. Where K7 casts you as seven psychotic killers, NMH casts you as one really, REALLY expressive one. And it is good, it is all good. NMH is one of the most enjoyable, fun and wholly unique experiences from this generation of consoles, and deserves to be played by anyone with an open mind and a taste for the eccentric.
I Stand On My Soapbox is a series of editorials that cover more specific topics in the games industry and community. These articles are a little more extreme than normal editorials published here, and could just degenerate to outright ranting. Have fun and enjoy the show!
Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. This is about Metroid: Other M, the one game many consider the only bad game in the Metroid canon. When it was released, it set the entire Nintendo, and gaming, world on fire, and for all the wrong reasons. Many did not like the submissive portrayal of Nintendo’s intergalactic bounty hunter, Samus Aran, in this this game. From the trailers and gamplay footage preceding the release, this looked to be Nintendo biggest game yet, and they would be teaming up with Tecmo’s Team Ninja (from Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden fame) to make this happen. A lot of gamers were anticipating this game. But once it was released, the flame wars ensued. You had people defending the game, berating it, wanting Team Ninja and Tecmo to burn in hell, etc. Much of the derision came from how poorly written the story of the game was and how much of a black eye it gave the Metroid franchise. Gamers had their reasons to dislike the story, and I’m not here to defend Metroid Other M. However if there’s one thing that was wrong with the story, it’s that this was, in no way, Team Ninja’s fault.