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E3 2017: Thoughts on Sony and Nintendo presentations

Sony had their presentation Monday night, but I was feeling too bad to do anything but watch and take notes. Overall, they didn’t show what I most wanted to see, and there wasn’t anything that got me too excited. I had wanted to see a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, Ni No Kuni 2 or The Last of Us 2, though I guess I should be thankful I didn’t see the latter in case of spoilers (I’m still playing the first game).

They showed expansion packs for Uncharted and Horizon Zero Dawn and while I plan on playing both in the future, expansions don’t interest me on their own, unless included in GOTY editions or have a good deal (for instance, I did buy both Witcher 3 expansions, because they were loaded with content). I’m not at all interested in Days Gone. I’ve tried Monster Hunter in the past (MH4U specifically) and it wasn’t really for me, I find it too difficult. Shadow of the Collosus seems to have made a lot of people happy, but I’ve never played it and still don’t think it’s the game for me personally. Marvel vs Capcom Ultimate though? Yes, though it wasn’t “new” as I knew of it already. The only negative I have on the trailer is that it didn’t really show what kind of game it was. There was a single VR game that I wish wasn’t VR; that game was Moss. It was adorable with the mouse warrior! You’d think I would have read Redwall with how I reacted (note to self: read/listen to the Redwall series already). Detroit Become Human looked interesting (I’m a cyberpunk fan), and Marvel Spiderman was a nice surprise.

Now let’s talk Nintendo! This is what I was most excited about and they did not disappoint! I loved EVERYTHING. So let’s get started!

1. Rocket League is coming to Switch, which is awesome though I haven’t played. This fact might make me change my mind though. It will also have exclusive customizations and cross play with other platforms. I can see this being popular for Switch users.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 still has British voice actors! I loved that about Xenoblade Chronicles and will definitely be picking this one up. And yay, there are still Nopons!
3. KIRBY! Not until 2018 but still makes me so happy.
4. METROID PRIME 4. Every fan has already heard about it but hooray for the confirmation, I hope we get actual footage in a future direct or next E3!
5. YOSHI! He’s felted this time, in a cardboard diorama world. The crafty geek in me loves this as much as I loved Yoshi’s Wooly World.
6. Fire Emblem Warriors makes me think I really need to start Hyrule Warriors this weekend.
7. I’m not really planning on buying DLCs for Breath of the Wild, but maybe if there’s a sale or something. There’s so much to do without and I’m nowhere near finished so it’s no rush for me.
8. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has me sold, even if rabbids are annoying. I like everything I’ve seen.
9. Super Mario Odyssey. Does anything need to be said? I NEED a Switch before it comes out, come on Nintendo, make them more available!

These were announced after the Direct, but nevertheless I’m going to buy both. Metroid Samus Returns is a gorgeous 2D Metroid remake of the 2nd game, but more than just a remake. And the Metroid amiibo is perfect, hope I can get my hands on it. The other game is Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga remake + Bowser’s Minions.

Overall, Nintendo did awesome this E3, while the others were sort of lackluster in comparison. The future of gaming is bright and I have WAY too many games to play already but I don’t care. What was your favorite thing about this E3? Did you watch any of the tournaments?

Waiting on Wednesday: Book and Game Edition!

I’ve decided I will be doing this tag, but with a little twist. I’ll be featuring not just an upcoming book, but also a game. This might evolve to also mentioning a movie at times. However, you can always count on a book and a video game, which could be for any platform, as I’m not going to break it down. Anyway, what am I excited for this week? Read on!

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has been on my radar ever since watching videos from BEA 2015 (Book Expo America, if you’re not familiar). This book looks so AWESOME and I am kind of a sucker for books written in a non-traditional, more experimental way (which is why I’m forever attracted to House of Leaves but am too much of a wimp to actually read the whole thing). It comes out on October 20th, though I don’t know when I’ll actually get to buy it. However, I’m eager to read this one!

Here is the synopsis: It follows a girl named Kady and she has a typical life until her planet is under attack from an unknown enemy. She manages to escape on a ship, with her mom on another and her ex-boyfriend on another. While their trying to escape their planet Kerenza, the enemy is in pursuit and at the same time a virus is spreading through one of the ships while the main ship’s AI goes haywire. It just seems like a fun ride and I love sci-fi and space operas, so I’m excited. I actually haven’t read sci-fi in quite some time, so this will be a nice foray back to the genre.

For games, I’m actually listing two that are technically out already. However, they’re still brand new, so it still applies. Both games are for 3DS.

Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash with Chibi-Robo amiibo bundle - Nintendo 3DS

The first game to mention was one I learned about back at E3 week, so if you read my Nintendo post, you might remember this title. That game is Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash. It actually was released on October 9th. I preordered this game with the amiibo figure, despite not having a New 3DS or NFC reader, but it was a good deal and the amiibo is adorable (also, I plan on getting a New 3DS in the future, so it will be used, just not right now). I just couldn’t resist the cuteness of this platformer, and I love collectibles in these types of games, so I’m looking forward to trying to collect all the snacks available. It should be lots of fun. Reviews have come out that were unfavorable, but I still think I’ll enjoy it for what it is.

The other game I went to mention actually released yesterday (the 13th). It is Legend of Legacy which I heard about through Atlus, since they’re the publisher. It was actually developed by a studio I never heard of, but includes former members of Square Enix and Level 5. When I heard the writer of Chrono Trigger was working on it, my interest was piqued. I have a love for JRPGs admittedly, and I look forward to adding this one to my collection. There are 7 characters to choose from, each with their own side of the story, so you have to play through the game 7 times to get the full experience. When I play games with multiple endings like this, I usually never end up playing them all, but I’m okay with that. The focus is on exploration, and you can freely progress through the game rather than having your hand held throughout. Anyway, I hope it will end up being a great game, but check it out if you find this interesting at all.

Nintendo Direct January Wrap-Up

Today was an unexpected Nintendo Direct! I crawled out of bed in time to watch it live (was at 6 AM for me). I wasn’t going to watch it live, but just happened to wake up at 5:30 and knew I wasn’t gonna fall back to sleep anyway so it worked out.

Anyway, lots of exciting stuff was mentioned, showed, and given release dates along with a new announcement of the next game in the Fire Emblem series for 3DS. A reminder to myself that I should finish Fire Emblem: Awakening, at least before this one comes out. Of course, I’m in the middle of so many games right now it’s kind of ridiculous, and I’m constantly starting more.

The biggest news was the release date for the New 3DS XL for NA, and confirmation that the regular New 3DS is not coming to NA (so no fun face plates for us). I’m not too bothered since I wanted the New 3DS XL as my upgrade. I know this is upsetting for some though (as well as the name, wish they’d changed it for NA, but it’s not going to stop me from getting one). I look forward to the better 3D; it’s a feature I think I’d use all the time if the new system has really improved it. Also look forward to the processing power for speedier loading and just the size. I have the regular size 3DS, so I can’t wait for the bigger screens. It retails at $199.99, starting with Red and Black colors. There are also two bundles (Majora’s Mask and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, both are beautiful). I really want this, but since I can’t afford a bundle right now, and I want more color options (I have a black DS Lite and my current 3DS is red, so I really want a different color), I suppose I’ll be waiting. Hubby wants one too so there’s that as well.

I am excited that Majora’s Mask comes out the same day, February 13th. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up, as I’ve never gotten to play it. Though technically I have the Gamecube port, it’s just not accessible right now. And really, I like old games remade with better graphics, I can’t help it. I still want to get Ocarina of Time 3D and Wind Waker HD for that reason.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse comes out on my birthday, which is February 20th. I love that Claymation look and I’m excited based on that, besides being a longtime fan of Kirby.

Mario Party 10 was announced for March, along with a Super Mario wave of Amiibo. It does allow you to use the Smash figures, but you’ll lose your Smash data if you do. So I guess I’ll have some repeat characters, when I can actually afford amiibo (I chose expensive but fun hobbies…).

NA is getting the Puzzle and Dragons Mario Edition in a double pack (comes with Puzzle and Dragons Z), which reminds me of Puzzle Quest, a game I loved. So I will most likely pick this up at some point.

Pokemon Shuffle is a free to play downloadable 3DS game coming next month, so I’ll probably do that. Haven’t tried the other FTP game (Steel Diver: Sub Wars) because it didn’t interest me. But I could try this one.

Splatoon was announced for May and you can customize your character! I swear, I’ll be spending time enjoying trying on the different outfit options. That makes me seem so girly but hey, clothes are cool in games (in reality, I don’t like shopping for clothes).

Another huge thing is Wii games on the eShop. I already have the Wii games I wanted, but this is still a good thing, especially for fans of Metroid. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is available now on eShop, with the other games announced being Punch Out (Jan. 22) and The Metroid Prime Trilogy (Jan 29). If a Wii game supports classic controller, you can use the Wii U Gamepad instead; also you can play Wii games from the Wii U menu now, which is great.

Xenoblade Chronicles X has a new trailer, still no date besides this year. I’m thinking Fall release, but this will be a day one buy for us.

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars has cross-buy, so if you get the Wii U version, you’ll get a code to download the 3DS version and vice versa. It looks like a fun little game, and I haven’t tried any in this series but I really like the idea of cross-buy.

There was a section highlighting some upcoming eShop games. The Xenoblade port for the New 3DS was given a release window for April. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has a release date of February 13th, as you might have guessed by the bundle.

My favorite eShop game announcement was Ironfall, as it was a game I heard about from its beginning. It’s very impressive for being made in Assembly language. It looks like a very fun shooter too.

If you want to see what else was talked about or see some gameplay, check out the Nintendo Direct video below!

Nintendo Amiibos: Praise, Analysis and A Criticism

Nintendo’s take on the NFC figure as seen in Skylanders and Disney Infinity has been hyped due to the fact that they can be used across multiple games. These “toy to life” figures are really quite nice, with detailed features to make any Nintendo fan happy to have on display, while keeping kids happy as well. I do like the attention given to character outfits, such as Peach and Zelda’s dresses. The box presentation is fun, and the instructions are clear and simple.

I received two Amiibos this holiday, one for me and one for my husband. We have Peach and Samus. I haven’t yet taken it out of the box, but I do plan to. At 12.95 apiece, one might say they’re expensive. Though despite functionality, I’d proudly display them as figures on a shelf when not in use. With that in mind, the price seems reasonable.

What doesn’t seem reasonable is how hard it has been for people to get their hands on these characters. Nintendo did not have enough supply to meet demand; not the first time the company ran out of supply, as we have seen this exact thing before (i.e. original Wii consoles). However, my criticism comes from several issues. First are the rumors having gone around about certain Amiibo figures being “limited” and possibly “discontinued” (you can read more about that in this article). While figures like Wii Fit Trainer may not have much function outside of Smash Bros, they should still be available.

If this is how Nintendo responds, then they are pandering to scalpers instead of the common fan or parents. I for one really want a Marth figure, as I love him as a character. I was hoping to get one when I had a bit of extra money; of course this figure is nowhere to be found now. One could blame the Christmas rush for this, but that’s not the whole truth. The amount of opportunistic E-Bayers who managed to swoop in and buy many figures is ridiculous. It begs the question: Who is Nintendo targeting with the Amiibos? Are they targeting collectors? Or are they trying to target families, children and the common fan?

At this point in time, it certainly feels like the former. Another major criticism goes along with that; retailer exclusivity. If you want the Rosalina & Luma figure then you have to buy it from Target, if you want Lucario then you must buy from Toys R Us, if you want Shulk then you must pre-order from the evil emp- *ahem* Gamestop. There are also Best Buy exclusives. As a consumer, I HATE this with a passion. Store exclusivity does not in any way target kids or their parents. No, Nintendo should not always pander to family and youth for everything, but we cannot forget that NFC figures are first and foremost TOYS.

An argument to this could be that the common parent and kid will just want the iconic characters being Mario, Luigi, Peach, DK, Yoshi, Link, perhaps Kirby, and Pikachu, and that those characters will always be available. Except that they aren’t even now. I could not find Link, I couldn’t even find Mario or Luigi. This could be due to Christmas. However, the fact is that some kids might want Lucario. Some kids might want Rosalina if they played Super Mario Galaxy. Some might want Meta Knight (Best Buy exclusive). The fact that Nintendo isn’t even allowing these to be purchased directly online from them is even more limiting. Also, not all Nintendo fans are rich enough to pre-order every figure they want; should they be hurt by this?

I don’t have a solution. I can only express my discontentment over how the Amiibo situation is being handled by Nintendo. I’ll always be a fan, but I don’t always agree with their business practices. I’m not one of those fans who go “Nintendo is perfect and can do no wrong” while ignoring or denying any of the problems. All companies have problems, no company is perfect. However this decision is less consumer-friendly than I’d like to see from a company I respect. While I don’t play Disney Infinity, I would prefer their business model for selling figures, as there is no problem with finding the Disney characters you want of those that have been released.

How do you feel about Amiibos? Do you find the situation problematic, or do you not care? What do you think of the NFC figure trend as a whole?

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