Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Rageaholic Delivers A Requiem For The Current Console Generation

Now that the Wii U is a couple months out of the gate, Sony has kind of announced the PS4 and Microsoft is likely months away from unveiling their new Xbox, the current console generation is drawing to a close and what a ride it has been. I struggled to find a way to properly describe what this generation of machines ultimately gave us and what their legacy will bring to the next generation. It turns out that the ever entertaining xRazorFistx has managed to sum things up perfectly in his recent postmortem video which gives us a great flashback of what the last 8 years has wrought. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is Nintendo Truly Doomed and Should They Really Go Third Party?

Here we are at the beginning of another Nintendo console and once again, there has been an overwhelming flood of negativity with people predicting the "End of Nintendo!" Having been a fan of the company for a LONG time, I have watched their stumbles and missteps as well as their triumphs and when you consider the big picture it becomes clear that the company is doing just fine. Here's the real truth of Nintendo in raw numbers:

Nintendo Home Consoles (Worldwide)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System - 61.91 Million
  • Super Nintendo - 49.10 Million
  • Nintendo 64 - 32.93 Million
  • Gamecube - 21.74 Million
  • Nintendo Wii - 99 Million (and still counting)
  • Nintendo Wii U - 3 Million (and still counting)
Nintendo Handhelds (Worldwide)
  • Game Boy (GB, GBC) - 118.69 Million
  • Game Boy Advance (GBA, GBA SP) - 81.51 Million
  • Nintendo DS (DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL) - 154 Million (and still counting)
  • Nintendo 3DS (3DS, 3DS XL) - 28 Million (and still counting)
As you can see, the situation isn't nearly as dire as the mainstream gaming press makes it out to be. Of all systems produced by Nintendo over the last 30 years, their most successful machines have been released within the last 10 years which isn't too shabby considering that has also been the most negative period of time in terms of gaming press for the legendary company. People don't realize that Nintendo is a video game company and their focus remains on that fact. They employ a much smaller and more focused staff than Sony and Microsoft and maintain a strong set of brands which ONLY they own which means they have given themselves the opportunity to dictate their direction. At this point, the company could release a console which only featured first and second party content and would do just fine. It may not sell the same amount as the Wii but it would do quite well and be profitable for the company. This is not the case for to competition who would be dead in the water without third party games.

Funny thing is, if you look at something such as the PS Vita which has done horribly since its launch, you'll find people who talk about how "it's a shame" and "the hardware is still impressive" but overall a minimal amount of hate when compared to people who are downright venomous in their hatred towards the vastly more successful 3DS with its superior library of games. Even the Playstation 3 gets by relatively unscathed outside of the systems initial pricing at launch versus the Nintendo Wii U which has been dogged by negative reaction from the "mainstream" gaming press since its launch and even before. This is also the most "mainstream" console the company has launched since the SNES in terms of hardware and yet developers have had nothing but excuses as to why they won't bring titles to the machine. Nintendo went out of their way to make the machine powerful enough to handle the biggest titles on PS3 and 360 and we are still seeing company's shun the machine. Even with this situation, Nintendo has wisely focused on two other areas largely ignored by their competitors, Indie game developers and the Japanese market which is helping to set the machine apart from its western driven competitors.

Ironically, unlike past "console wars", the PS3 and Xbox 360 are so homogeneous and similar to each other that you don't see fans of these two groups flaming on each other to the same degree that they rage on Nintendo. They love to hate on Nintendo but will often end their trolling with statements about how Nintendo should follow Sega and become strictly a software publisher. In other words, they don't really hate Nintendo, they just want Nintendo games on their system. What people don't realize is that part of what makes Nintendo games so special is the hardware. If you take a moment to honestly think about games such as the original Legend of Zelda, Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros. Melee, odds are high that images of the NES Console, multiple N64 Controllers and the Gamecube/Wavebird Controller will likely pop into your mind. Nintendo games are perfectly tailored to their original hardware to the point that many still prefer to play things such as the original Mario trilogy on the NES versus the All-Stars SNES version. Put simply, if Nintendo leaves the hardware business then a great deal of the magic in their games will go with it and that will truly be the saddest day for the industry. This would also leave Sony without a big innovative competitor to copy their ideas from.

The thing to bare in mind with these predictions and articles from analysts and professional journalists is that they don't see things beyond money and current trends. The touch focus of the Nintendo DS was mocked endlessly as a gimmick in the beginning but I dare you to look at your phone and imagine if it would be the same if Nintendo's little dual screen machine hadn't taken the old touch screen tech and made it mainstream? Many will claim that I am giving Nintendo far to much credit but try looking back and see how Nintendo takes simple existing tech and works it into their game design resulting in mainstream success for that tech. From analog sticks and force feedback to touch screens and motion control, Nintendo has been the one to bring these old technology's to the mainstream public and make them popular. To close this article out, when Nintendo bucks the mainstream the company prospers and the industry is better as a whole.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to follow Treon's Realm on Twitter.

Zelda: Majora's Mask + Hip Hop = Flyrule: A Terrible Fate

Monday, February 25, 2013

Super Ubi Land For Wii U Needs A Kickstart

With the exception of Mario, the once strong platforming game genre has largely been ignored in the current video game market only to see a bit of a rebirth in the independent gaming community. Games such as the delightfully tough Super Meat Boy or hauntingly excellent Limbo have shown that the genre still has a lot of room to grow and innovate, it just needs a more conservative approach in budget. This brings us to Super Ubi Land, a promising new platformer set to hit PC, Mac, Linux as well as the Indie friendly Wii U. The team at Notion Games have been approved by Nintendo as an official Wii U developer and have started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the game to completion. They are asking for a rather modest $5,000 over the next 40 days to complete the project. Notion Games has also added a $20 reward tier that gives you both the Wii U version and your choice of a second copy for PC, Mac or Linux. Check out the Kickstarter video for Super Ubi Land and be sure to support the game if you like what you see. Enjoy!

Super Ubi Land Kickstarter

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Classic Mega Man Tunes In The Sound Of Mega Man 7

Of all of the games in the original Mega Man series, few get as much hate as Mega Man 7 for the SNES. Personally, I never quite understood this when you consider how god awful (and broken) Mega Man 8 is. Seriously, I love the Blue Bomber but I have tried to enjoy MM8 for over 15 years and all it does is fill me with utter hatred for the game. While certainly not the strongest game in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed Mega Man 7 and loved all of the nostalgic nods it made to earlier games in the series. I feel a lot of the hate stems from the release of the eternally badass Mega Man X a few years earlier on the same system and the cartoon inspired visuals which many weren't expecting after the darker tone of the X series. All valid arguments but it was still a great entry in the legendary series with great graphics, solid gameplay and an underrated soundtrack which was quite unique given the sound library used. Apparently I am not the only one who appreciates the sound of Mega Man 7. YouTube user PrincessZelda2020 has decided to remix a variety of classic Mega Man tunes from earlier games in the series using the sound library from number 7. The results are pretty good and an enjoyable listen for any fan of the Blue Bomber. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Luigi's Mansion 2 Commercial Is 90's Era Saturday Morning Greatness

The original Luigi's Mansion on Gamecube is one of the great underrated classics that people love to hate because it wasn't a Mario launch title for Nintendo's little purple box. In essence, it was the Big N's charming take on the niche survival horror genre. While the original game struggled against Mario's tradition of kicking off new Nintendo consoles, it has become much more appreciated in the 12 years since its launch which has resulted in a highly anticipated sequel for the popular 3DS. Nintendo has even gone as far as labeling 2013 as the "Year of Luigi" with a slew of new titles starring/co-starring the often forgotten brother. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon for 3DS kicks things off next month and Nintendo has put together a great commercial that feels like a nostalgic trip to a time when Saturday morning cartoons were the best place to see trailers for new games. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

PlayStation 4 Was Revealed Last Night Leaving More Questions Than Answers

Having sat through the rather dull 2 hour PlayStation 4 "reveal" last night, where Sony didn't even reveal the damn machine, I felt a bit confused what this thing is supposed to do outside of produce slightly prettier graphics. Honestly it felt like a grab bag of ideas and concepts from other console manufacturers and developers with Sony talking it up as if they are bringing you the future of gaming. Here is a quick rundown with my own admittedly biased take on what Sony revealed.
  • Remote play with the PS Vita is the same feature built into the Wii U only WAY more expensive requiring you to buy a handheld many don't want.
  • The controller (known as the DualShock utterly original) looks like the DualShock humped the OUYA Controller and got some sort of weird glowing blue VD as a result.
  • Their online service is described as some sort of bizarre hybrid of Xbox Live and Nintendo's Miiverse where your friends can play "big brother" and watch you play.
  • The new PS4 Camera looks like the Sony version of the Xbox Kinect and will track the DualShock 4 and PS Move leading me to believe...
  • ...Sony is going to shove the PS Move wand down your throat until you buy into it going as far as showing it off like Nintendo's ill received Wii Music showing from E3 2008.
  • Borderline creepy reveals for titles such as Infamous: Second Son and Driveclub where the Designer's talk about Orwellian surveillance and get a little too intimate with in-game car details.
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall was shown and looks like EVERY other FPS on the market with slightly prettier visuals. 
  • Ports being pushed as a big deal yet oddly available on many other older systems. We got the year old Diablo III for PC coming to PS3 & PS4, Destiny from Bungie coming for just about everything, Watch Dogs from UbiSoft also coming for everything under the sun. In other words, why will people buy a new console if all the big titles are on their previous console?
Overall, it was a rather disjointed conference that said little more than "we have a new system coming this fall and there will be games on it". Seriously, Sony supposedly revealed a console last night and didn't show an actual system while offering very nebulous ideas of what the thing is supposed to do. While many are quick to accept post conference quotes from Sony that the machine won't lock used games and will use physical media, I can't buy into that yet. Their quotes come off like a politician trying to dodge hard questions by telling people what they want to hear without a firm yes or no. VideoGamerTV posted a hilarious and rather fitting video of the PS4 announcement narrowing the bloated 2 hour event down to 3 1/2 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition Details Surface For Wii U

Some new details have been revealed about Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition hitting all home consoles this May:
  • Off-Screen play via the Wii U Gamepad
  • Wii U Pro Controller support
  • Over 10 characters in Raid mode (The original game featured 10 playable characters in Raid Mode and so far, Hunk is the only confirmed extra character)
  • Tweaks to story mode with items in different places
  • DLC pack available to purchase for those who buy the game early on featuring exclusive weapons for Campaign and Raid modes (Really Capcom, paid DLC on a $50 port of a $20 3DS game!?)
  • Samurai Edge – Jill Model
  • Government – Parker Model
  • G18 – Jessica Model
Capcom has also stated that they don't intend to feature Wii Remote controls as an option for Wii U players which is a huge mark against the company considering the RE4 motion controls trump all other control options. Their quote did add that this control option was not featured "at this time" which still leaves it open for a downloadable patch later on. Oddly, they have yet to confirm or deny rumors that the Wii U version would allow for gyro aiming like the 3DS version. If we are forced to use the inferior analog stick only controls, I would have serious trouble recommending this title to fans.

While I am thrilled that many fans who missed it last year will be able to experience this great Resident Evil title, I'm not drinking the Capcom Kool-Aid which claims that this was in response to fan requests. This game is happening because of the horrible mess that was Resident Evil 6 and Capcom's need to quickly recover from that sales disaster. The series has lost a lot of credibility with fans and is no longer the highly regarded survival horror innovator it once was so I will end by asking you to temper expectations for this game accordingly. The game is a solid title that should have been the true follow up to the fourth entry in the series but is ultimately a band aid for a franchise that has been bleeding out since the exit of series creator Shinji Mikami.

Grab F-Zero For 30 Cents On Wii U Now!

As Nintendo gears up to release the Wii U Virtual Console this Spring/Summer, they are continuing their 30th Anniversary Famicom celebration with the release of F-Zero for the SNES. The Big N kicked off the celebration last month with the rather weak Balloon Fight for NES which most downloaded simply to test the service. I personally held off and waited for a game that has truly earned its place as a classic.

After giving the game a bit of a test run, I am happy to report that the game has made the transition smoothly and will definitely make fans happy with its minor but welcome additions. To kick things off, you have the choice of playing on your big screen or on the Wii U Gamepad which is nice for those who want to free up the TV for others (This continues to be one of the coolest features of the Wii U). Next up is the Save State which allows you to save and continue from literally any point in the game. A welcome feature for those who don't want to race an entire circuit over again because they screwed up on the final race. Lastly are the control options which give you access to just about any controller you want including the Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Classic Controller, Wii Classic Controller Pro and Wii Remote (for NES and other compatible games). You also have the ability to remap buttons on your controller of choice which is pretty sweet for those who want their classic games to control like newer titles. Overall, the Virtual Console service on Wii U is pretty impressive and brings some nice features not present on the Wii's Virtual Console Service. Here is a quick rundown of the titles still coming as part of the 30th Anniversary with each title costing a mere 30 cents!

  • February 20 to March 21: F-Zero (SNES)
  • March 20 to April 18: Punch Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (NES)
  • April 17 to May 16: Kirby's Adventure (NES)
  • May 15 to June 13: Super Metroid (SNES)
  • June 12 to July 11: Yoshi (NES)
  • July 15 to August 13: Donkey Kong (NES)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rayman Legends Gets An Exclusive eShop Game This April

The ongoing saga of Rayman Legends and its delay on the Wii U has had quite an impact on the fans and developers of this future classic. While UbiSoft has yet to issue a definitive reason/excuse for the delay, news has surfaced that it may ultimately have been caused by Microsoft. Apparently, Microsoft has contracts with third party companies stating that if a game is to come to the 360 it must be released simultaneously with other versions. In other words, Microsoft gets to dictate the release schedule of games coming to all three consoles!? This was generally unknown until UbiSoft had their hand forced upon deciding to move the game from being Wii U exclusive. This also explains why many games such as former PlayStation seller Grand Theft Auto often got preferential treatment on Microsoft's console this generation.

News of Rayman Legends delay hurt the development team as much as the fans with series creator Michel Ancel and his team publicly supporting the game and its fans over publisher UbiSoft. Sadly, the team was being pushed hard to meet the previous Wii U release date of 2/26/13 resulting in a product that is now 100% complete for Nintendo's new console yet won't see release for another 7 MONTHS! Actions such as these bring to light the issues with our current industry and is fueling more developers to try things such as Kickstarter in hopes of breaking away from traditional publishers and their purely profit driven decisions which has cost the industry much in creativity.

While the Rayman Legends team couldn't change the release date for the Wii U version of the game, they have managed to put together a rather nice consolation package to ease the pain of fans. Set to release for free on the Wii U eShop this April, Rayman Legend Online Challenge Mode will feature a wide selection of challenges which will be updated both daily and weekly. The downloadable title will feature 5 different settings with one being exclusive to the Wii U along with leaderboards to challenge the scores of other players. The game will allow up to 5 players across all challenges and feature a history system to save performances, trophies earned and ghost data. This is great news for fans who are still feeling burned by UbiSoft but still want to experience the development teams great work. The eShop download is quoted as being "Playable for countless hours" indicating the game will not be a limited play demo like other Wii U demos on the eShop. The development team has put together a little video explaining the project as well as their gratitude to the fan community who have supported them so strongly. Enjoy!

Gunman Clive 3DS Crushes Its Android & IOS Siblings

While Analysts continue to predict doom and gloom for Nintendo and its consoles, titles such as Gunman Clive show that these "professionals" are often talking out of their collective asses. One of the biggest arguments made against the 3DS is that it can't possibly compete against the likes of IOS (Apple) and Android devices based on sheer numbers. In a bit of a middle finger to the Analysts, Gunman Clive on 3DS has now outsold BOTH the IOS and Android versions of the game with the Android version being the previous leader. This is extremely impressive when you consider that the game was on both devices long before the 3DS version and those systems have a much larger base of customers. Hell, the 3DS version has only been out less than 2 months! As the industry moves forward, we will continue to see smaller success stories such as this while companies such as EA, Sony and Capcom struggle against their size and inability to adapt to the future. Once again, xRazorFistx puts it best.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nintendo 3DS Comes Out Swinging In 2013

The Nintendo 3DS had one of the roughest launches in recent memory. After Nintendo made some tactical moves in mid 2011 to right the ship, the system has become one of the more impressive gaming machines in the market today. The excellent library for this little machine is filled with great retail titles as well as a strong set of exclusives on the eShop. Hell, we are getting a port of a 3DS exclusive as a high profile release for home consoles in the form of Resident Evil Revelations: Unveiled Edition, how bizarre is that? Continuing the trend of releasing great portable titles, Nintendo has recently showcased their list of new games hitting the system this Spring and early Summer. Below is the list of games, release dates and links to updated trailers for the games. Enjoy!

3DS eShop
3DS Retail

Tesla Coil Mario Theme Makes Sparks Fly


Friday, February 15, 2013

Linux Is Officially Steamed!

Linux users can rejoice at the news that their favorite open source OS now has Valve's Steam platform available for their gaming needs. To kick things off, Steam is having a special sale through February 21 which features over 50 games discounted up to 80%! Through the end of the month, Valve is also giving Linux players of the free Team Fortress 2 on Steam a cool in-game item in the form of the Linux penguin mascot "Tux".

I personally gave Steam a test run last night and found that it works quite well. A few things to note for those who want to give it a try:
  • Runs best in Ubuntu (You'll need to be running one of the following versions: 10.04, 11.04, 12.04 or 12.10)
  • You may need to update your video drivers to run Steam. I found myself forced to run unstable Nvidia Beta drivers in order to get Steam running.
One final note is compatibility with previously purchased games on other platforms. I have the Orange Box for PC and ran it just fine before Steam dropped support for Windows 2000. Upon logging into Steam on Linux, those titles are in my library but have not been made compatible with Linux yet. I will keep you posted on whether you have to repurchase games on not. If anyone else has an answer to this, please comment below.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nintendo 3DS eShop Sale Leads The System Into A Flood Of New Games This Spring

The Nintendo 3DS has a strong library which is greatly enhanced by the excellent selection of unique downloadable games on it's eShop service. Starting today, Nintendo is running a sale on select eShop titles with a different game each week leading up to Spring. All titles in the sale are being discounted between $2 to $5 which is a pretty good deal considering the quality of the featured games. The sale is likely being used to get more people onto the 3DS eShop for the great selection of new games hitting the service this spring.

  • Bit.Trip Saga - 9.99 Starting 2/14
  • Crashmo - 5.99 Starting 2/21
  • Fractured Soul - 7.99 Starting 2/28
  • Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword - 4.99 Starting 3/7
  • Ketzal's Corridors - 4.99 Starting 3/14
  • Mutant Mudds - 5.99 Starting 3/21

Brilliant Super Mario RPG Review Gives This Gem The Love It Deserves

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best and most approachable RPG's ever made yet it isn't nearly as celebrated as other classics such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Chrono Trigger. The game was the product of Nintendo and Squaresoft combining forces to create an RPG that anyone could play and enjoy, not an easy task mind you. While people look back fondly on RPG hits such as Final Fantasy VII, the truth is that that game has aged HORRIBLY and fuels fans to endlessly beg for a remake. That is not the case with Super Mario RPG which still looks and plays great today and has yet to be topped by either of its follow-up series, Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. Despite showing up on numerous top games of all time lists, the game still does not get the love or coverage it deserves. People instead tend to take it for granted which is a damn shame. Luckily, YouTube user xRazorFistx has stepped up with a brilliant review of the game that I feel perfectly describes what makes this game great in a way only he can do. Enjoy and if you haven't played this gem yet, please hit up the Wii Virtual Console and rectify that situation for a mere $8.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ghost In The Shell Prequel Shines In New Trailer!

It was recently announced that a new Ghost In The Shell series was in development and I couldn't even begin to describe how stoked I was at the news! Excuse my excitement but the Ghost in the Shell series is my all time favorite anime and I did not expect to see a new series. Set 3 years before Stand Alone Complex in the year 2027, Ghost in the Shell Arise looks to explore a young Motoko Kusanagi and her introduction to Public Security Section 9 where she'll eventually be known simply as The Major.

The new series will be broken into four 50 minute episodes. The first episode titled border: 1 Ghost Pain will premiere across theaters in Japan this June. An english language version has yet to be announced but odds are high that this will see release in North America considering all of the previous anime in the series has been released. The talented Production I.G. is once again behind the new series and while some may be a little put off by the Major's younger look, I think it fits the tone set by Stand Alone Complex and 2nd GIG (plus she has changed bodies or "shells" many times throughout the franchise). Enjoy the new trailer and please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dragon Quest VII For 3DS Ships 1 Million Units In Japan!

Dragon Quest VII for PlayStation is one of the best selling games in the long running RPG series which made it a logical choice to bring over to the successful 3DS. The enhanced and newly subtitled Dragon Quest VII: Warriors of Eden launched in Japan on February 7, 2013 and has already shipped 1 million copies which is great news for fans in North America. While Square Enix has not made an official announcement about an english language release through them, the game stands a good chance of making it to the states through the guardian angel of handheld Dragon Quest, Nintendo. Square Enix brought over Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen and Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride on the original Nintendo DS but they opted out of the final two games for the system. Nintendo stepped up to handle publishing duties for Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies and were rewarded with solid sales. I expect we will hear something from one of the two company's later this year. Until then, enjoy the Japanese launch trailer.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Club Nintendo February Rewards Update

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards for February and for the remainder of the month they are offering 4 titles across 2 systemsThe expiration date for this offer is now March 10 and the price ranges from 100 - 200 coins for each title. Be sure to check back March 11 for the next reward update.

Paper Mario - Wii Virtual Console
200 Coins (Available Until March 10)

Kirby Super Star - Wii Virtual Console
150 Coins (Available Until March 10)

Bird & Beans - 3DS eShop
100 Coins (Available Until March 10)

Metal Torrent 3DS eShop
150 Coins (Available Until March 10)

Click here to see rewards 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kickstart "The Golem" For Linux, Mac and PC

As traditional game companies trudge forward with increasingly "safe" games that are growing both visually and creatively stale, I find myself drawn more and more to indie game projects that show a fresh vision for the future of the industry. Kickstarter has been a wonderful tool for these unique visions to come to life and while the establishment and traditional console gamer's wait for its failure, it seems to be a turning point for the industry.

There are some damn impressive games on display at Kickstarter with Moonbot Studios newest game known simply as The Golem showing a lot of promise. The game is described as a third person action RPG where you control the giant titular Golem which is created to defend your city against an invading army. The team is asking for $750,000 in funding which is quite reasonable for a game of this scope and scale. While I could go on, I feel the team has done a fantastic job of introducing the project in their pitch video. Enjoy and be sure to fund if you like what you see.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rayman Legends and Ninja Gaiden III Cause A World Of Hurt For Nintendo Fans!

I recently wrote an article about how certain games should stay Nintendo exclusive and almost on cue, this week has dropped some painful news for Nintendo fans. To kick things off, Ninja Gaiden III: Razor's Edge bit the dust as a Nintendo exclusive which was surprising considering that Nintendo published the game in two of the three major regions (North America and Europe). The game is expected to hit PS3 and 360 this April with rumored additional content. In the end though, this made a certain amount of business sense considering the failure of the original version on PS3 and 360 as well as the extreme violent content which feels right at home on those systems.

The big kicker is the news that Rayman Legends, with less than 20 days until its original Wii U release date (February 26), is not only releasing on the PS3 and 360 but it is getting delayed until September for Wii U to accommodate the process of moving it to the other two systems. Nintendo fans expected that the game would eventually jump to the competition's machines and were fine with this news because they were originally getting the best version on the Wii U for an exclusive time period. The thing that has enraged these fans is that Ubisoft waited until literally weeks before the highly anticipated launch to delay the Wii U version over half a year until the crowded month of September to supposedly accommodate fans on the other 2 systems. The fact of the matter is that Ubisoft has flat out admitted that the game was complete for Wii U and the ONLY reason for holding it back is to bring it on all systems simultaneously. The plan is to launch it in the same month that Grand Theft Auto V is expected which is going to damage the sales of this title dramatically.

Allow me to sound off on this situation for a moment. These bullshit moves are what turn Nintendo fans against these third party companies resulting in poor sales. While companies such as EA, Activision, Capcom, etc. will blame Nintendo and come up with every excuse on why a game performs poorly on Nintendo consoles, these kinds of actions are at the true heart of the problem. Let me illustrate this a bit further with just a couple of examples where these companies piss on Nintendo fans.
  • When Rockstar delayed Grand Theft Auto V until this September, there has been absolutely no word of the game coming to the Wii U despite the fact that the game could make amazing use of the Wii U Gamepad. Why is this major title not coming to Wii U?
  • Sega is releasing Aliens: Colonial Marines next week for PS3 and 360 while waiting for a nebulous "March 2013" release date for what is considered to be the superior Wii U version. Why not delay the PS3 and 360 versions a mere month to give the game equal sales footing across all 3 systems?
Nintendo went out of their way to build a machine that caters far more to these third party companies than they have in the past and these companies in turn spit in the face of Nintendo and their fans. While many will piss and moan about me being a fanboy, bear in mind that if PlayStation 4 and XBox720 rumors of online only and blocking used games are true, Nintendo may be the last mainstream console maker that doesn't try to completely control your playing habits. Lastly, before you claim that Wii U sales aren't as strong as the Wii, the system has been outperforming the launches of PS3 and 360 and those systems were not launched during a worldwide economic nosedive. What are your thoughts on this situation? Please comment below and follow Treon's Realm on Twitter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Amazing "Queen" Zelda Music Video Is A Must Watch!

YouTube channel Oblivious Films has crafted an amazing music video for Gamecube gem The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It features some excellent footage from the game mixed with a 1986 live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody by legendary rock band Queen. The song works wonderfully with the timeless game and the video's release is perfectly timed to get you jazzed for the remastered version of the game hitting Wii U this fall. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Skylanders Swap Force Is The Weapon Of Choice In New Teaser Trailer!

Activision has released a teaser trailer for the newly announced Skylanders Swap Force. The trailer uses the song "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim which fits the theme of the game quite well. One of the new characters, Wash Buckler, even makes a literal nod to the famous music video which starred Christopher Walken which is a nice touch. Towards the end of the video, we get a sneak peak of some in-game footage which shows off some new levels as well as the new jumping feature which looks to give the game some platforming variety to mix with the Diablo style dungeon crawling of past games. The big reveal for many fans will be the 6 brand new Swap Force characters and how they can be switched up. Here is a list of the newly revealed characters as well as their likely yet unconfirmed elements as well as the new trailer. Enjoy and be sure to follow Treon's Realm on Twitter!
  • Wash Buckler (Water)
  • Blast Zone (Fire)
  • Freeze Blade (Water)
  • Night Shift (Undead)
  • Magna Charge (Tech)
  • Stink Bomb (Life)

OUYA Coming To Stores June 2013!

While the video game industry continues to argue about hardware specs and what defines the "Next Gen", the little system that literally lets ANYONE make a game for the TV is gearing up to hit retail this June. The OUYA is a game changer that scares the shit out of the establishment not because of its hardware but due to it's the potential to introduce new games from truly independent game developers without the shackles of traditional publishing giants like EA and Activision. These types of games have generally been relegated to devices that are not dedicated gaming machines like PC's and Smartphones which has hurt their credibility among the core console gamer. The OUYA changes that because the system's price feels like an impulse buy at $99 and the machine is completely open source which means that every console is also a development unit. The OUYA team has done a great job of spreading awareness of the machine and showing their commitment by listening to early developers resulting in controller improvements as well as getting mainstream retail support through some of the biggest video game outlets. While many will continue to scoff at the machine, there is a real chance that this new home console will send a shockwave through an industry that has become complacent with endless sequels and big budget "me to" games showing little creativity or innovation. When Treon's Realm receives its unit this March, I will be sure to give you a first hand breakdown and impressions of what this machine is all about. You will be able to grab your OUYA for $99.99 (an extra controller is $49.99) at:

Skylanders Swap Force Coming This Fall To Wii U, 3DS and Wii!

Activision has announced the third title in the mega successful toy/video game series, Skaylanders Swap Force. The new game is due out this fall and brings with it some changes to the series. The biggest addition comes in the form of the new "Swapping" mechanic in the title. The titular Swap Force characters will feature the ability to swap their magnetic top an bottom half's which will allow you to customize how you play with a character. For example, you could build a character that has a water base and fire torso allowing you to enter water while using fire attacks. The new mechanic will allow a total of 256 different combinations between the new characters. This will also require a new portal that will be included with all versions of the game.

The game features 56 Skylanders in all, 32 of which will be new characters. That's an impressive bump from the mere 16 new characters found in Giants. You will once again be able to quickly identify new toys in your collection as Swap Force characters will feature a blue base (Giants had an orange base and Spyro's Adventure had a green base). Here is a quick breakdown of the new toys:
  • 16 Swap Force Skylanders
  • 16 New "Core" Skylanders
  • 8 Light Core Skylanders
  • 16 Series 3 Skylanders
Swap Force also sports a feature fans have been begging for, jumping! This means that the reliance on jump pads will likely be reduced and the levels will feature more platforming elements to mix things up. Oddly, series creators Toys For Bob is not bringing this latest game to home consoles as they did for the previous two games. While the game is coming to all Nintendo systems, it will be done through three different teams:
  • Vicarious Visions (Wii U)
  • N-Space (3DS)
  • Beenox (Wii)
What are your thoughts on the new game? Are you excited and which system(s) do you plan to get the game for? Please comment below and be sure to follow Treon's Realm on Twitter.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wind Waker HD and Resident Evil On Wii U Now Available For Pre-Order!

You can now pre-order two of the more anticipated games for the Wii U on Amazon.
And don't forget the last epic Wii game which is fully playable on your shiny new Wii U:

I am once again posting Pandora's Tower because this game deserves to succeed and needs your support. One thing to note is that this game actually holds the fate of a lot of potential Nintendo games in its hands. The Last Story was XSEED Games first partnership with Nintendo and it was quite successful but Pandora's Tower is the test to see if that success was a fluke. I have contacted XSEED and they have clearly stated that they don't expect Pandora's Tower to be as successful as The Last Story. They understand the current Wii market but this game still needs to be a moderate success for them to continue pursuing this partnership. As the video game industry looses more and more publishers, the American side of the industry will continue to frown on more unique niche Japanese games that don't make millions of dollars. XSEED is a publisher that specializes in bringing these niche games stateside and Nintendo will likely lean on them for games that are just too risky for them but this will be tough if these risky titles aren't somewhat successful for this small but dedicated fan driven company. Just food for thought when fans complain that these games never come to the states.

7 Games That Should Have Remained Nintendo Wii Exclusive!

I have noticed an interesting trend in relation to Nintendo exclusivity and Nintendo's successful little white box. The Nintendo Wii may have been rough on some third party developers but the more dedicated developers/publishers saw some success on the machine but often undid this success with subsequent releases on competing machines. The problem comes when the publisher gets greedy and betrays the audience it cultivated during the games initial release. With this in mind, we are going to look at some instances where being Wii exclusive helped a particular game and the fallout of the game's  sequel or re-release/port on other systems.

WII ORIGINAL: Goldeneye 007
PORT: Goldeneye 007: Reloaded (PS3/XB360)

The original Goldeneye for the N64 is intrinsically tied to Nintendo and feels as much of a Nintendo exclusive as Mario which is why the well designed Wii exclusive just felt right. Nintendo even got behind the game to help hype the title and the release felt like a nostalgic nod to the 1997 original. Unfortunately, much like Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk and (insert milked franchise here), Goldeneye 007: Reloaded felt like Activision making their typical quick cash grab and it rightfully backfired on them. While not a bad game, Reloaded was based off of a game designed with a more conservative approach to the FPS (like the N64 original) and just didn't mesh as well with audiences accustomed to the bombastic Call of Duty series which dominates the PS3 and 360.

SEQUEL: De Blob 2 (Wii/PS3/XB360)

De Blob was a fantastic and original title built on an indie game with a style that felt right at home on Nintendo's little white box. Hell, the game would've felt right at home within Nintendo's own first party catalog. While De Blob garnered positive attention and proved to be a hit, publisher THQ thought they could turn it into a multi-platform franchise which was a huge mistake. While the sequel did well on Wii, the PS3 and 360 versions were huge bombs largely because the game didn't fit with the demographic on those two systems who preferred the FPS, fighter and sports game genres. This one is a real shame because it could have been a huge franchises in the platformer genre which has fallen on hard times outside of the Mario series.

WII ORIGINAL: The House of the Dead: Overkill
PORT: The House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut (PS3)

House of the Dead: Overkill was developed by the talented Headstrong Games and felt like a perfect fit for the Wii's pointer/motion controls. Even with the extreme language/sex/violence, it managed to find a following which made the game a big success for Sega. With Sony's ill received PS Move, a blatant Wii Remote knockoff, Sega saw a chance for a quick cash in. I really can't fault them for this because they actually tried to enhance the already great original. Unfortunately, the extreme price barrier and fact that most who wanted to play it already did by the time of it's PS3 release nearly 3 years later didn't help matters.

WII ORIGINAL: No More Heroes
PORT: No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise (PS3)

This game was built from the ground up for the Wii and it shows. Suda 51's crazy game made the Wii Remote feel like a real part of the experience without turning into the dreaded "waggle fest" which plagued many Wii titles from lazy developers. The game struggled to find an audience in Japan but did quite well in North America and Europe. While Heroes' Paradise port featured PS Move support and was PS3 exclusive in North America, the game proved to too expensive with the required hardware to properly experience to game and offered little new to player's who had already experienced it 3 years earlier.

WII ORIGINAL(S): Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles & The Darkside Chronicles
PORT: Resident Evil Chronicles HD (PS3)

Much like The House of the Dead: Overkill, the Chronicles series for Resident Evil fit like a glove with the Wii Remote and was a great way to revisit the series lore and history while offering a different take on the franchise that was greatly enhanced with a great multiplayer option. While official numbers are tough to nail down due to its PSN digital release outside of Japan, the general complaints seems to be the same as House of the Dead which include PS Move cost, no real enhancement and extreme dates between release (5 years for Umbrella Chronicles and 3 years since Darkside Chronicles) which once again meant that most who wanted to play it already did.

SEQUEL: Epic Mickey: The Power Of Two (Wii/Wii U/XB360/PS3)

Despite its many flaws, Epic Mickey was a pretty big hit on the Wii. It conjured memories of Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie while being built around the Wii Remote controls which made it feel like a natural fit for Nintendo's little white box. Greed and complete oversight of the games audience led to the sequel hit every system under the sun. Much like De Blob, the original game just felt at home on the Wii but anyone could see that the games style didn't fit on the PS3 or 360 and it was just to early for Wii U. If the team had the opportunity to focus on just the Wii version for the 2 year development cycle, we may have had an epic title to join other successful Wii swan songs Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story. Unfortunately, this games failure has resulted in yet another company biting the dust with the games developer Junction Point officially closed down.

WII ORIGINAL: uDraw Studio
SEQUEL/PORT: uDraw Studio: Instant Artist (Wii/XB360/PS3)

Oh THQ, you are the kings of bad decisions. Once again, THQ released the original uDraw Studio for the Wii and it proved to be a big hit and yet again thought it wise to go for a multi-platform franchise. The big difference this time is that they did it with a costly piece of required hardware which was a factor that helped put the company out of business. If they had simply built on the original's success by staying on Wii and focused on releasing quality software for the established audience, they could have been one of the huge Wii success stories like UbiSoft and their Just Dance series. Instead, people were buying the entire hardware + game for a mere $10 this last Christmas.

While I'm sure to have missed a few titles, the point remains that being Nintendo exclusive has merit and when handled correctly results in some impressive sales numbers but publishers need to manage their expectations and think before whoring out a game to systems where it doesn't belong. This lesson will be very important as we enter the Wii U, a console that literally gives developers a boatload of development options and will be cheaper to develop for than the competition. To all the developers and publishers out there, every game does not need to be on every system. What do you think, should these types of games be on all systems? Please comment below and be sure to follow Treon's Realm on Twitter.