Hi, I'm Alex. I'm a lifelong Nintendo fan and PC gamer. A few of my all-time favourite video games include The Legend of Zeldas: Twilight Princess and Majora's Mask, Mass Effect 2, Rayman 2, and most importantly, Xenoblade. If I ever catch you making a "really feeling it" joke in our comments, you can bet your ass I'll hide it, you casual scum.
Feel free to send me a private message if you have something you'd like to discuss... or if you just want to say hi!
A new video from YouTube user MyGamingBoulevard lets you vicariously enjoy Nintendo’s booth at Gamescom. Whereas in June Nintendo’s E3 show floor offerings were exclusively dedicated to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the company’s Gamescom display is focused on just about everything other than Zelda. Nintendo has demos for tons of already-released titles as well as upcoming games like Mario Party: Star Rush and the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII, as well as displays including the NES Classic Edition. Take a look for yourself above.
Sadly, many Sonic the Hedgehog fans have slowly given up hoping for a return to greatness for the blue hero. SEGA, however, is still hopeful that they can pull Sonic out of his slump. “We want to release good titles to all the players,” says Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, “and that is the challenge for us moving forward – making sure our games are great.” Meanwhile, Sonic Chief Brand Officer Ivo Gerscovich would like to see Sonic as an “entertainment icon.”
Here’s what Gerscovich told MCV magazine:
“SEGA is really – as of this last year – putting a huge emphasis on quality. One of the things about Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is that we held the title for a year, which is not something SEGA has traditionally done, but this focus on quality is really about trying to take Sonic back to where it used to be. We are really focused on turning Sonic into an entertainment icon, not just a games icon. We want to go across all platforms and elevate his status even further, which explains why we are doing so much.” — Ivo Gerscovich
Gerscovich also promises a “lot of new announcements” for Sonic in the future. Here’s hoping that Sonic will impress us once more!
Civilization V developer Firaxis Games and publisher Take-Two Interactive, in partnership with the nonprofit education company GlassLab Games, will release a new version of the game called CivilizationEDU next year for use as a learning tool in North American high schools. The game will allows teachers to track students progress within the game, offering possible lessons in critical thinking as well as the “casual/correlative relationships between military, technology, political, and socioeconomic development.”
“For the past 25 years,” says series creator and Firaxis founder Sid Meier, “we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play. We’ve always focused on entertainment first, but we believe that our players—young and old—enjoy learning, even if they don’t always enjoy education.” Connie Yowell, CEO of global learning movement LRNG, hopes that CivilizationEDU will demonstrate “how games can be used to teach and assess key 21st century skills that are hard to measure on multiple choice tests.”
If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck; so says the famous “duck test.” But despite The Legend of the Zelda: Breath of the Wild looking and playing like an open world game, Nintendo seems to be adamant that it is not an open world game. Instead, the company has been referring to the upcoming Zelda title under the vague categorization of “open air adventure.” Speaking to IGN, Nintendo legend and series creator Shigeru Miyamoto discussed the distinction.
“I think within the game industry or the tech industry, there’s a tendency to want to name everything,” says Miyamoto, who wants to establish a new subgenre name for Nintendo’s next big game. When deciding what type of game breath of the wild is, Nintendo “felt that coming up with a name that [they] created would be best.”
“I think it’s important for what we do that we don’t want to be dependent or swayed by the technology and what’s available now. We want to use the technology and the techniques that are available to make what we want to make. What’s important is to really express how we use that to make our experience unique. We didn’t want to just make a game where you can do anything, but we wanted to make sure that we make a game where the player is able to do anything, but it’s also a form of entertainment. It’s fun to do all of those things.” — Shigeru Miyamoto
The term “open air” was actually coined by Nintendo of America’s Senior Product Marketing Manager Bill Trinen, who also has input as to why Nintendo believes Breath of the Wild should not be considered an open world game:
“From my perspective, I look at a lot of open-world games, and the world is a setting for the story the developers want to tell in that space. I look at this game and I see a world that is fully integrated into the exploration and the adventure. It’s not just a world that you’re passing through. It’s sort of a world that you’re a part of. So much of the adventure and exploration is in this outdoor space, and the theme of wilderness collectively seemed like ‘Open Air’ was the right fit for it.” —
So, what do you think? Do you believe Breath of the Wild is unique enough to be its own subgenre? Or do you think it’s just another unique open world experience and that this “open air” nonsense is just a bunch of pretentious PR speak? Let us know in the comments!
Despite being over twenty years old now, creative modders are still coming up with new content for Doom II: Hell on Earth. One of the latest mods for the game brings that creativity to the next level. Modder Doug Keener, in a moment of pure brilliance, realized that the worlds of Doom and hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld are a match made in modding heaven. Thanks to Keener’s latest mod, which he spent over 100 hours creating, Doom II players can have a blast shooting Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, and Newman. You can see the mod in action above.
In a post on Reddit, Valve’s Alan Yates has estimated that the amount of Valve developers working on VR and AR projects has grown to one third of the total for the company. Yates also assures that “the key individuals that solved most of the really hard technological problems and facilitated this generation of consumer headsets are still here working on the next generation.” Valve’s VR projects to date include collaboration on the HTC Vive hardware. “Digitally mediated reality is one of those incredibly impactful technologies,” says Yates. “Short of human space flight or life sciences I can’t imagine working on something of more significance right now.”
Cammy’s Battle Outfit alternate costume in Street Fighter V is very cute and very British. But do you know who’s even more cute and more British? Overwatch‘s lovable, cheerful Tracer. A new Street Fighter V mod from modder TheJamk lets you play as Tracer in the game, as a re-skin of Cammy. While this mod is purely cosmetic, it’s still fun to see Tracer make an appearance in a fighting game, however unofficial. You can watch footage of two Tracers duking it out above, and head here to download the mod yourself.
One of the most bizarre events at this year’s E3 expo was the unveiling of the first trailer for Kojima Productions’ new game Death Stranding. While many watching may have felt like the video gave them no indication of what the resulting game will be like, Hideo Kojima has stated that the trailer is “representative.” According to Kojima, “What you see [in the trailer] will be in the game.” Still, however, our first look at the game was crafted to be deliberately cryptic. Kojima explains:
“There are a lot of hints in there, hidden. The world having this discussion about what this teaser means was kind of the objective. That’s what I wanted to happen. The game will take a little more time to be completed, but the game for me has already started. I am going back and forth with the users, having this interaction, this connection with the people, this discussion.” — Hideo Kojima
So far Kojima has confirmed that the baby featured in the trailer is not a clone of Norman Reedus’ character, and the trailer as a whole is not a dig at Konami, although he “thought people might link it.”
Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida was featured in a roundtable segment during E3, wherein he shared his excitement for the games on display during the expo. Among the things Yoshida praised were Sony’s God of War orchestra, PlayStation VR titles like Farpoint and Bound, and the themes of Detroit: Become Human. He’s also excited for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, comparing it to Horizon Zero Dawn. Yoshida’s favorite moment this E3 was the reveal of the Crash Bandicoot remasters, since he produced the original games.
During IGN’s E3 stream, the guys from Playtonic Games shared some all-new footage of Yooka-Laylee‘s Toybox demo. The Toybox, which is coming in July for the game’s Kickstarter backers, is not your typical demo. Rather than giving players a small slice of the actual game, the Toolbox will be an entirely self-contained, spoiler-free environment through which players can experiment with the Yooka-Laylee‘s platforming mechanics and get a feel for the gameplay before the title launches. You can watch the footage below.
Nintendo of America’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Charlie Scibetta, recently spoke to TechCrunch about the way Nintendo approaches their E3 plans. “Every year we look at it fresh and don’t think about what we did the year before,” Scibetta explained. “It’s about what we want to talk about this year and how we want to get the word out.” This year, that meant announcing in advance that Nintendo would have just one demo: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. “There’s always speculation at a show like E3,” said Scibetta, “but for us, we stayed true to what we intended to do.”
More interestingly for Nintendo fans, Scibetta has explained that this approach may lead to an eventual return to an on-stage press conference for Nintendo in the future. “For future years, it could be an execution like we did this time,” explained Scibetta, “we could go back to a presentation, we could do more Treehouse Live, we could go to a digital event, we could do something new.” The last time Nintendo took stage during E3 was in 2012; since E3 2013, the company’s E3 proceedings have taken place entirely through pre-recorded streamed presentations and showfloor demos.
Would you be excited to see Nintendo return to the E3 stage? Let us know in the comments.
The biggest buzz of E3 2016 is that surrounding The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Completely shattering the traditional Zelda formula, this title will let Link loose in a massive version of Hyrule said to be the size of twelveTwilight Princess overworlds put together. But what if it’s even bigger than that? What if Link can also travel to a second version of this Hyrule, as it existed a century ago? Even with what little we know about Breath of the Wild, there may be more evidence supporting this possibility than you’d imagine.
First off, Zelda fans know there’s a strong precedent that would make time travel a likely mechanic in this game. All five 3D console Zelda titles released to date have seen Link travel to the past in one way or another. Ocarina of Time had Link journey to and from versions of Hyrule in two different time periods, while Majora’s Mask had him repeatedly go back to the first day of a three-day cycle. The Wind Waker saw Link visit a portion of Hyrule that had been suspended in the past for centuries, and Twilight Princess had a dungeon that could only be accessed by taking a step into the past. Finally, Skyward Sword featured two elements of time travel in the Timeshift Stones and the Gate of Time. Breath of the Wild would be the only exception to this rule if it doesn’t have Link go back in time, and although that may make sense for such a deviant title in the series, this theory doesn’t stop here.
While Nintendo has been tight-lipped on story details, one of the E3 showfloor demos has given us a very basic idea of what Link’s role is in this title. As he begins the game, Link awakens from a 100-year stasis, setting out to fulfill his destiny in defeating the looming threat of the Calamity Ganon. This new form of Ganon was also sealed away in Hyrule Castle 100 years prior—following a conquest of Hyrule which led to the land’s current, ruined state—and is also just now breaking free of its seal. This is everything yet divulged to us as far as story goes, and so far all the plot is pointing to the past playing a strong role in this Zelda title.
Another, bigger hint may have been featured in the demos. It would be no stretch to imagine there might be some significance behind the Temple of Time being placed immediately next to the game’s starting point. This building has been host to important story events in each game it’s appeared in, and it would be odd for it to be no more than just another piece of scenery in Breath of the Wild. It just may be that the temple will once again act as a hub for Link to travel to and from the past.
In fact, there’s a chance we might have already seen the past version of Hyrule. While both E3 demos have shown that Hyrule Castle becomes engulfed in the Calamity Ganon right from the beginning of the game, we’ve seen plenty of footage wherein the castle is clearly unobscured by this swarm. It could be that the Calamity Ganon escapes from the castle at a key story point, but given both the heavy implication that Link’s goal is to defeat this entity and Aonuma’s own confirmation that Link can reach his final goal right from the beginning of the game, this may not be true. Perhaps a more likely explanation would be that the scenes sporting a swarm-free Hyrule Castle are actually showing Hyrule 100 years prior to the game’s opening, before the Calamity Ganon wreaked its havoc on the land.
Hinting toward this conclusion is the fact that the only fully operational overworld Guardians we’ve seen so far appear in footage with a clear Hyrule Castle, while in the E3 demos the Guardian enemies are all in various states of disrepair. This is even further supported by a curious comment made by Aonuma himself. While discussing the inactive state of the Guardians, he stated, “There must be some sort of a time lapse.”
Some of the game’s remaining mysteries can also be explained by the existence of a time travel mechanic. For example, Aonuma has avoided talking about villages because “they’re interconnected to the story and overall world.” Considering that the demos present Hyrule as a kingdom in ruin, it may be that these villages can only be accessed in the past, explaining Aonuma’s caution. Another great mystery surrounds the Master Sword. Its chipped and weathered state in this game seems to imply that Link might need to repair it, but perhaps he’ll really just need to retrieve it from the past, before it had degraded.
Do you believe time travel might return in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Perhaps you’ve spotted your own evidence, or maybe you even have a good counter argument. Please feel free to add to the discussion in the comments section below.
It looks like the sharp-eyed fans who spotted the name “Ryder” in Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s N7 Day trailer were right. The new game’s protagonist will in fact be named Ryder, and this time their default character model will be female. Players will, as always, still be able to choose a male avatar should they wish to do so. Interestingly, BioWare also hinted at there being “more than one Ryder,” and in fact a whole “Ryder family,” thought they didn’t explain what this means. Lastly, they mentioned that the game is near completion and will only feature one vehicle.
The My Nintendo rewards service has some fun new missions for E3. These missions are a bit like a game of “I spy,” challenging players to search Nintendo’s official E3 website for hidden icons related to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Hunt down the Sheikah Slate, Sheikah Eye, and a “Z” icon and you will be rewarded with 10, 20, and 30 platinum points, respectively. You can head to E3.Nintendo.com right now to find them. These missions will last until Friday, June 17, at 11:00 AM PDT.
If you’ve been paying attention to video game journalism for a while now, you’re probably familiar with IGN, the most-visited website in the business, and Kotaku, another big website that famously found itself a centerpiece of all that “Gamergate” controversy from a couple years back. What you might not be familiar with is Ziff Davis, a media conglomerate and ultimate parent company of IGN, and Gawker Media, a network of web content providers that Kotaku is a part of. Or, at least, it used to be.
Recently, Gawker Media has found itself in a spot of trouble. Back in 2012, the company’s flagship web domain, Gawker.com, a celebrity gossip blog, posted a sex tape of wrestler Hulk Hogan. Following a cease-and-desist notice from Hogan and an injunction from a circuit court judge, Gawker wrote, “A judge told us to take down our Hulk Hogan sex tape post. We won’t,” and that they were “refusing to comply.” Publisher Nick Denton also cited the First Amendment as reason to leave up the video.
To little surprise, this has led Gawker Media to massive legal trouble and ultimately bankruptcy. And while Gawker Media’s problems are ongoing, Ziff Davis has swooped in to buy out Gawker Media and all its assets. This makes Ziff Davis owner of two of the internet’s biggest gaming news sites, and also the proud owner of between $100 and $500 million in debt that Gawker Media has amassed.
For those wondering how this might effect Kotaku’s operations, Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totillo has released a statement saying it will be “business as usual” for them.
Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment—known for Max Payne, Alan Wake, and most recently Quantum Break—has two new big-budget projects in the works. The first is a new IP currently in active development, and it will see Remedy collaborating with a partner studio. The second is still in planning stages, and Remedy has declined to comment on whether it’s a new IP or a continuation of another franchise (typically PR speak for, “You caught us, it’s a sequel”).
Remedy business director Johannes Paloheimo explains how these titles will expand on the company’s trademark story-driven style of games:
“Even though [the two new games] are clearly Remedy games, with a strong Remedy DNA, to some they might come as a positive surprise, a little bit more than what we’ve done in the past. We’re also trying to break out of genres and reach out to new audiences, especially with one of our new games.” — Johannes Paloheimo
Remedy was scant on details about their upcoming titles and also stated that they will not make an appearance at E3 or Gamescom this year. What we do know is that neither game will be a sequel to Alan Wake. Remedy has once again confirmed that they’re not working on a title in the series, although they did add that they’re actively searching for a way to expand the property into media outside of video games.
Back in May, an assumed member of the now disbanded Project M development team released a ton of abandoned content from the mod’s final development build on 4chan’s video games board. Luckily for us, the original thread has been archived as well as broken down by Gaming Reinvented. The files include ported stages, various in-progress character variants and costumes, concept art, announcer dialogue, and much more. Below is a list of download links for the various packs, compiled by Gaming Reinvented.
Creatures Inc. President and legendary video game composer Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka was recently featured in a Pokémon 20th Anniversary video, where he discusses the past, present, and future of his work on the Pokémon series. One of the most interesting tidbits is a memory of his meeting with Nintendo of America before Pokémon had come West. While NoA doubted the property could find success in America, Tanaka found inspiration in his daughter, who told him, “You never know!” Check out his full message in the video above.
An update to Rocket League later this month will bring Rare and Very Rare items as well as a trade-in system to the game. The new items are only obtainable through online matches and include “themed items inspired by our “meta” theme to be revealed later this week (it’s a surprise, you’ll love it), rare decals for cars, and some very rare new Boost trails,” according to Psyonix. Meanwhile, the new trade-in system will let players exchange five items of a particular rarity level for a single item of the next-highest level.
Furthermore, a second update following the one later this month will add player-to-player trading.
“Some items, like those with “Painted” or “Certified” attributes, may become much more valuable if you can trade them to other players. The “Trade-In System” is designed to let you get rid of unwanted or duplicate items, but you should consider carefully what you trade now versus what you might want to keep for future player-trading opportunities.” — Psyonix
Remember those rainbow filters Facebook released for profile pictures to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling which legalized gay marriage in the United States? A Facebook user still sporting an avatar with the filter recently requested an early access Steam Key for shooter Operation Caucasus. The response she received from the developer came as a shock. “We’re not support lgbt,” read the reply. “Please, just f**k you [sic].” You can view a screenshot of the correspondence in the gallery below.
Securing a key from a friend, the woman took to the game’s Steam page to share her story in a negative review. “We’ll never support ‘lgbt,” the developer commented on this review. “We’re not a toy. This is our freewill. We don’t need their and your money if you’re/they’re from ‘lgbt. You don’t liked our this decide? You can flag this game. This is your freewill. And this decide, our freewill.”
The event has led to a tidal wave of negative reviews on Operation Caucasus. Following the fiasco, the developers shared a brief apology on their Facebook page. “At Dream Games we feel very sorry about current situation,” reads the statement. “We have fired both editor and managing director from team. We will make sure situations like this will never happen in the future.”