Predicting the NX Launch Title Line Up

All signs are starting to point to 2016 being the year the NX comes out. This is a really exciting time for Nintendo fans because it’s the time for one of the most fun parts of a console pre-launch: speculation!

At this point in time, NX can be just about anything, but when looking at Nintendo’s latest initiatives  and projects, it is not too difficult to see a trajectory of what NX might be. Odds are, it is finally going to be the console that combines the home and mobile consoles. With that being said, it’s time to take a crack at guessing the launch titles, whether that means on the actual launch day or the launch window, for this system! All of this, of course, is an educated guess and we most likely won’t know what will really be launching with the console until E3 2016.

Until then, though: ONWARD WITH THE SPECULATION!

Dragon Quest X and XI

This has already been confirmed by Square Enix, though no release date has been announced. Moving on.

Super Mario 64 HD

Next year marks the 10th anniversary of this very dated, but very important, video game. To celebrate the anniversary, I can see Nintendo making this as a launch game, mainly because all Nintendo home consoles launch with some form of game from the Mario franchise. The textures, game models, and the camera would be upgraded to that of a modern game, but other than that it would be virtually the same with the inclusion of the extra characters and levels from the DS version. Maybe this time, Waluigi will be in the game. A man can dream.

New Retro Studio Project

Retro has been working on something since the release of the last Donkey Kong Country game. No one knows exactly what it is unless they work for Retro, but it’s definitely in development. Maybe it’s a new DKC or Metroid game, but most likely it will be something completely different. Whatever it is, it’s been in development for a while so there’s a good shot it’ll release on the NX relatively close to launch.

Pikmin 4

Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed this game is in production and almost finished. You can’t get much more clear than that. This will most certainly be a day one game.

Legend of Zelda Wii U/NX

People have been speculating since it was announced that this game was going to pull a “Twilight Princess”. The more we hear about NX, the more that theory seems like it’s going to be a reality. Expect to see it on the Wii U and NX on the day NX is released.

Yooka-Laylee

This game is coming out next fall, and so far it looks amazing. Being that the game is a spiritual successor to an original N64 series, Banjo-Kazooie, I can see Nintendo giving the developers some extra funding to port it to the NX.

Guitar Hero Live/Rock Band 4

To me, this seems obvious. The goal of both of these games is to be a platform, so it would make sense for them to release on the new Nintendo console. Not much more to say about it.

Some Dancing and Sports Games that I won’t Play

Its seems that most consoles are released with some dancing game I never play along with the current game in the major sports franchises. The Just Dance series, I believe, has been a launch title on all major consoles for awhile now. Also, every time a console launches, the current Madden, FIFA, etc. is also available day one. This one seems like a shoo-in.

Mario Maker 2

I am loving Super Mario Maker. I don’t really make levels, but I’m having a blast playing other people’s levels. Due to the popularity and sales of the game, an updated version will probably release for NX that includes more features *cough cough*checkpoints*cough cough*. The only thing that really pokes holes in this prediction is that the NX will most likely be backwards compatible for Wii U and 3DS, which would make a Super Mario Maker successor useless.

Final Fantasy XV

Ok, so the next two on my list are a bit weird and quite a long-shot. So anyone else remember that this franchise was once a Nintendo exclusive? If you don’t, I can’t blame you as it hasn’t been the case for nearly 20 years, not the mainline games anyway. Now, I don’t think FFXV will be an NX exclusive by any means, the game is clearly multi-platform and associating a lot of its marketing with PS4. However, back when FFXIII came out, the franchise finally jumped to Xbox and it is totally plausible for the franchise to now jump back to Nintendo. If the NX does indeed have equal or better internal hardware as the PS4 and Xbox One, it would make sense for the game to also come to Nintendo.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Remember, the third game in this franchise launched with the Wii U. That’s pretty much my only reasoning to be honest.

Lego Dimensions/Disney Infinity/Skylanders

Whatever the year’s version of these games will be, they will probably come to the NX because all of them are selling well. The NX probably needs these franchises more than these franchises need the NX.

The Amiibo Game

So, all of the other video games with toys actually have games attached to them. This is the one thing that makes the amiibo differ from Skylanders. That being considered, since Nintendo is also restocking many of the more rare amiibo. All of these things considered, I can see the Nintendoland/Wii Sports sucessor that will be bundled will be one based on amiibo. That would make the NX also come bundled with somewhere between 1 and 3 amiibo to get players started in the game. Most likely the bundled amiibo will be a new Mario, Link, and Pikachu.

New Metroid Game

I don’t think this game will be done by the team behind the Prime series, but I do believe a new Metroid Prime-styled game will be released on NX relatively early. I don’t mean a spin-off like Federation Force either (although I do not think Federation Force will be bad) it will be a mainline Metroid game. Since Retro Studios will most likely not be behind this game, I believe a developer like Next Level Games, the people behind Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon,  will be the the ones to take over.

Well, those are all the games I can think of that will be released within the launch window of the NX. Of course, there are other games that are almost guaranteed to be made, like a new 3D Mario and a Splatoon sequel, but I doubt they will release within the launch window. Either way, I can’t wait for more NX info from Nintendo in 2016!

Star Wars Battlefront Beta – First Impressions

Yesterday (08/11/15), we heard echoing, hysterical squeals as a countless number of Star Wars fans finally finished installing the Star Wars Battlefront Beta onto their gaming systems. As it’s not due for release for another month, this was just another fantastic teaser for this highly anticipated installment to the Star Wars Battlefront game series, developed by EA (EA Digital Illusions).

The open-beta let us indulge in several aspects of Star Wars Battlefront which isn’t considerably far from it’s release date. The beta taunts fans with only two available mulitplayer maps to play, both of which assigned to a different game mode. In Drop Zone, players navigate the dusty, mountainous map, Sullust, whereas in game mode Walker Assault, players are almost able to live the events in The Empire Strikes Back as they traverse the snowy, barren landscape of Hoth. Other game modes that will become available with the full game upon release are: Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, Blast, Cargo and Droid Run. The maps that will be incorporated into these game modes, however, are not yet known. The beta also allows the player to test themselves and become familiar with game dynamics in Survival mode, available under the missions section of the main menu. As the title states the player must simply survive against the waves of enemies. The only Survival open to play with the Star Wars Battlefront Beta is Survival Tatooine however, we can see that when we are finally able to get our hands on a copy of the game we will also be able to play survival on Sullust, Endor and Hoth.

Here is some of my own gameplay on the Star Wars Battlefront Beta including some survival gameplay:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSMqKW8TKIg

”I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing”

Generally speaking, going by the Star Wars Battlefront Beta, I have high hopes for the game upon its release. The multiplayer dynamics are relatively typical of EA. Furthermore, the servers run incredibly smooth and there is little trouble joining games and lobbies in which your friends are in. The character customization is simple and easy to come to terms with within a game or two. You merely earn credits after playing a game, the amount varying and dependent on how well you perform in game. Using these credits the player purchases weapons and Star Cards which then can simply be equipped to the players Hand. In addition to all of this, power-ups are littered throughout each game mode. By picking these up, the player is entitled to do any of the following dependent on what is picked up: Gain use of powerful artillery and weaponry, pilot a ship or AT (varying on your alliance) or even play as a Jedi/ Sith master. The power-ups are simply great for allowing the player to explore the different aspects of Star Wars alongside the tactical advantage it brings.

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008211838

But enough of the technical stuff. The beta has allowed us insight into how thoroughly awesome Battlefront is going to be when released. Everything about the graphics, gameplay and game content really harnesses that true Star Wars ”Feel”. As mentioned breifly before, it is almost as if you are living out the events from the films. Trudging through the snow on Hoth through blaster rifle crossfire, the accurate sound effects and typically triumphant Star Wars music, even the ships battling relentlessly above your head as you fight below, every little detail contributes to making the game feel so real and it is so well executed by EA.

On another note, the graphics are simply…WOW. The planets are incredibly accurate to those in the movies. Every bit of graphical content is perfectly designed to create the perfect atmosphere to the game. The crashed Star Destroyers and X- Wing Fighters really create the perfect battle scene. The maps are vibrant and really bring the game to life.

 

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008214121

 

”I’ve Got A Bad Feeling About This”

During my time playing the Star Wars Battlefront Beta, the only noticeable faults I found were to do with teaming up on survival which you have the option to do locally or online. I found that, despite all means of trying, I could not team up with my friends online to play survival. Whether or not it is because you are intentionally restricted from doing so in the beta is beyond me, but regardless, it was a flaw I noticed. The other possible flaw I noticed was perhaps that the power-ups were a little over-powered. I understand that this is subjective, but I found that a relatively common pick-up on Hoth was the AT-Walker power-up. 45 seconds on each of the occasions I picked it up was enough to secure myself at least 20 kills. It makes the Walker Assault on Hoth incredibly difficult when playing as the rebels especially.

”May The Force Be With You”

All in all, I found the Star Wars Battlefront Beta a lovely insight into how fantastically popular Star Wars Battlefront is going to be when released next month. EA has cleverly incorporated every aspect of Star Wars and combined with its commendable multiplayer, Star Wars Battlefront does the series justice, satisfying ongoing Star Wars fans, fans of the game series and also possessing potential to earn itself a mass of new fans. The game dynamics are simple and easy to come to terms with and collectively I think it will be giving the Black Ops 3 multiplayer a run for its money upon release. I just hope that the majority of the Star Wars fanbase doesn’t keel over in depression when the Beta is over.

 

STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ Beta_20151008212923

Craziest Things to Ever (Intentionally) Come Out of Twitch.tv

Twitch.tv has been a fascinating new form of entertainment.  The idea that watching people playing video games, and not even just the highest level players, has grown into something that rivals Youtube is a concept I never would have thought possible just a few years ago.  Not only has it become an entertainment enterprise all its own, it’s spawned some truly unique and wonderfully bizarre events that wouldn’t really be possible anywhere else.  In celebration of the recent Twitch Con, these are some of the craziest things to ever be produced by the Twitch community.

Now, I’d like to specify that this is only going to focus on events that streamers actually organized under the regulations of Twitch rather than unintentional and/or potentially illegal happenings.  I’m not going to be talking about swatting or the various times streamers have left the camera running before doing something… Unseemly.  This is a tribute to the wonderfully ludicrous ways that people have found to get the most out Twitch’s livestreaming services.

HearthstoneOligarchy

Hearthstone Oligarchy

Hearthstone‘s Arena mode is tricky as you have to draft a deck from a random selection of cards and try to make the most viable build you can and match it against other players under the same condition.  Certain cards work drastically better in this mode than others and every pick can make or break a match.  So, let’s see what happens when one of the best Hearthstone players out there hands full control of the drafting process over to his viewers and has to play with the results.  Popular Hearthstone pro Trump selected viewers of his stream at random and gave them full command over selecting one card for his Arena deck, then took the resulting deck against random opponents for as long as he could before taking three loses.  The good news is that most of his viewers honestly tried to pick the best cards available.  The bad news is that a few couldn’t resist being mischievous and sticking him with some of the worst cards possible.  Even those who were honestly trying still weren’t always making the best decisions and made suboptimal picks.  The result was one of the worst Arena decks that Trump has ever drafted and a player that averages seven to eight wins per arena run left with only four.  Sadly, he’s only done this experiment one other time since and, given the amount of changes that have occurred in Hearthstone since both of those runs, it would be a very different experience today.  You can see the first oligarchy run here and the second here.

MaximusBlack3

MaximusBlack’s 20k Celebration

Sometimes, it’s just simple, joyous insanity that is the most enjoyable.  MaximusBlack was originally a Starcraft player that decided to move into streaming League of Legends.  It was clearly a wise choice as he garnered 20,000 viewers on his first day with the game and received over $10,000 in donations from his fans.  The money was enough to pay for his wedding, which was also streamed, and he showed his appreciation to his fans the only way he knew how: singing Tenacious D’s “Master Exploder” live on camera while dressed in full chainmail armor, wielding the Frostmourne blade from World of Warcraft, and chugging a bottle of champagne.  Also, his automated subscriber alert made sure to compliment his latest subscribers in a very “special” way the whole way through.  You can check out the footage here, but be warned that there is foul language.  While this celebration may sound mad, rest assured that it’s just another day for Twitch.

VGCWBirdsVDragons

Video Game Championship Wrestling

The VGCW is a CAW League, a fan-made wrestling series made using custom CAWs (Create A Wrestler) created in games like WWE 13 and WWE 2K14.  As you might guess, VGCW mainly focuses on bringing together video game characters of all types, but it also throws in other familiar faces such as Dragon Ball Z‘s Nappa and Valve co-founder Gabe Newell as prominent figures.  You might not think a show like this being aired on Twitch is too distinct, but the match-ups don’t actually involve the showrunners controlling the characters.  Instead, the ingame AI is given full control of the characters and matches are determined purely by the unique stats and moves of the characters, as well as whatever shenanigans the AI feels like pulling at the moment.

The unpredictability of the AI has actually played a major factor in shaping the ongoing narrative, such as with the career of Link from The Legend of Zelda.  Originally, Link was intended to be a major hero for the league as the one destined to defeat his formidable antagonist, Ganondorf.  However, Link’s CAW proved to be poorly made due to the showrunner’s lack of experience with the system and he consistently kept losing matches.  Ganondorf was eventually defeated, but it was by Bowser of all people.  Link, meanwhile, was eventually forced out of the league and has become a joke within the VGCW while Ganondorf and Bowser still enjoy healthy careers.  Speaking of story within the VGCW, it’s not uncommon for cosmic beings to threaten the league and can only be stopped by an atomic piledriver.  Hey, it’s not that much crazier than John Cena fighting satanic hillbillies.  Still, I could easily make a list of the craziest things that VGCW has done alone, and I probably will.  If you want to catch up on this series, which is currently on its eleventh season and has three active spin-off shows, you can check out their Youtube channel here.

FishPlaysPokemon

A Fish Playing Pokemon

Yeah, that about sums it up.  Programmers Catherine Moresco and Patrick Facheris used a modified emulator of Pokemon Red, a webcam, and software that reads a fish’s movement around his tank as button commands.  Then they put the results up on Twitch for the world to witness live.  The fish’s name is Grayson Hopper, by the way.  The stream is available for your viewing pleasure here.  Oh, and someone else did the same thing with two fish facing off in Street Fighter II.  You can see how bizarre that looks here.  Not much to really say about this one, so let’s move on.

JasonVSPredator

Jason Versus Predator: The Live Movie

Maximilian Dood is most famous for his fighting game tutorial/sketch comedy series Assist Me, which guides newcomers through fighting games and specific playable characters while he and his friends dress in costume and act out an intentionally ridiculous storyline.  When Max heard that his favorite character, the Predator, was joining the roster of Mortal Kombat X, he naturally wanted to pay tribute with his popular series.  However, he wouldn’t do so with just a typical episode, but instead create a sort of ‘live movie’ that interspersed a livestream of Mortal Kombat X with prerecorded segments that recreate and parody the original Predator film.  Max played live and directly interacted and discussed with his viewers while remaining in-character for all of the filmed segments that would seemlessly interrupt the stream.  You can check out the Assist Me episode, with all of the prerecorded bits and an indepth tutorial for playing the Predator in MKX taking the place of the livestreamed segments, here (language and spooky skeleton warning), but it just can’t compare with the experience of actually having been there and seeing Max’s coy roleplay.

TwitchPlaysPokemon

Twitch Plays

I’m pretty sure you all saw this one coming.  Watching games on Twitch is one thing, but who could’ve expected that we’d be able to play games through it.  For those that haven’t heard of Twitch Plays Pokemon, it’s a series of one-of-a-kind MMOs playable only via Twitch chat as the entire audience/player base simultaneously controls a single character.  The series began with Twitch Plays Pokemon Red and it quickly exploded into a cult phenomenon.  I mean that literally as a full-on religious movement (jokingly(?)) spawned out of constant attempts to use an unusable item from the inventory.  Yeah, the roleplaying that users had to explain events was beyond ridiculous, and it made the events of the playthrough all the more irresistible.  Of course, the flailing incompetence of our hive-minded shenanigans was a spectacle all its own with the simple act of walking in a straight line being a monumental task.  You can imagine how maddening things got when actual navigation puzzles got involved.  It was so hectic that the game’s creator had to overhaul the system mid-playthrough for the game to even be beatable.  Again, Twitch Plays Pokemon is something that could easily fill a list on its own.  Currently, Twitch Plays Pokemon is pitting its chat against itself by choosing sides in the versus mode in Pokemon Battle Revolution.  Oh, and there’s another channel on Twitch doing the same thing with Dark Souls.  And they already beat it.  Welcome to the future.

Knowing Twitch, I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface of what the site has produced.  There’s bound to be dozens of bizarre things that I haven’t touched on, some even crazier than the ones I’ve listed here.  Be sure to leave a comment below with your craziest Twitch moment, though be sure to restrict it to actual planned events.

Top 15 Fun Things to Do in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

First-person shooter games aren’t exactly meant to be amusing in the sense of comedy. However, the Metal Gear Solid series is well-known for its awkward humor and The Phantom Pain is no exception to this long-lasting rule. Here’s an extensive compilation of fun things that you can do to lift the mood while taking down the enemy forces.

15. Mistreat Your Buddies

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Quiet

Being rude towards your buddies might not be the most positive way to build a good relationship with them, but it sure is funny to watch their reactions. For example, if you shoot D-Horse in the head, it will be immediately sent back to base and a warning message will pop-up to you, while shooting Quiet will make her scream loudly.

14. Block Your Enemies with Doors

When enemies are chasing you inside buildings, they will automatically open and close doors in their way. However, if you block the door by standing close to it, they won’t be able to get in and attack you. Exploit or not, it’s still a very funny way to mess with the enemy soldiers as they can’t enter and they’ll keep talking to one another.

13. Trigger the Chicken Mode

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Chicken Hat

Who didn’t trigger the chicken mode in The Phantom Pain? Probably everyone who played the game did it once at least. What’s funny about it though? Well… just the hat itself could be the answer, but that’s not all. The fact that you can walk among enemies undetected can be pretty funny too, especially when the chicken sounds come by.

12. Collect Wall Posters

One way to gather GMP is to collect posters around enemy bases, but curiously they’re almost all different. Collecting them can be a funny challenge along the game since some are actually meant to be funny, others more provocative or even erotic. If you pay attention right before collecting them, you might see the point here.

11. Collect and Extract Wild Animals

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Probably the first weird thing that I’ve noticed in this game was the wild animal extraction. It simply looks hilarious. I mean, a donkey being pulled up into the sky groaning fearlessly? Come on, who doesn’t laugh at that for the first time? There are some animals that are funnier than others, depending on the animation and sound but overall, they’re all pretty comic.

10. Punch Your Staff to Raise Their Morale

Normally, when you try to raise someone’s morale you do some kind of profitable task, but in The Phantom Pain the best way to raise your staff’s confidence is to be rude and ruthless. Yes, hitting your staff members will actually raise their morale. The bad side is that it only works with certain members, possibly the masochistic ones.

9. Ask Advice on Random Things

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Another interesting thing to do in The Phantom Pain is to ask advice on random places or objects with Q. Random questions demand random answers and that’s exactly what this game provides. Some advice can be pretty awkward and unexpected, leading to a funny experience.

8. Let Quiet do the Job for You

Quiet is an amazing sniper and she will take out anyone you want. You just have to give the order. If you have some free time you can just watch her doing the whole job for you. Moreover, if you don’t get detected enemies will only chase Quiet’s position and they’ll never go for you. Funny indeed.

7. Engage During Sandstorms

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Sandstorms reduce everyone’s awareness and visibility, which means it’s the perfect time for engaging. It’s not just a huge advantage in terms of strategy, it’s also ridiculously funny to do it. When you encounter enemies during a sandstorm they’ll only see you when you’re basically at their faces. Besides, they’ll miss every shot they fire.

6. Watch D-Dog’s Invincible Wrath

D-Dog is simply amazing, that dog does it all… It recons, it detects all types of offensive and friendly targets and most importantly, it distracts enemies at all costs. It can get hit numerous times or even stay under fire endlessly. This dog is stronger than a Marvel hero and he’s the most annoying thing for your enemy. Watch him, you won’t regret it.

5. Get Hit Until You Trigger the Blood Bug

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

There’s a blood bug in this game? Hell, yeah. And it can happen anytime, the only prerequisite is getting hit as much as you can. I know this hurts your mission score, but it’s in the name of fun. Once you trigger this bug it will get stuck on that armor type and it will never go away unless you start from the very beginning. You can even shower a thousand times and it will still be there.

4. Nullify Enemies with Supply Drops

Those who rescued Quiet safely probably know how funny this method can be. All you have to do is ask a supply drop on an enemy location that is not moving at all. Then be patient and watch your enemy scream and fall into the ground effortlessly. It surely is an expensive way to nullify someone, but it’s still worth the fun.

3. Sprint with D-Horse into a Machine Gun

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain D-Horse

Talking about buddies, D-Horse is another infernal beast. This animal is capable of enduring all types of dangers for undetermined periods of time. If this is not a problem at all, why would an exploding machine gun be, right? Truth is, you will get unmounted and damaged from the explosion but your horse will be up and kicking and… a bit dirty too.

2. Distract Enemies with D-Horse’s Poop

Spotting an armored horse in the middle of the desert or savanna is weird enough. However, spotting an armored horse taking a crap is even… worse or, in this case, better. Lure your horse into the enemy’s field of detection and tell him to poop and watch their reactions. It’s actually pretty hilarious.

1. Infiltrate an Enemy Base Inside a Box

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

For me this is the most amusing activity to do in The Phantom Pain. Infiltrate any enemy base inside a supply box. Who would spot you, right? It’s just a box moving around. Perhaps it’s magic or it has legs, no wait, it’s the wind! Regardless of what the enemy might be thinking, he’ll come close to check it out… and that’s when your moment of glory/death arrives.

Books for Gamers: “Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews

In my continuing search for books that geeks will love, I have come across “Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews. A book  compared often to “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, which initially worried me because I’m not the biggest fan of Green and I am personally against that book of his. Luckily, I persisted in reading and it payed off wonderfully for me.

This book presents a realistic version of all those trashy teen books that are so popular right now. The book is told from the perspective of High School senior, Greg Gaines, as he is forced to befriend a girl he knew from middle school, Rachel, because she has been diagnosed with cancer.

The writer of the book makes the bold decision of making the narrator, Greg, a complete and utter jerk. He means well, but he recognizes that most of his actions aren’t sincere and that he’s really self-centered. I actually got really frustrated with the character because of his constant whining, complaining, and lying. In fact, he never really gets redeemed as a character, he just matures a bit. It’s a really interesting character arc that I don’t really want to spoil.

Rachel, and Greg’s best friend, Earl, serve as the lovable characters in the story. Not only do those two remind me of actual people in my life, which is always a good sign, they are multifaceted and make Greg a better character. I cared way more about those two than I ever did about Greg.

So why is this book relevant to gamers? Well, it’s mostly the references. In the book, there are many geek, movie, and video game references sprinkled throughout the whole novel. Also, geeks will probably find some form of similarities between them and Greg (besides the being a jerk part). Greg is inconsistent with his actions and beliefs, so there will probably be at least one moment where the reader will think “I’ve done something like that before.”

This book is an easy read too, and it remains entertaining throughout. If you’re not interested in reading it I would highly recommend seeing the movie since it’s shorter and makes Greg a bit more likable. Also, I would like to note that there was no trashy love story which was a breath of fresh air for this particular genre.

Also, in case I didn’t mention it, this is also a really funny book. It actually focuses on the comedy way more than the drama and you can check it out here.

I feel like that’s all I can say about this book without giving away too much.

Why Catherine Would Make a Great Movie

Catherine, the 2011 release by Atlus, needs to be a movie now! As we speak, every studio in Hollywood is wondering what video game will make them the first great video game movie, and while the upcoming Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed totally have the ability to take that title, if Catherine is fast tracked for a Valentine’s Day release of 2017, Catherine will 100% take the title of being one of the first great video game movies.

Catherine is marketable: it’s a romance movie, it’s an action movie, it’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s relatable, and it would be cheaper to make than most blockbusters due to it not being as effects heavy as a superhero movie. If this movie came out on Valentine’s Day it will make double the money that both 50 Shades of Grey and Kingsman made this year combined, because it would appeal to both of those audiences.

So what’s the story? Vincent is a 30 year old man child who is stuck in a rut. He’s bored and doesn’t know whether or not he wants to go to the next level and marry his current girlfriend, Katherine. One night he stays at the bar later than his other friends and ends up getting drunk and cheating on his girlfriend with a 22 year old freak named Catherine. What follows is a weird supernatural and psychological adventure as Vincent deals with dreams of him having horns, attempting to escape from Hell with other patrons of the bar that he sees as sheep. As people die in the dreams, of course they die in real life, all of them having some connection to Catherine. Vincent tries to run away from death while dealing with his real life issues.

When it comes to director, I see no better fit than Lake Bell. While she’s directing, just let her write and star as Catherine as well. She’s perfect for the role, and if you have doubts about her doing this go and check out her movie that she wrote, directed, and starred in titled In a World and prepare for your mind to be changed.

The difficult part is with the casting of Vincent because he needs to be someone really likable, it’s going to take a lot for an audience to cheer for a dude who cheats on his girlfriend after all. Because of this, I feel like the perfect choice is Donald Glover. Glover is a great actor, and also a great comedian, so I think he would be able to play the part pretty well. As far as the Succubus Catherine goes, cast Margot Robbie from Wolf of Wall Street and the upcoming Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. She’s perfect for the role and honestly looks very similar to the design of the game character. Thomas “Boss” Mutton, the *spoiler* bad guy *end spoiler* and also owner and bartender of Vincent’s go-to bar, Stray Sheep, should be played by Nick Offerman. Offerman has the stern look and comedic chops to be able to pull off this role.

Here’s the thing about this movie, it should be funny. It should give you those good belly laughs that make it hurt to breathe, the concept is ridiculous and it should be handled as so. But, just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it also should negate any of the dramatic or earnest moments that are still made in the game.

The budget of the movie I would guesstimate to be somewhere around $60 million to shoot, but it really depends on how much of the movie would take place in Vincent’s dreams vs. reality. As previously stated, this movie would destroy the Valentine’s Day weekend box office.

Talking XO with Jumpdrive Studios

Jumpdrive Studios

We previously reported that XO had been fully funded on Kickstarter. With the success of the game’s Kickstarter campaign and prior approval from publisher Square Enix through their Collective platform, I reached out to developer Jumpdrive Studios to talk to them about their upcoming sci-fi RTS.

Check out the full interview below.

Where did the title XO come from? Does it stand for anything?

XO has a 2 part meaning. You start the game as the executive officer on board the last surviving battleship in the fleet. A series of unfortunate events puts you in command, and it’s up to a fresh XO to save what’s left of humanity. It’s also short for exodus, seeing as you’re on the run throughout the game.

You pitched the idea of XO to the Square Enix Collective community. What kind of response did you get and what is it like having a big publisher such as Square Enix approve your game? How do you feel about the Collective platform?

Putting our game on the Collective was extremely helpful. It gave us a chance to practice our pitch before going to Kickstarter, and the feedback helped us focus on what people seemed the most interested in. It was also great to see what connected with players, and what we need to do a better job showing off in our gameplay trailer. For a small team like us, having Square Enix give your project a kind-of seal of quality is a big deal. This is our first game, and backers are rightfully wary of new teams going to Kickstarter these days. By working with the Collective, we were able to back up our qualifications through a detailed assessment interview. I think that approval goes a long way in helping backers feel confident their pledges are going towards making something awesome.

Where did the idea for XO come from? When, where and how did you come up with the concept?

Brian [Jamison, founder, game designer and art director at Jumpdrive, has] been dreaming up this game for years. He came up with the idea over drinks with a fellow game designer and it just stuck with him. We’re drawing influence from other sci-fi works like Battlestar Galactica, FTL, the Lost Fleet series, and even experiences running small businesses.

The game has quite a unique art style. What influenced it and why did you choose it?

We’re all big fans of retro arcade games, and that vector style seemed like something that hasn’t really been brought back in a cool way as of late. We think it’s beautiful and iconic, and it makes a lot of sense for a small team to go after something more stylized than expensive, hyper-realistic graphics.

$55,000 was successfully raised on Kickstarter for the project. How did you feel when it surpassed its $40,000 goal? Were you ever concerned it wouldn’t be funded?

I don’t think I’ll ever forget where I was when we reached our goal – a bar in Seattle called the Grizzled Wizard, sitting alone on Twitter sending a flurry of tweets asking for support to push us over the $40,000 goal. Having Square Enix Collective supporting us certainly took some pressure off, but that’s still not a guarantee of success. XO was on Kickstarter during a really tough time, and we saw several projects struggle to reach their goals.

XO will release exclusively on PC, Mac and Linux. Are there any plans to bring it to consoles?

We’re considering it, but it’s still too early to say. We want to focus on making a really great PC game first, and certainly don’t want to over-promise right now.

Jumpdrive Studios is a pretty small team of devs. What are the advantages or disadvantages of having such a small dev team and how does that impact the game?

The best thing about being independent means we only have to answer to ourselves and the people playing our games. The hardest part about working on a project like this with a small team is that we all have to wear several hats, but I don’t think we’d have it any other way. Everyone is involved in marketing and design in some form or another, we’re more like a band than a company in that sense.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

You can keep up with XO’s progress on our weekly devlog at jmpdrv.com!

I’d like to thank all of the amazingly talented people over at Jumpdrive Studios for taking the time to answer my questions and give us some insight into the game, the ideas and concepts behind it and the journey from the initial pitch proposed on Square Enix Collective back in May, to the fully funded reality it is now.

XO is slated to release in March 2016 on PC, Mac and Linux.

Gamer’s Book Guide: “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Lately, I have been disappointed by my lack of available time to spend reading. Most of my free time has been spent writing, watching TV, playing video games, and listening to podcasts. For whatever reason, reading is always the thing that I enjoy that gets the short end of the stick. Perhaps it’s because I already read a lot for the classes I’m taking, or maybe it’s just because reading for extended periods of time makes my eyes tired.

Whatever the case, I want to read more and I would like to encourage others to do so as well. Because of this, I’m starting a monthly article series called “Gamer’s Book Guide” where I will read and recommend books that will be relevant to people into gaming or other geeky things. The books I will be highlighting each month won’t necessarily be about gaming either, they will just be books I believe people into geeky things will enjoy. Also, I will be talking about books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every book will be a novel, such is the case for this month.

This month, I highly recommend “Seconds” by Bryan Lee O’Malley. “Seconds” is a graphic novel about a girl in her mid-twenties, Katie, who utilizes mushrooms to travel back in time to fix past mistakes. Like other works by O’Malley, the first part of the story sounds totally normal but then it just dives into total insanity. Similar to his previous series, “Scott Pilgrim”, this book is also riddled with references to movies and video games.

Also like his past work, “Seconds” tells a fairly small and personal story especially considering all the magic and weirdness that occurs in the book. When you get down to it, it’s just a story about Katie’s quarter-life crisis. O’Malley’s writing will also be instantly relatable to the reader, especially if they’re in their late teens or twenties.

As a bonus, if you’re a “Scott Pilgrim” fan like I am, this book can technically be seen as a sequel to that series as Scott and Ramona show up as background characters in a few scenes. It’s nothing substantial, but a fun little Easter egg for fans of the author.

The other nice thing about the book is O’Malley’s art and the coloring done by Nathan Fairbairn. While O’Malley’s art style isn’t exactly one that can be “more detailed” but you can still see an evolution of his style with each book he puts out. In “Seconds” his art style is used very effectively and really helps establish the weird, colorful, and kinda sad tones that are presented throughout the book.

Now that you know my non-spoilery opinion on the book, try it out yourself and form your own opinions. Or if you have read it already, comment below and tell me about what you thought of the book.

Super Mario Maker: 5 Levels We Can Expect

With only a few weeks before the worldwide release of Super Mario Maker, it’s time to take a look at what we levels can expect from the community. Sure there will be some masterpiece’s. Stages that I would of never thought of in a million years but also stages that Mr Shigeru Miyamoto would never have thought of too. Thats exciting! Seeing millions of gamers come together to design smart, sophisticated and super Mario level’s.

Now this list is slightly different. Here I have chosen 5 levels that I believe the community will create in its droves. Thousands, possibly millions of modders will be at the helm of the first ever official Mario level maker implementing similar concepts. These are pretty much my predictions for the majority of the online content which I am not saying is a bad thing it’s just what I believe we will see. So without further ado lets begin

 

The Absolutely Everything

Madness ensues. Everyone including myself is bound to create one of these sooner or later. When your tired intricately placing enemies in specific places as you try to outwit your opponent, you then decide “screw it”. What comes next is every enemy, obstacle and power up all thrown together in a beautiful mess. These levels are purely for fun hitting there peeks when friends visit.

The Absolutly Everything

 

The Impossible 

No not a stage inspired by the Ewan McGregor film (That would be pretty dark).  Spikes, fire and perfect jumping. The three key elements that are likely to appear here. The odds of you accomplishing these are slim, however thanks to the rule that all levels can only ever be submitted online once the maker has completed said level will limit these at first. Eventually though when the professionals get to grips with the mechanics we’ll be getting levels that baffle us. Mainly how is anybody suppose to finish this? Along with what evil mastermind conjured up this deathtrap?

The Impossible

 

The Amiibo

With the bulk of  new Nintendo release’s we now get amiibo compatibility. Certain characters are only applicable to certain titles makes sense. You may be thinking the Mario amiibo and possibly a few others will work here. Nope, this time Nintendo are going all out.  Every single amiibo released so far is applicable. A stunning 73 amiibo will feature. These unlocking 8-bit sprites for each one. I could make same stereotypical joke about the inclusion of Sonic therefore this being the best 2D Sonic ever but I’ll resist . Luckily purchasing them is not needed as they are all unlockable. The full list is detailed on the official Nintendo website. As insane as this is you know people are going to devote entire stages to them.

The Amiibo

 

The One Enemy Onslaught 

Who’s your favorite Mario enemy? I’m partial to Chain Chomps. In normal circumstances you were lucky to see more than one…but these are not normal circumstances. No this world is your oyster. You want a hundred chain chomps? You can have them. You want a stage dedicated to dozens of Bowser’s? Here you go.  Dedicating levels to Goomba’s, Koopa’s or Bob-Omb’s can give these sometimes forgotten minions a chance to shine.

The One Enemy Onslaught

 

The Classic with a Twist 

Everyone remembers their first time playing level 1-1 in Super Mario Bros. Who knew at the time that it would become such an iconic stage? Now with the freedom of Super Mario Maker there is a strong chance this legendary level will be recreated. What we wont be seeing nonetheless is a simple re-hash. Instead it will seem a simple stroll past the first Goomba, leaping over the warp pipe before suddenly the carpet being pulled out from underneath our feet. What comes next is anybody’s guess?

The Clasic With a Twist

 

We all cant wait to get our hands on Super Mario Maker come mid-September but what really will the online be filled with? Whats levels do you think we can expect? Leave us a comment below to tell us.

7 Video Game Spoilers that are Now Unavoidable

The worst part about a great plot twist is that spoilers for it are bound to precede the story it appears in for anyone that was late to the party.  Even if you’ve never seen a second of the films Psycho, Planet of the Apes, or The Sixth Sense, you probably already know all of their most famous surprises due to how ingrained they’ve become in the popular culture.  With video games often growing into franchises, spoilers are even harder to avoid as major twists of previous games can be played up in promotions for the newest one.  The following spoilers are almost unavoidable now due to how much they’ve been brought up since in their respective franchises.  If you follow games media even lightly, you already know all of these inside and out.  However, for the sake of those that have managed to avoid learning these twists early, I’ll just be listing the titles of the specific games being spoiled so you can skip any entries that you’re worried about.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Aerith

7. Final Fantasy VII

This one doesn’t exactly fit the theme of the article given that the Final Fantasy franchise tends to reboot its lore with each numbered entry, but its hard not to call it one of the most famous and unavoidable plot twists in gaming history.  Part way through the game, one of your party members, the kind-hearted Aerith, is fatally wounded by the villainous Sephiroth.  Despite countless rumors of a way to revive her, her death is irreversible without hacking the game.  While Final Fantasy VII has had plenty of spin-offs, the only one I can think of that made a point of Aerith’s death is the Advent Children film.  However, it still belongs on the list just for being the one thing that is always the first to come up in any discussion of the game.  It’s gotten to the point where most people don’t even recognize it as a spoiler and just assume it to be common knowledge.  How many news outlets do you think mused about the possibility of resurrecting Aerith while reporting on the recently announced remake?  Even the quirky competitive FPS Screencheat uses her name as one of its many analogies for killing an opponent.  That’s the thing with big surprises; everyone starts to either analyze or satirize it endlessly.

Snake_&_Raiden

6. Metal Gear Solid 2

The first thing that comes up with any conversation on Metal Gear Solid 2 is its infamous bait-and-switch that had regular protagonist Solid Snake built up as the lead in all demonstrations and marketing for the game, only to replace him with an entirely new character named Raiden.  Where the big twist of Final Fantasy VII is one of the most discussed topics of the game, the bait-and-switch of Raiden is the only thing that ever receives any attention when discussing MGS2 or even just the character of Raiden.  When Metal Gear Rising, a spin-0ff centered entirely around Raiden, was released years later, many were still so jaded by his appearance in MGS2 that they refused to give the spin-off a chance.  It’s actually pretty ironic given that Raiden was actually built from the ground up as a parody of the very fanboys that hate him, spending most of the game whining right alongside the bitter players for the ‘real’ Snake to get involved in the mission.  Typical Kojima.

Arthas

5. Warcraft III

Prince Arthas Menethil, the main hero of Warcraft III, is pretty much your typical Prince Charming when the game starts out.  That’s what makes it such a shock when he turns to the dark side and ultimately changes from being one of Azeroth’s most celebrated champions to one of its most repulsive monsters.  His descent begins when an undead curse begins to spread across the land, turning people into mindless ghouls.  Desperate to contain the curse, Arthas resorts to slaughtering an entire village that has been infected but has yet to fully turn.  It’s a brutal choice that immediately turns both his mentor and his beloved against him.  Eventually, his struggle against the forces of darkness leads him to not only embrace the undead curse himself, but to even become its leader as the infamous Lich King.  From there, Arthas quickly became Warcraft‘s most iconic villain with an entire expansion in World of Warcraft centering around his final downfall and being made a playable character in Heroes of the Storm.  If you haven’t been following Warcraft lore from the start, it’s likely too late to check out Warcraft III without already knowing who goes full Darth Vader in it.

MaskedLucina

4. Fire Emblem: Awakening

Here’s a tip: If you don’t want games spoiled for you, don’t even look at the Super Smash Bros games as you can find massive spoilers for other games just by looking at the character roster.  For example, there’s the identity of the masked swordsman going by the name Marth from Fire Emblem: Awakening.  This was built up as the big mystery for Awakening right from the game’s reveal and remained the focal point of its marketing all the way up to its release.  How could the legendary hero king from the very first Fire Emblem game, whose reign was generations ago, be appearing in this era?  Well, you could play the game yourself to discover the truth, or you could just take a glance at Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  As it turns out, it’s not King Marth traveling from the past, but Prince Chrom’s daughter Lucina traveling from the future.  While having Lucina appearing on the roster may not immediately give away that she’s the Marth impersonator, her using the mask from the disguise as one of her taunts and Kirby wearing the same mask after stealing her ability certainly make it obvious.  At least they didn’t give away the time-travel part from tha… She mentions it in one of her victory quotes, doesn’t she?

Portal

3. Portal

Here’s one that’s become so ubiquitous that you’ve probably forgotten that it even is a plot twist: GLaDOS, the mastermind behind the first Portal game, is actually a psychotic computer out to kill you.  Today, that just seems as obvious as the fact that you use portals, but this was actually a massive surprise when the game first came out.  Remember that Portal was first released as a part of the Orange Box alongside the highly anticipated Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2 with little build-up for the tacked-on puzzle game.  People started it up thinking it was just some simple bonus that was thrown in with the big releases because it wouldn’t sell on its own.  Then it starts throwing around a dark sense of humor slowly enough for it to be cynically charming.  As you dig deeper, it becomes more and more apparent that this facility is not what it seems and that everything has been designed to tear you apart physically and mentally.  Finally, you meet with the mechanical mastermind to shut down her devious plans… And then GLaDOS became the most iconic character in the Portal franchise, being heavily promoted for the sequel, making cameos in Poker Night at the Inventory 2 and the film Pacific Rim, and generally made it impossible for anyone to enjoy the same mental trip that Portal once offered again.

OcarinaSheik

2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Smash strikes again, but at least it’s not the only guilty party for this one.  The fact that the mysterious ninja warrior named Sheik is actually the missing Princess Zelda in disguise has been made abundantly clear in anything and everything to feature Sheik since.  First, Super Smash Bros Melee introduced both Zelda and Sheik as playable fighters with the unique ability to transform from one to the other during matches.  This was carried over into Brawl before being cut with the 3DS and Wii U entries making the two completely separate characters, but the damage had already been done by that point.  Even then, Hyrule Warriors came by to make sure nobody forgot the princess’s double-life by making it a plot point in its own campaign.  At this point, expecting anyone to be surprised at Sheik’s true identity is a joke in and of itself.

AlbertWeskerFMV

1. Resident Evil

Capcom really couldn’t try harder to make the single biggest plot twist from the original Resident Evil known to everyone, regardless of whether or not they’ve ever even touched it game or any games in the series.  One of the members of your team sent into the Spencer Mansion, Albert Wesker, is secretly a double-agent working to sabotage your operations from the inside.  It’s shocking to discover that, after all of the horrors you’ve struggled to survive against, one of your own is actually complicit in it all and working to cover it up.  Or, at least, it would be shocking if Wesker hadn’t been made into the main villain of the series and highly advertised his turn to the dark side in future titles.  Not only did he reappear as the antagonist in several RE games, such as a major selling point for Resident Evil 5 being the chance to finally take revenge on him, he’s also appeared in two of the live-action films and as a playable character in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and Lost Planet 2.  Each time he’s appeared, it’s been readily apparent that he’s the baddest bad guy that the entire RE series has to offer.  Honestly, it feels like he should have just been a low-level goon that died within the first game and have a new character take up the role of the mastermind if only to keep the surprise fresh for a lot more people late to the party.  If you haven’t already picked up Resident Evil with any of the half-dozen rereleases that the game has had over the years, you’re going to have to go in already knowing who the surprise villain is right from the start.

What spoilers are you sick of seeing everywhere?  Do you have any that should have been included on the list?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.