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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Monday, February 4, 2013

So, what's new, Nintendo? [AKA Nintendo Direct, Localizations, and conferences]

Okay, so since I didn't really touch on all the new stuff that was revealed for Wii U in my last post, I thought I'd go into greater detail here. I also have a lot to talk about, so it's broken up into lovely little segments for you all, too! Let's talk about some Nintendo stuff.

Nintendo Direct:

Miiverse will be getting an update, which is awesome because Miiverse is awesome. Two new system updates for the Wii U will attempt to slim its loading times down, which is very smart because my goodness, those loading times are long. One of the more aggravating experiences I had with the Wii U, apart from my firewall settings refusing to accept vital game update data... but yeah. There you go.

So Yarn Yoshi was revealed, being headed by Good Feel, the guys who did Kirby's Epic Yarn. While I have no problem with Yoshi or Good Feel, I think the yarn aesthetic is a little worn out- but at the same time, a lot of the screenshots (not gameplay) displayed much more vibrant, interesting worlds that weren't exactly based on Epic Yarn's elements- the fact that Yoshi is a fully-filled-in crochet model instead of a Yarn outline also seems to imply this. There's a mix of Epic Yarn in here but also images that look like a beautiful, new game. I'm hoping it just doesn't turn out to be the Epic Yarn aesthetics in HD, but I'm not really sold on the title in general, so I guess I'll have to wait and see.

The Wonderful 101 looks... wonderful. It's bright and campy, and features action sensibilities masked by a poppy visual style. It's one of those games that will appeal to all ages. But it also has great voice acting and a very neat and wacky concept, and that's just too cool to be passed up. The foundations of the gameplay are important too, though, and for now, the locales don't seem very varied- here's hoping that isn't the case.

Bayonetta 2 proves to be nothing but an intangible dream at this point, with brief teases of the protagonist's new outfit and some nice snippets of game development. Empty promises and hype abound, but no real substance to show. I'm interested in playing this game, but not enough to write any more about it, considering there's nothing to see.

Even more interesting, yet confusing, was the announcement of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem- arguably one of the stranger crossovers in video gaming history (although Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games does exist), which we're told will be an RPG. And that's pretty much all there is to know about it. No screens, no development footage... just the knowledge that it will exist at some point. Cool?

As for the announcement of a 3D Mario and a new Mario Kart- big whoop, I wasn't supposed to expect these games? I'm interested to see them both, and I hope that Mario Kart uses the integration of Miiverse and community functions much like 3DS does and really becomes a fun online environment. As for the next 3D Mario, well... I sure hope it's not like Galaxy. I've had enough of that gameplay style and I'd like a new direction.

Then we had some interesting comments about the next Zelda, mainly its linearity and solitary nature. I don't know how this could change- I'm all for the idea of an open-world Zelda and that would be a nice change of pace from the series, but I want to keep the solitary adventure- that's why I play Zelda, after all.

Oh, and there's Wind Waker HD. Which doesn't look good at all. Why not? Well, the original game's lighting engine was what made the art style pop so well and look so nice- without it, the models just look like claymation. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you- it could be a nice art style if they went all the way with it- but they won't. Gameplay improvements, highly doubtful. Nintendo has been very scant with its remakes as of late, I expect no different from this one.

And a tiny mention of Smash Bros. A feeble "oh, this is still coming, guys!" It was a bit annoying, really.

But they did end with X, and they do seem to be making quite a big deal about it, especially since its predecessor was well-received and demanded in the West- perhaps we won't have to bitch a moan over its release. Ah well, one can only hope. I mean, it did look like the more mature, higher-definition, bigger-scaled game with mechs. I like mechs.

What else is there to talk about? Well, plenty.

Localizations:

Project X Zone, the SRPG crossover starring Capcom, Sega, and Namco characters developed by Monolith Soft, has been announced for localization in the US. This is wonderful, considering this game was probably the least likely title to ever come out of Japan. It's got Megaman X and Zero, classic Dante, and Xenogears characters- I don't know, there's a ton of characters. It's not a stellar, life-changing RPG, but it is a nice title to add to the 3DS, further emphasizing this year as the year of the 3DS.

But that's not all, Rune Factory 4 has also been announced for localization by XSEED, which adds another RPG to the 3DS' belt. Never having played the series before, I'm interested in taking this title for a spin. From what I hear, its Harvest Moon with combat and dungeon crawling, and also having never played Harvest Moon, I'm curious to see how much of a time-investment it will be. Unlike Fire Emblem, you have an extended amount of time to play around with your resources and develop relationships, so I think I'll be putting a bit of work into it. Which excites me- the more time I invest in a game, the more rewarded I feel for the purchase... in my opinion.

Oh, and how about Pandora's Tower, huh? The one Wii game no one thought would finally make it over to North America is finally getting a release, thanks, once again, to XSEED. And months into the Wii U's life, too- but that's not really a bad thing. Wii U's can play Wii games just fine, so adding this title to your collection isn't that bad of an idea. Personally, though Pandora's Tower was my least-anticipated title of the Rainfall trio, I'm excited to play it, especially after the Last Story exceeded my expectations so brilliantly.

Nintendo also stated that, in an attempt to push 3DS sales more than ever, they will try to help developers bring their titles over for localization as much as possible. What this means for the future of 2013, we can't really be sure. But here's hoping we get some of the most highly-sought Japanese 3DS games like Bravely Default.

Nintendo's latest Direct doesn't really say much to the average Nintendo fan. We already knew 3D Mario and Mario Kart would be coming to the Wii U, but if they have nothing to show now then it won't be out soon. X might not even come soon despite its actual gameplay, and Bayonetta seems a far way off. If Nintendo is counting on Rayman, the Wonderful 101, and Pikmin 3 to support their lineup for now, they may find the next year to be even tougher for them. Hopefully the 3DS push will allow them to compensate for losses with the Wii U, but I find that doubtful. They need to get on top of their game, and fast.

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