Pokemon is changing in a mega way. First off, the style of the games are changing to take full advantage of the 3DS' capabilities. Gone are the days of sprites (for the most part) and in comes full 3D models of over hundreds of pokemon. Speaking of the pokemon themselves, it was recently revealed that a new type of evolution will be in the game called "MEGA Evolutions". For the full details as well as the pokemon revealed with these evolutions at this point, check it out here: http://www.screwattack.com/news/corocoro-leaks-show-new-pokemon-mega-evolutions.
While I am kind of excited on the possibilities that this new chain of evolution can bring, I am honestly kind of disappointed in the current designs for most of these Megamon (hence what I'm calling them from here on out), as well as the names being given to them; just adding 'Mega' to the beginning and calling it a day. I hope that in the future there are better designed Megamon and that hopefully the name is just a placeholder for more creative names in the future.
But this is why I'm calling out to YOU...yes you, g1 who's got his hand on the mouse, ready to click off this page. Do you have a particular pokemon that you want a Megalution of? Are you also disappointed in the designs of the current megamon revealed in the past few days? Well here's your chance to show off your creative natures, and show Game Freak how to design pokemon! Here are just a few simple guidelines to follow:
No Megaman. That joke is too obvious.
Has to be a mega-evolution of an existing pokemon. I'm pretty sure your original pokemon are awesome and all, but leave those ideas to the fan-games. I'm also pretty sure it won't be too hard to pick one out of the over 600 different ones in the world already. The only exceptions being...
Don't submit an entry of an already announced megamon (MegaBlaziken, MegaAbsol, MegaAmphorus, MegaMewtwo, MegaLucario, MegaKangiskhan, and MegaMawlie)
If you wish, you can add additional information on your megamon entry, such as a new name, its ability (an existing one or a new one with description of it), type(s), etc. Though do try to not make your megamon over-powered. Please keep them as balanced as possible.
We are encouraging this to be an art showcase, but for those who can't draw for diddly-squat (like me), you can still get involved by making suggestions of megamon you want to see yourself; maybe in the comments section below. Perhaps your suggestions will give the artists ideas and bring yours to life.
Do try to make them more original than this:
I get that to some, this is supposed to signify an emotional moment that the baby is grown up enough and now it wants to help fight with mommy and daddy, but come on! I'm surprised there's no Gengis Khan reference in there somewhere like Chinese armor.
This can possibly turn into a contest (how a winner will be chosen being determined later; most likely by public voting), but I'm rather new to the whole contest scene, so I wouldn't exactly know what would make a good prize for this, or even how to give it to the winner. Maybe if someone else would be willing to help out with this portion, whether by giving away something themselves or just teaching me on how to do it myself (something simple like giving away currency for XBLA or PSN), that would be great. I can assure though that entries submitted will be shown in the corresponding g1_Spotlight that week.
So I've actually got you interested to keep you reading up to this point, eh? Well that's good. If you're also interested in actually submitting to this cause, send your submissions to email@example.com, either sending an attachment of your piece or at least a link to it. Hopefully it's that easy.
So now go out there and experience the wide world of Pokemon fanart. And remember, make them
For a while now, consumers have raised a concern over the Kinect sensor that comes with the Xbox One in package. Not only did its requirement to always be connected seem to be an annoyance to those who have no plans on implementing it during their playtime with the console, but the fact that it was always on to monitor movements also became the topic of many fear-ridden conversations, claiming that the system would be spying on its homes.
Microsoft has recently been on a frenzy sweep campaign to appease the people to buy the console, from removing the hated DRM policies, to allowing Indie developers to update their games for free. Now Microsoft continues with the backtracking, as they recently stated that the Kinect will no longer be required for the Xbox One to perform basic functions such as playing games. They will also be given the option to turn the device on/off in the system settings. The more advanced features however, like Skype, handless menu controls and Kinect-featured games will still require the Kinect to be activated.
The decision came from Microsoft wanting to have users be 100% comfortable with their console, according to Microsoft senior executive Albert Penello. To insure such a comfortable state, they also assured that while the Kinect is in its off mode, absolutely no data of any kind is being processed or passed around inside the sensor. Mr. Penello had this to say to explain the matter:
"The thing we all understood, and hence this change, is that there are some scenarios where people just may not be comfortable. We wanted people to be 100% comfortable, so we allow the sensor to be unplugged... obviously, if there is a game that REQUIRES Kinect (like Rivals), or something where Kinect IS the experience (like Skype), those won’t work. That said, for people who have privacy concerns there are user control settings, which we believe are great."
The Kinect will be shipped with the Xbox One, but more as a bonus instead of an necessity. It's also unclear at this point whether or not there will be a separate, less-expensive Xbox One package without the Kinect.
Comment Questions: Do you believe this was a good move by Microsoft? If you are intending to get an Xbox One, how often do you predict that you will be using the Kinect's new "off" mode?
Persona 4 Arena is a critically-acclaimed fighting game that has been out for quite some time now.Last year it earned the coveted award of '2012's Fighting Game of the Year' across multiple publications. Though not as popular as games like Super Street Fighter IV AE or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the game has certainly earned such a title by making a big impact in the fighting game scene.
However those who have followed the game's success closely may notice that among those praises, very few of them come from locations such as Germany, France, or even the United Kingdom. This is mainly because for some reason, P4A was never properly released in Europe, denying thousands of players from playing as their favorite character/persona combatants.
Well soon, players will no longer have to import either the US or Japanese version of the game to gain access to it, because the official Persona European Facebook page has released a status update about the European release. The game has already been sent to Sony and Microsoft for approval, and once approved, a release date will inevitably follow. Here is the official statement from the page:
"We have now taken delivery of the PS3 EU version of Persona 4 Arena, and we are expecting the Xbox version soon. Once we have both, the next step will be to submit P4A to Sony and Microsoft. At this stage, we'll be able to estimate a likely release window for you guys - and once it's been approved by both platform holders, we'll be able to give you a realistic street date. We will, of course, let you know what stage we are in this process so you can have a clearer idea of when the release date is likely to be. Again, thank you for your patience..."
For you European players out there, are you still excited to play this game, or is has the interest faded away over time? Nevertheless, for those that do decide to play the game, they'll have a lot of catching up to do if they hope to be on par with the U.S. and Japanese competitors.
Let's also just hope that in the future, such a huge delay for a popular game like this never occurs to tease customers again.
Editor’s Note: Certainly a great idea on Microsoft’s part (and one that’s long over due to be honest) but will it be enough to win over the indie developers who seem to be taking their business elsewhere (PS4 and Wii U)? Or is it too little too late?
I’m not so sure about that but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft implemented even more “indie friendly” polices in the near future.
In recent news continuing with the theme of Microsoft changing policies, the company has reportedly announced that it will no longer charge developers thousands of dollars to update or just patch their Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games. Before, each game, after paying for the submission of certification, would be allowed one free update. Now it seems like all updates will be free-of-charge in the future. The change was actually made in late April, but developers are just now discovering the changes.
Microsoft has confirmed the news with the following statement:
"Microsoft eliminated fees for Title Updates on Xbox 360 Arcade games in April 2013. We’re constantly evaluating our policies and implementing feedback. While our development policies are confidential, and will remain so, we’re pleased to say that this is just one of many ongoing changes and improvements we've made to ensure Xbox is the best place possible for developers and gamers."
Now before you go off on Microsoft, claiming them to be "money-grubbers" for previously implementing such a fee, they sort of had an acceptable reason for doing so. You see, Microsoft implemented the extensive charges to prevent developers from releasing generally unfinished products to the market, the trade-off to this decision being disabling less-wealthy developers from being able to update their games at all because of the high cost.
This move to eliminate the high cost could be seen as a shift in gearing more towards indie developers, a rapidly-rising market that before, Microsoft..wasn't really in good terms with most of the time. With the high cost of updating their titles now out of the way, indie developers may now be more keen to work with Microsoft..as soon as the other annoyances with working with the publisher stated in another article are worked out first.
On the flip side of this, Microsoft may have opened the flood gates to a new trend of unfinished games, with the intent of fixing the problems via patches, updates and DLC later on as it gets discovered by players.
Comment Question: So what do you guys think of this decision? Are you happy that this could be one step closer to an "Indie Heaven" or are you more concerned this is the beginning to the new trend of "Video Game Super Mega Edition Revelations- Version: 62.5-A."?
If I have made any mistakes to this news article, please notify them in the comments below and I will work on updating the fixes/changes into the next patch.
Recently, newly appointed CEO of Square Enix's American and European divisions, Phil Rodgers released a letter on the company's website directed at its customers. In said letter, he openly admits that company reps haven't been doing a good job at explaining their strategy to the fans, apologizing for making them frustrated.
"There’s been speculation and commentary made this year about Square Enix’s strategy in the Americas and Europe, and I know we’ve not outwardly commented or addressed this, so some folk may be confused about what we’re actually doing – therefore I want to try and explain directly to you here on our Square Enix blog. "
He went on to explain said strategy, saying that as a game company, new business models have been opening up as more ways to play (like mobile devices and tablets) emerge, urging Square Enix to adapt with said models or else risk being unable to release satisfactory products to its consumers.
“First and foremost, we are a games company and today we devote most of our time and effort into developing new and rich gameplay experiences, worlds and characters. At the same time new business models have risen up, which we periodically will try to explore, such as the company recently did with the iOS flop,Final Fantasy: All the Bravest.
"I know this can be frustrating for some long-time fans of our games, particularly if it seems that we’re heading in unfamiliar directions without much in the way of explanation. Explaining our approach to these opportunities is something we’re working to improve on. That said, we need to experiment and adapt or it’s likely we won’t always be in a position to keep investing in the ways we need, to build-out our games and offer excellence to you, our gamers.
"So here’s the good news to the company that made Square Enix what it is. “I can categorically say that we’re not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games. We’re working hard at improving how we develop our games and how we release them."
The way he says it as "the good news" kind of urked me a little, but he would then go on to giving examples on how they are working on this situation, such as re-orienting studio leadership, and then going on to talk about their already upcoming big titles like Kingdom Hearts III, the recently-announced Tomb Raider sequel, Final Fantasy XV and the new Thief. He also expresses good faith in the success in their experimental titles for mobile/tablet devices such as Deus Ex: The Fall and their online PC game Heroes and Generals, which is now in beta.
"In the future, we’ll offer gamers more choice, support more platforms and try new things – but we will make sure that whatever the platform, we’ll always keep our focus on raising the quality bar. We feel that is what gamers should expect from a Square Enix game."
The letter in its full detail is available in the Sources link below.
Comment Questions: Are you satisfied that Square Enix went out to discuss and explain this growing concern for the company directly? Do you approve with how they have decided to handle things in the future or do you think they should try another method? Do you even care about any of this or are you just waiting to ask when they are going to release an HD remake of Final Fantasy VII already?
This is my first editorial article in a while, so please forgive me for..anything I do wrong (like the excessive amount of Nintendo puns I've already used while enticing you to read this). I also realized while composing this piece that this particular issue has become quite a popular topic for discussion amongst the world of game journalism in the last couple of days, so maybe there is something to be concerned about. Anyway let's get this e"review of Nintendo underway, shall we?
Before we begin discussing Nintendo's future though, perhaps it would be best if we took a look at Nintendo's past..yet again.
Nintendo History Abridged
You see kids, before Nintendo even considered making toys and games, they were a card company called Nintendo Koppai in 1889, mainly producing and marketing a popular playing card game called Hanafuda. Skipping a bit to 1963, Nintendo Koppai changed its name to Nintendo Co. and tried other ventures, including a taxi service and a love hotel of all things! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), all of these attempts failed. Even their original playing card business was going under because of plummeting sales.
Nintendo took a crack at one more venture in the toy industry in 1966, its first product being the Ultra Hand, developed by Gunpei Yokoi. Yokoi was moved from maintenance developer to product developer of Nintendo Games, the department that continue on making other toys like the Love Tester and light gun games. Nintendo would begin in the video game industry in 1974, but wouldn't become that popular until 1981, when a little arcade game called Donkey Kong, made by a young Shigeru Miyamoto, would release and become a cabinet hit worldwide, changing Nintendo's business mindset from that day forward.
I think the rest is history that's already been beaten into our heads here at ScrewAttack. In 1983, Nintendo would release the Famicon (Family-Computer) in Japan, and release its American counterpart, the NES two years later. Gunpei Yokoi would continue on to make the Game Boy, the best-selling handheld game device of all time. With the console and handheld branches firmly in place, Nintendo would continue on over the years, with the rivalry against SEGA, the company's mistake in its dealings with Sony, prompting the Sony Playstation and countering with the Nintendo 64, all the way to today, becoming an entertainment icon throughout the world.
That Was Then, This Is Now
So what does Nintendo's history tell us? For one thing, it's not very acquainted with shortage of money, being Japan's third most valuable company. In fact, the only two financial droops Nintendo has faced ever since becoming a gaming company thus far were the infamous Virtual Boy (prompting Gunpei Yokoi's retirement), and the Nintendo Gamecube. The purple lunchbox did sell well, but since it had to compete with the likes of thePlaystation 2 and later on the Xbox, it didn't stand much of a chance in meeting sales expectations.
But sales margins also fail to show what goes behind the scenes of success. Nintendo in the past has also been known for..how can I say this...being quite a bitch to work with for third-party developers. Developers would have to go through loops, working with all the restrictions Nintendo placed on its 8-bit and 16-bit consoles, high licensing fees, and wonky data storage formats, all just to get that familiar Nintendo Seal of Quality that players would see on their cartridges.
To developers, this was practically like surviving through a gauntlet
Lately sales also haven't been going too hot for their latest consoles, the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS; ?quite discouraging considering their predecessors, the Wii and Nintendo DS, practically printed money for Nintendo. Oh don't worry, the 3DS is doing fine now, but only after a few price cuts, causing massive employee pay cuts as well, including a 50% pay cut off of President Iwata, and 30% pay cuts from representative directors. No, the main concern now is with the Wii U. The first problem is with its current marketing, as in there almost isn't one. Go ahead and ask any person on the street about the Wii U, and they will most likely not even know that the system even exists. Those who do know about the Wii U, may also think it's nothing more but a Wii expansion. This simply needs to change.
But even if that were to change, there still wouldn't be much quality games to play with. Like the Wii before, third-party developers (with some exceptions like Retro Studios, Capcom and Ubisoft) are still having a hard time fully implementing the Wii U, or simply disregarding it as a worthwhile console to invest in EA's case, usually just exporting an inferior version of their ports. Whatever's straining relationships with these developers needs to change as well, because there's another problem looming about that's threatening the future of the entire company.
The Mascot Costumes are Starting to Rot
I've had my worries about this particular topic for a while now, but I've recently come across a detailed article that shows that I'm not alone in this thought. You can read said article over here: (http://www.screwattack.com/news/mario-dead-and-we-killed-him). In short, the Mario and Zelda formulas are getting stale, new species of pokemon are getting.."lamer" (according to the rising number of what they're calling 'onegenners'), and the image of Samus Aran may have been damaged forever for some/most players because of Team Ninja's cooperative efforts in Metroid: Other M. I wouldn't exactly compare the Mario series to Activision's Call of Duty series, like RogueportJack states in his article just yet, but the similarities are there. Nintendo won't be able to depend on these franchises for long, not how they are right now. X, a new title announced at E3, is a good start, but Nintendo consoles needs new ideas, or at least revise the old ones. Eiji Aonuma, The Legend of Zelda's producer, stated this fact also at E3 in a way I couldn't say any better:
"If we don't change we might die. We need to evolve. Things need to change. Things need to grow."
What Mr. Aonuma also says during this interview also makes sense. Changing things in such beloved franchises comes with the big risk of alienating its long-time fans. Even with such a risk, there are also fans that are just waiting for some radical changes to such franchises. They need ideas for new Zelda games? How about something like this:
The Adventures of Lynk
(Still just friends with Zelda. Keep it PG fellas -_-)
Don't believe this will sell? How about the dads out there who would go to extreme lengths for their daughter's entertainment, like the one who hacked into The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and recoded it to make Link look more like a girl (http://www.screwattack.com/news/dedicated-dad-changes-link%E2%80%99s-gender), or the one who recoded the original Donkey Kong Arcade to pull a switch-a-roo, and have his daughter play as Pauline rescuing Jumpan from the rampaging ape (http://www.screwattack.com/video/Dad-hacks-Donkey-Kong-to-make-Pauline-playable-8759831). In a market overrun by the same male protagonists, Nintendo can take the step forward with female main characters, earning an advantage for the more female-favoring market. Of course this strategy can also be seen as shallow or as "just another gimmick in Nintendo's arsenal". So maybe it would be more helpful to change the entire gameplay:
Why this stealth-action spin-off game isn't being considered by Nintendo is beyond me
In short, Nintendo's franchises still have a lot of potential left in them. Even Metroid: Other M was a nice attempt at the Metroid series, just with poor execution. If it wants to continue being as legendary of a game company that it is, Nintendo's going to need to stop playing it safe and get creative again.
The Great Console Race
I think it's safe to say with that last topic that Nintendo still has imagination behind it and thus still has life here. I personally think Nintendo is far from "Nintendoomed" like others are saying. But even if their top franchises become refreshing and popular again, is that enough to keep up with the next generation of consoles like the Playstation 4 and Xbox One? Is there enough soul in their console, or should the council console the hardware department and think of other plans for the future? Let's think about it for a second: With Nintendo no longer needing to worry about hardware and the various costs that come with it, focusing mainly on their titles, they could potentially become the greatest software developers in the business! You may now be worrying that if they go the path of their (former?) rival, SEGA, and go completely 2nd-party, they'll soon fade into obscurity. Unlike SEGA however, Nintendo has enough memorable titles to carry itself on other consoles if they choose.
Even if they don't decide to be a 2nd-party, should they abandon consoles and focus solely on their portable market? Unlike the Wii U at the moment, the Nintendo 3DS is dominating its competition, beating out both the PS Vita and mobile devices. In fact, Nintendo has always held a sort of monarchy over the handheld market ever since the Game Boy was produced. Perhaps a more portable-focused strategy would work best with Nintendo. Whatever is the best case for them at the moment, the decision all ultimately comes down to to the company, and Charles Scibetta, Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Nintendo of America has already given an explanation on why they are still in the hardware business:
"Nintendo systems come to life the best when the hardware and software work in perfect harmony. That's why we're still in the hardware business, because we think our hardware is the best way to bring software to life. It's tuned perfectly for that. When Mario bounces from mushroom to mushroom, it feels so responsive because the software has been tuned especially for that hardware."
Whether to completely agree on this or not, I can't say. I do understand though that there is a certain magic that comes with Mario working in its own console that I doubt cannot be exemplified on the other consoles. Maybe that's all it takes for most of us to love Nintendo. Either way, 2014 is going to be one important year for them, because how people will perceive most of the lineup that is coming out during that time will determine if people have the right to worry about them now.
Comment Question: I think this one is fairly obvious. What are your current thoughts on Nintendo? Should the close shop? Should they become a 2nd-party software developer, or should they focus on their handheld lineup? Is there even anything wrong with the company, or are people like me worrying over nothing? If you do think something is wrong, what are some other things Nintendo can do that hasn't been listed here. It's been reported that Nintendo has already started listening to the fans by backtracking on their copyright policy on Let's Plays.
One thing I think Nintendo should do is open up their love hotel business line again. They are already targeting their market focus on families, why not have hotels that focus on making families. I mean c'mon, how do they NOT already have an official line of mushroom-theme viagra for the lads? Even better, they can even have their own viral advertising campaign. How? By re-releasing Hotel Mario. As genius as it is, I'm not saying re-releasing exactly as it is in its full CDI glory. I'm merely suggesting that they remake Hotel Mario, new graphics and all, with the new objective being to close all the doors in the level so that the hotel couples staying there can get to getting it on like Donkey Kong, in peace.
Oh yeah. You didn't imagine this abomination coming back did you?
Order your reservations now to book a room at Nintendo 69!
The stage for the next generation of consoles has been set. The Playstation 4 will be arriving on November 15, and the will Xbox One be released a week afterwards on November 22, both releases basing their strategy around Black Friday, the now infamous day after Thanksgiving where prices plummet down to nothing as well as the rushing consumers' sense of humanity and courtesy towards one another.
But with all these people gobbling up all of the most recent news breaking out about the new consoles like an endless appetizer, just waiting to get their hands on the main course, they're still some people out there who are apprehensive of the hardware, and are wondering what's going to happen to the the plate that's already right in front of them, the predecessors.
Well for those who have already ordered the Xbox 360 or are maybe thinking of getting one, they won't need to worry about the console spoiling or being erased from the menu anytime soon. Over at the Citi Global Technology Conference this past week Xbox chief marketing and strategy officer Yusuf Mehdi stated that since its launch in 2005, the Xbox 360 has been a real money-maker for the company, putting at ease the costs of researching, manufacturing, and launching their next console, and it will continue to be a profit machine for Microsoft for at least three more years (if the console remains relevant to both the consumer and Microsoft's best interests for that long)
"You've seen us over the years constantly be focused on profitability and improving year over year. There are different points in the cycle of when you invest in new hardware... If you look at 360 that platform lasted for seven to eight years and it's going to go for another three years. It's incredibly profitable now in the tail... Some of these things take some time in the launch year in which you invest, and then they they play out over time."
The Xbox 360 won't be just stagnant until 2016 obviously. Mehdi continued, saying that at least 100 games will be expected to be shipped for the 360 together as well as the Xbox One.
"We're going to continue to invest in Xbox 360, and the two devices can work in concert. So it's not like the day we ship Xbox One your 360 won't work. We'll continue to support it."
If the Xbox One's launch sales go as well as they predict, they also plan on setting multiple price cuts for the 8-11 year old console.
UPDATE: So that's that then. Once 2016 rolls on by, the 360 will be officially out of the picture, especially since the Xbox One may be backwards-compatible one day, thanks to the Azure cloud servers it will be using. Oh yeah, I guess that's sort of big news in of itself as well. When asked by Gamespot if the console's cloud service could make it possible to be backwards compatible via streaming like Playstation 4 and Gaikai, senior director Albert Penello responded with:
"Yeah, absolutely. That's one of the things that makes [the cloud] at the same time both totally interesting and hard to describe to people. Because what the cloud can do is sort of hard to pin... It could be more complicated things like rendering full games like a Gaikai and delivering it to the box. We just have to figure out how, over time, how much does that cost to deliver, how good is the experience."
I guess it will soon be farewell, Xbox 360. Your hardware may have been a bitch to deal with at times, and your library may be devoid of any good JRPGs (because Japan has practically declared the you nonexistent), but I still hope that that red ring of death of yours becomes more of a halo as you ascend towards game obscurity heaven, alongside the Gamecube and other consoles.
R.I.P. Xbox 360 2005-2016
Comment Question of the Day: For those of you who still have an Xbox 360, how long do you plan on clinging on to the console? Do you plan on going to the last breath? Do you even intend on buying an Xbox One after its lifespan is done or during 2013-2015? And just for the heck of it, name your favorite Xbox 360 exclusive title, because I'm pretty sure we all can think of exclusives off the top of our heads. >.>
For those of you who might actually be getting bored of doing stuff in Grand Theft Auto Online, boy does Rockstar have some treats for you!
First off is the promised Content Creator. This handy-dandy feature is finally coming our way, and will enable the ability to create custom races, missions, deathmatch setups etc. The more prominent (but still balanced) creations will be featured on Rockstar's spotlight service called 'Rockstar Newswire' to bask in the glory in front of the others.
The second bit of news is that the first batch of DLC for Grand Theft Auto V has also been announced called the 'Beach Bum Pack'. The Beach Bum Pack will include new weapons, vehicles, cosmetics, and Jobs that theme around the coastal areas of Los Santos. They weren't really specific with what's being added with this pack, but if I had to guess (a.k.a. make a wishlist), I'd take a guess and say that some of the stuff to be included would be more boats, beach buggies, some form of harpoon gun, swim shorts, bikinis, scuba gear and perhaps a method of obtaining your very own submarine.
Like the Content Creator, expect this batch of fun-in-the-sun to be released for absolutely no charge!
And if that wasn't enough, there will also be weekly special events hosted by Rockstar such as unique 'first come, first serve' in-game crate drops, Capture-the-Flag, and the long-awaited online heists. You'll also want to put up a good show, because your performance may be randomly selected to be broadcasted live via their new livestream broadcasts on Twitch.
Speaking of Twitch events and shameless advertising, the archives for the first ScrewAttack Gamedays are now available and with all this new stuff being added, I can only expect that the next visit to GTA Online will only get potentially better.
Expect all of this to make its big bang debut somewhere in "early November". Let's just hope that none of this content gets delayed like the ammending $timulus package.
Comment Question: What do you expect to be included in the Beach Bum Pack? Are you excited for all the other new stuff hosted by Rockstar? Any plans already cooked up just waiting to be built in the Content Creator? With the new DLC theming around the shores of Los Santos, do you think any players will now actually consider giving any effort to increasing their Lung Capacity stat?
Editor's note: The picture was dead and I could find it on Zerochan, but I found something that I think captures the spirit of the blog. Great work A Zero 2 Hero!
"The main thing we expect from the producers of video games is the realistic and historically truthful representation of events. A video game has to have not only an entertainment value, but it also has to teach and be conducive to patriotic education."
These were the words that Arseny Mironov, an aid to the Russian Culture Minister told Russian newspaper, Izvestiya, when talking about video games. Their latest plan on the matter is to have the Russian government make their own, more "patriotic" games, and ban other games that "distort history".
Their first project is being headed by the Russian Military History Society, a game that will be about the inclusion of Russian military aviation during World War I. The game is expected to be inaugurated by 2014, and there also seems to be some discussion between the government and several undisclosed video game developers to make the game as well as future projects. Why are they doing this now? Mironov continued to explain:
"The RMHS feels the "Russian warrior" has been portrayed wrongly in past games, namely Company of Heroes II. In Relic's RTS title, Russian soldiers are portrayed as "criminals," the RMHS says, and the title also isn't translated into Russian. The culture ministry said that foreign games like this can "discredit the Russian soldier."
So apparently because of games like 'Company of Heroes II', Russia's mistrust of foreign virtual entertainment has escalated to a level where action must be made. I have never played the game, so maybe one of you g1s can explain where or when in the game is there a point that would cause such concern/outrage.
I hope that this would appear under the 'Do Not Ban' list
Later on, the government will also be giving out grants for "development of patriotic video games". You can expect one of these grants to go to a game-in-progress called 'You Don't Mess With Putin', a mobile game where Russian president Vladmir Putin fights a horde of zombies... preferably with his shirt off.
At this rate depending on the game's overall quality, MorningWood may need to update his list of 'Top 5 Best and Worst Educaional Games' sometime soon (you can check it out here: http://www.screwattack.com/news/top-5-best-and-worst-educational-games). Better yet, maybe this could the right opportunity to make a new/updated list- a list of Top [Insert Number Here] Russians in Gaming to show the RMHS the good representations of their culture.
Comment Question:Do you think this move by the Russian government is justified? Do you think that representation of Russian soldiers has gone too far, or has the Culture Minister's accusations of them have? What kind of educational game would you develop for your country?
Ah yes. The most wonderful time of the year is here; the neighborhoods decorated with so many lights, making electricity bills skyrocket, the irony that the message of goodwill and giving is being overwhelmed by rampant commercialism, convincing grannies to sucker-punch others to obtain a 60" TV, the thought of a jolly fat man infiltrating all kinds of houses and giving himself diabetes because he doesn't want to seem rude to the little boys and girls who keep laying down milk and cookies for him, yes all of that and so much more! My apologies, but you'll have to excuse my grumpiness during this season, my Grinchiness if you want to be all smart-alek about it. I guess you can say the ol' winter magic is starting to fade away from me, mainly because of one tradition that I am forced to undergo at this time: watching "Jingle All the Way."
For those that never saw this, Turboman sounds like a badass name, but for those of us who have...ugh..Sinbad.
So I was droning through my upteenth screening of this movie with the family, and I started to continuously whisper the flick's title in lamentation. That's when the word "jingle" began to ring a bell. The ringing made me think and appreciate the many little jingles within video games. Those little snippets of chirps and bleeps in video games that aren't as long as BGMs, but make a lasting impression nevertheless.
So why not do something with video game jingles? And thus this generic list came to be. But why Top 8? Because I always feel a little guilty when Hanukah is overlooked year after year, so this list will have one game for each crazy night of the Jewish holiday.
Right then, so I guess the first thing I should in these list thingy-meh-jiggies is lay down the ground rules:
One jingle/song per franchise; the one rule all lists of this kind seem to obey
The choices cannot be longer than thirty seconds. They're short, sweet and to the point, not like this blog with its long and drawn-out introduction.
I am fairly new to this list business so don't expect this one to be as accurate or refined as Santa's lists. In addition, this is merely my opinion, so if you have any complaints about my opinion, just simply send a complaint letter to:
P.O. Box 56099
North Pole, Antarctica 99705-1099
I'm sure the associates there will send you a proper response to your door around December 25th.
First up, we have some...
Because apparently everyone deserves a trophy nowadays, even the losers
Oh Capcom, how you have fallen from such grace. Let's remember the good times with this bit of nostalgia. Since 1992 on the SNES, this four-second tune would introduce almost every game that the company made, and almost every time it gave me a chilling sensation. Its harp-like melody kept entrancing me to believe I was about to enter a spa. It's surely a nostalgia blast nowadays, but the blast just isn't strong enough to break into the list.
Super Metroid- Item Acquisition
The Metroid series implements a style of play that can leave a player lost and confused in a desolate world. Whenever Samus Aran found a new toy to play with though, this tune would comfort the player and assure them that they were on the right track to stopping Ridley and the space pirates. While it is true that Metroid II deserves credit for having the original version, Super Metroid for the SNES refined it, giving it that deeper and more epic tone to become the memorable piece of music that we know and love today. If anything, it serves as a great ending theme for old ScrewAttack videos, but not grand enough to make the end of this list.
Mortal Kombat 4- Unleash Fatality!
FINISH HIM! Sorry couldn't resist saying that. Mortal Kombat always puts me in a sadistic mood and seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to be family-friendly funny isn't really helping. The four-second tune isn't as widely beloved by people, but when a player inputs the proper commands and it starts playing, people know some messed up shit's about to go down. The three notes that follow will send chills down their spine right before the victim is separated from their's. Out of all the renditions composed within the MK series, the one in Mortal Kombat 4 gives me that "oh shit" feeling the most, its darker tone guaranteeing nothing short of death. But still, this jingle does not surpass its test of might, and thus is left out of the list.
With that out of the way, let's get to the actual list, shall we?
8. Contra ReBirth- Title Screen
What better to start off a jingles list than with a ten-second song at the beginning of the game. The Contra title theme is famously known to pump up those who pick up the controller, and expresses straight out that this game is going to be a hard-as-nails action experience that will train boys to become gun-toting commandos. The part that sealed the deal was the 8-bit explosion at the end. But then the remake came out for the Nintendo DS in 2009, and holy crap does it amplify the feeling! Whereas the original NES Contra theme sounded like a 90's movie of two buff dudes about to enter battle, the SNES-like sound chip gave the theme new life, sounding like two muscular warriors are about to enter war, and it doesn't even need an explosion!
7. Battletoads- Pause
Did that last tune make you want to go out and take on the world? Good, now let's calm down a notch by listening to the next entry on the list (you wouldn't have lasted long anyway, especially without the Konami Code). The Battletoads pause loop is just so catchy and jamming that it'll make anybody just want to stop and boogey down a little bit. It'll make players never want to unpause and continue the game; both a good and bad thing for a game. The beat is also extremely therapeutic, which is a godsend because without it, the unfair difficulty of the rest of the game would have left a lot of NES controllers broken in half. So as gratitude for saving the lives of countless controllers, I honor your funky beats with a spot on this list; such an honor.
6. Pokemon- Pokemon Caught
This sound really is an unappreciated beauty. Fighting pokemon to simply take them down is either an easy matter or an overwhelming task depending on how well-trained your party is, nothing else special about it. Fighting pokemon to capture them is a whole other story; a fine balance between using the right attacks, maintaining the enemy's health, inflicting the right status effects on them, and finally using the most suitable pokeballs to finish the job. When it comes to certain pokemon (mostly legendaries), this task can become an aggravating nightmare. No matter how much on the brink of fainting they are, no matter if they're either confused, asleep, or even fully-paralyzed, no matter what kind of pokeball you're using, they will not just..stay..inside..that BALL! For some bullshit reason involving catch rate numbers and other junk, trainers will consume countless minutes/hours and countless pokeballs trying to catch that one pokemon they desire. But once that battle is over, once that ball wiggles three times then stops moving, this song comes in to signal to the player that it's finally over. Not to discredit the theme itself, because it's a rather celebratory jingle that should be accompanied by a parade with confetti, but the main reason it's on this list is because of the feeling of relief and accomplishment behind it and behind that accomplishment is a new partner to team up with.
5. Sonic the Hedgehog- Game Over
This little jingle is seriously way past cool, and for all the wrong reasons. Sure it's a song for running out of lives and thus failure, but it's just so funny. Masato Nakamura must've known what he was doing when he was composing this song for the game during his time in his J-pop band. I mean the use of the trumpet and xylophone sounds throughout simply symbolizes the art of the blooper, and that last drawn-out note at the end simply takes the cake..then falls flat on their face in it. You can insert this into any unfortunate situation (or as the kids these would say: EPIC FAIL!) and it'll be too hilarious to not at least chuckle at. Go on, try it.
Someone slips and falls on a wet floor?
>Insert this song.
Girlfriend catches her boyfriend naked?
>Insert this song.
>Insert this song.
4. Megaman 2- Robot Master Introduction
The next 4 themes on this list are nothing less than iconic, starting with this one. No matter which robot master the player chooses, this tune will exemplify how badass that robot is, and that the player is going to be in for a fight. Megaman 2's version of the song has a lighter pitch to its predecessor and has been chosen as the more iconic version ever since, being used for a the rest of the Megaman series. The ending to it even adds some suspense to it, expressing the question of whether Rockman might even succeed; like a cliffhanger from old action tv shows.
"Will this be Megaman's biggest challenge yet? Will he even survive? Tune in to find out!"
Whenever people think of the blue bomber, they think of this song right after, and that's why it deserves the #4 spot.
3. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time- Treasure Obtained
There's always a sense of grand mystery to the beginning of this song. The rising tempo and increasing pace will almost always hype up the player into wondering what brand new item they have obtained, even if they already know what's inside that particular chest. Then there's that brief silence, making the Link question whether the new gift they've received is actually really worth it or not, valuing whether it was worth the risk. And then...those magical, four notes. Whether it's a longshot, the light arrow, or even just the compass, those four notes will make the player damn sure that item is worth it! Twilight Princess's rendition is more orchestral, but it's too quiet, not really containing the excitement previous versions had. Wind Waker's version though is too fast and a bit too cartoony. The version that got the theme just right was Ocarina of Time. Yes yes more praise to OoT being the best Zelda, but that particular one really did get it just right for me; the right speed, the right tempo, the right..pazazz. It certainly made it feel more like an accomplishment than any other.
For being the ultimate present-opening music (especially on Christmas Day), this iconic jingle earns itself the #3 spot.
2. Final Fantasy- Victory!
You probably have already guessed which two jingles will make the final two, but weren't sure of which order. If I didn't know any better I'd say this song is more recognizable and memorable than the entire Final Fantasy series! That should make sense since it was featured in almost every single one, each one being a little bit different than the last. That's over 12 mainline games, and countless spinoffs including Chocobo Racing, and Dissidia?. The song can be changed and used in so many different ways. It can be joyful, it can comedic, it can be serious, it can be cool, it can even be smooth. This fanfare is so special to gamers around the world, that the one common complaint for Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel, the one that rises above most others like its mediocre gameplay, the hack story, and bleh characters, is the lack of this tune in some form or another. Why those games don't have it is beyond me. You can make just about anyone listen to any version of this song, be they gamer or not, and they will tell you that it's from Final Fantasy. THAT is some well-deserved recognition. The Final Fantasy victory fanfare is just too powerful to be ignored, but not powerful enough to be #1 for me.
So just what is the top video jingle that tingles my ringle? Why it's none other than...
1. Super Mario Bros- Flagpole Captured
I immediately knew when making this list that Mario would be in it somewhere. The hard part was choosing which one. The Mario series has had an arsenal of great and memorable jingles throughout. Just about every end level clear jingle in a Mario game is recognizable, mainly..well because it's Mario. But if I was going to choose one from the franchise, I had to pick the one that was just as recognizable to the entire world as the original Super Mario Bros theme, and I couldn't think of any one better than the theme that ends the levels of the same game. Whether it's in classic 8-bit, 16-bit, fully orchestrated, or even played by a heavy metal rock band, this jingle represents grand accomplishment. Each of the three lines of music in it represents a different aspect of the game: The first one is the presentation of the challenge, keeping with the standard tone. The second time, the last two notes are higher, representing Mario/Luigi overcoming those challenges and striding across the Koopa-filled obstacle course. The third time comes with its last two notes being even higher, symbolizing the end of the level, where Mario/green Mario have finally gotten to the castle and make that last great leap towards the top of the flagpole, arms stretching in victory, and then the song finally ends in grand fashion signaling success. This song simply showed how to end things right, just like how it's ending this list as the #1 Video Game Jingle that tingles my ringle.
Phew! Y'know after making this list and thinking of all those songs, I feel a lot more cheerier. How about you? Speaking of your thoughts and feelings? What is your favorite video game jingle? Is this list as accurate as yours?Let me know in the comments section. As for me, I think I feel like caroling.