Marin Announced as New DLC Character for Hyrule Warriors

Nintendo already announced that a second season of DLC for Hyrule Warriors with their previous Nintendo Direct on March 3rd that will add an addition four playable characters in total to both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game.  During a panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles, Nintendo revealed that the first of these newcomers will be Marin from The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.  Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game released for a handheld and will have a DLC pack dedicated to it.  How Marin will play is still unknown, but it’s safe to assume that she will incorporate music into her abilities given her penchant for singing and the fact that musical instruments are used as the central macguffin in her game.  Along with Marin, this pack will include a new weapon for Linkle and a new set of missions.  Linkle will be playable with this pack even if you don’t own the Legends Character Pack that she is included in on your Wii U, although she will only be playable with the weapon included and not her original twin crossbows.

There will be two more packs included in the second season with one based around Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks while the other on A Link Between Worlds.  The Hourglass/Tracks pack will include one new character and a new weapon for Toon Link, and the Link Between Worlds pack will include two new characters.  Both will also include new missions to play through.  A pack featuring the new characters and Ganondorf’s trident weapon introduced in the 3DS game Hyrule Warriors Legends will be made available this summer for those who don’t want to buy the portable game.  Finally, the character Medli from Wind Waker will be released as a free DLC character to all players.

What are your thoughts on the new DLC for Hyrule Warriors?  With three more characters to be revealed, who are you hoping to see join the cast?  I’m personally holding out for the sullen chicken-rancher Grog leading an army of Cuccos, even if there is zero chance of that happening.

Hyrule Warriors 3DS Leaked; Trailer Analysis

Hyrule Warriors

It looks like Nintendo has one less surprise for E3 as a reveal trailer for a 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors was recently spotted on Koei Tecmo’s official Youtube channel.  The trailer was marked as hidden, meaning that it could only be viewed by the owners of the channel or someone who knew the exact web address for that video.  Either someone on the inside let this slip or someone got incredibly lucky.  The video has since been marked as private and can’t be viewed even with the address, but the internet has already gotten hold of it and isn’t letting go.

The 3DS version isn’t a straight port of the Wii U version as it will include new features, such as the ability to switch between the different heroes you have on your army in the midst of a battle.  It will also include at least two new playable characters, both taken from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.  First is Tetra, the pirate alter-ego of the young Princess Zelda, who comes equipped with a dagger and a flintlock pistol.  Closer inspection shows that her attacks leave a white ‘x’ on her enemies, meaning that her attacks will have a light element to them and will be best at cleaving through swarms of opponents.  The second new character is King Daphnes, who took the form of the boat called the King of Red Lions throughout most of Wind Waker, and he will use his bizarre transformation to deal water-based damage to his foes for a poison-like effect.  It appears that the 3DS version and the Wii U version will be able to communicate and unlock those characters on console, but it’s currently unknown if the 3DS version will be necessary for these characters or if they’ll be available as DLC.

There’s also a hint of one more character joining the cast.  If you look just to the left of Tetra in the image above, you can see a crossbow sitting without a wielder.  This crossbow bares a striking resemblance to the one carried by a female Link concept that appeared in the Hyrule Warriors art book. This could be a tease that she’ll be joining the cast, or perhaps just the crossbow itself will be added as a new weapon for an existing character.  As for the confirmed cast, all of the playable characters from the vanilla version of Hyrule Warriors can be spotted in the above splash image, as well as four of the six DLC characters.  Cia, Volga, Wizzro, and Tingle can all be found on the right side, but there is currently no sign of Twilight Midna or Young Link.  Maybe they were left out of the group shot simply for being alternate versions of existing characters, maybe linking the 3DS and Wii U versions will unlock them on the 3DS as Tetra and Daphnes are unlocked on the Wii U, or maybe they were both cut entirely for this version.  Given that they’re moving such a large game to a portable system, there’s a high probability that some features will have to be cut for the 3DS version.  Are you excited for Hyrule Warriors on the go?  What Zelda characters do you think still need to join the cast of playable warriors?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Liking a Character Vs. Liking a Playstyle

Playstyle

There has always been plenty of excitement surrounding the inclusion of fan-favorites as playable characters in video games, be they popular figures in that series or guest characters making a special appearance, and it’s reaching its pinnacle these days.  Mortal Kombat X makes a major selling point out of the fact that film icons Jason Voorhees and the Predator will be DLC characters and there’s massive buzz surrounding the mere suggestion that comic book antihero Spawn may join them down the line.  Nintendo released an open ballot for requests on who should join the cast of Super Smash Bros with almost no restrictions and many people (myself included) jumped at the chance to offer their own picks.  Blizzard will be officially releasing their own MOBA title this June that uses characters and locations from their various existing games, such as Warcraft and Diablo.  One of the first things announced about Batman: Arkham Knight was that preordering would get you a DLC pack where you could play as popular villain Harley Quinn.   It makes sense to want to step into the shoes of your favorite character, but people rarely stop to consider the important question of how much they’ll actually enjoy using that character’s playstyle.

Often times, the enticement of having a character made playable in a game is based on that character’s backstory, personality, aesthetic design, or the simple novelty of it all.  Rarely is much consideration given to how they will actually play and if the people pulling for those characters will truly enjoy using them once given the chance.  Note that I said how they ‘will’ and not how they ‘might’ play as it’s easy to have a vague idea in your head, but the actually execution carried out by the developers can result in something drastically different.  You can’t know exactly how someone will handle until after they’ve been developed and you’ve had a chance to try him or her for yourself.  The only major exception is when fans pull for the return of a character that had previously appeared in the series and they already know that the character suits them well.  Otherwise, it’s a surprising gamble to request or purchase your favorite character based only on his or her appearances outside of that game.

Speaking from personal experience, I’ve always tried to make good use of Donkey Kong in the Smash games.  The Donkey Kong Country games made for some of my fondest childhood memories, so he was an easy choice to get my start with.  Unfortunately, there’s a good reason why DK always places so low on the tier lists.  I do know of one or two pro players that can main him, but I’ve never been able to really make him work for myself.  At least I wasn’t disappointed with Mega Man and Little Mac when they were finally added and I’ve had my fair share of fun with them.  However, I still find myself turning back to one certain character whenever it’s time to get serious.  That character is Mr. Game & Watch, someone I have absolutely no personal attachment to and initially shrugged off as a joke character.  The Game & Watch line of handhelds were before my time and I always thought that his 2D appearance was a one-note gimmick.  What makes him my fighter of choice is that his strong aerial mobility, quick key drop, devastating oil spill, and much more all come together for a character that fits my playstyle almost perfectly.

The greatest disparity I’ve ever had between a character and their playstyle came from Hyrule Warriors.  Many fans were disappointed to see that the massively popular Groose from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword wasn’t going to be playable even as a DLC add-on, whereas the hated character from the same game, Fi, was included.  I was certainly among them.  I still haven’t even come close to finishing Skyward Sword and I rank Fi’s grating non-personality as one of the main reasons as to why.  I also thought the fact that she basically acted as her own weapon was ridiculous.  If you had given me the chance to cut one character from the playable roster of Hyrule Warriors before it was released, I wouldn’t have needed to think twice before saying Fi.  I’ll give you one guess as to who my most played character by a longshot is.  While I find Fi insufferably annoying as a character, I absolutely love her ability to corral enemies together while simultaneously cutting through them like a living lawnmower before scattering them with a powerful finisher.  I was ready to write her off completely beforehand, but discovered my perfect fit.

The fact of the matter is that you’ll only truly know how much you enjoy playing as a character once you’ve actually played as him or her.  This is why I think that the Premier Towers in Mortal Kombat X that give players a chance to test out DLC characters without having to buy them first is something that should be made standard in every game that releases from this point onward.  It’s why I hated Marvel Heroes as it offered no method of playtesting characters before unlocking them and expected players to purchase them based purely on recognition (note: I only played Marvel Heroes around its launch period in 2013 and I don’t know if this policy has changed at all since).  You can read up on characters until you know them inside-out and it can never compare to having some actual hands-on time with them.

Are there any characters that you initially liked for their personality, etc, but actually disliked playing as or vice versa?  Are there any characters you haven’t given a fair chance because of a bad first impression?  What are your thoughts on guest characters like those in MKX and crossover games like Smash?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

6 Game Characters that had Unexpected Reactions

Game

Sometimes, you just can’t predict how people are going to react to something.  Game developers create a character with the expectation that players will have one reaction only for them to go the opposite route.  For example, look at Teemo from League of Legends (pictured above).  He was obviously designed to serve as an adorable mascot character for the game.  While he’s had his share of success with that, many know him better as the single most frustrating assassin character in the game and has garnered the apt nickname of “The Devil Himself”.  This list will be looking at six characters that had similar reactions that must have caught their designers by surprise and looking into why they received the responses they did.

great fairy

6) The Great Fairy (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)

With her long hair, heavy makeup, and distinctly un-Nintendo attire, there is only one thing that comes to mind when thinking of the Great Fairy: NIGHTMARE FUEL!  Early 3D games were a time where the uncanny valley ran rampant and character models would often just look off.  I’m guessing the reason that survival horror games had such a renaissance during this period is because it was the best time to make something look disturbing.  Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask generally used this to their advantage with truly horrifying models and animations for their enemies.  However, when the team tried to design a character with the opposite intent, the result was the most unsettling monstrosity in the entirety of either games.  Not helping matters is the fact that she lets out a blood-chilling banshee wail every time she appears.  Hyrule Warriors recently tried to update her appearance (pictured above), but the damage has already been done for many and she shall always remain a living nightmare.

silver_the_hedgehog

5) Silver the Hedgehog (Sonic ’06)

I honestly feel bad for Silver.  In any other circumstances, his telekinetic powers could have been revolutionary and he might have warranted his own spin-off series.  Instead, he made his debut in one of the most infamous games in the Sonic franchise and became the poster-boy for most of the game’s problems.  His post-apocalyptic time-travel backstory remains one of the greatest examples of a narrative trying far too hard and yet not nearly hard enough.  What truly sealed his fate as one of the most hated characters in the series was how much Sonic ’06 failed to deliver on the concept of his telekinetic powers.  This resulted in some of the worst controls in a game already built off of terrible controls.  Well, the telekinetic powers do get a chance to shine, but it’s at the worst possible time with the incredibly cheap boss fights you have against Silver.  Sega has kept him around and has tried to make him a mainstay of the cast, but the damage has already been done and IT’S NO USE!

VillagerSSB

4) Villager (Super Smash Bros for Wii U)

The Villager from Animal Crossing was originally considered to be playable in Super Smash Bros Brawl, but he was dropped early on because the idea of seeing such a cheerful and carefree character getting involved in a fight just seemed too ridiculous.  Cue his inclusion in the latest installments on Wii U and 3DS and everyone immediately labels him as a crazed axe-murderer.  People took one look into his lifeless, doll-like eyes and saw nothing but the soul of a bloodthirsty monster.  Maybe he just wasn’t included in Brawl because the developers feared the unholy terror that they were bound to unleash.

aliensoneal

3) O’Neal (Aliens: Colonial Marines)

Everyone hates escort missions.  We can accept when we fail due to our own mistakes, but failing a level simply because the friendly AI that you’re stuck baby-sitting did something stupid is the worst punch in the gut that a game can give you.  Everything from Daikatana to Epic Mickey 2 has been largely undone by the inclusion of these digital parasites that call themselves your friends.  I could have filled this list with frustrating computer companions that only prove to be a greater threat than any actual enemy, but I’ve decided to focus specifically on O’Neal from Aliens: Colonial Marines.

O’Neal is your typical giant teddy bear-type of character; he’s big and gruff, but has a heart of gold underneath.  He’s supposed to be the best friend you could ask for when facing done ravenous xenomorphs.  There’s just one problem: he’s in Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game so historically awful that Sega and Gearbox were actually taken to court for daring to release it on the unsuspecting masses.  O’Neal follows suit with being horrible at everything he does.  Worse aim than a Star Wars stormtrooper?  Check.  Standing in narrow hallways for no reason other than to block your path from critical objectives?  Check.  The worst part is that you can’t even turn him off by having a second player like in most other games that stick you with an AI partner.  Even in co-op, O’Neal will still insist on being the third-wheel and getting in the way of both players.  Don’t you ever wish you could turn on friendly fire and knock the stupid out of these guys?  Well…

dinobaby

2) Dino Baby (Conker’s Bad Fur Day)

While escort missions are notoriously hard to get right, good ones aren’t entirely unheard of.  For example, look at the section of Conker’s Bad Fur Day that has you escorting an adorable newborn dinosaur.  Not only is he invulnerable to damage, but he’s actually more capable in a fight than the character you’re playing as.  While Conker’s frying pan has a long wind-up and only stuns enemies, the dino baby can easily gobble up anything that comes near it.  Yeah, he gets stuck on corners every now and then and generally slows you down, but that’s a small price to pay for essentially playing on godmode.  If anything, he’s escorting you.  Actually, can we just ditch the drunken squirrel and play as this champion instead?

Alas, it seems Rareware underestimated their own abilities and expected people to react to the dino baby the same way they do to most escort characters.  At the end of the level, you are forced to lead your superior onto a sacrificial alter and watch him meet a gruesome end in order for you to progress.  It’s the one point where the game’s dark sense of humor actually goes too far.  Whenever I think of the cruel choice that this game forced me to make, I feel a little less bad about the fact that Rareware is now doomed to make Kinect minigames for the rest of eternity and license out their IPs to more capable developers (like the people who made the Battleship shooter).

foxy

1) Foxy (Five Nights at Freddy’s)

You can never truly anticipate how people will respond to fear.  Some flee while others fight, and others still merely embrace their fate.  And then you have the truly bizarre reactions that can best be described as an extreme form of denial.  Nothing may be a better showcase for this than the Five Nights at Freddy’s series.  Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s is your biggest threat in the game as he’s the only  one that doesn’t rely on catching you off-guard in order to get you.  He can charge directly into your office and attack faster than you can react.  The only way to keep him at bay is to constantly check your cameras and make sure he stays behind his curtain, which makes you vulnerable to all of the other haunted animatronics.  If it wasn’t for this one threat, each night wouldn’t nearly be as difficult as they are.

Strangely enough, Foxy has become one of the most popular, if not the most popular, characters in the series.  Several fans of the series, rather than recognize Foxy as the menace that he truly is, have crafted theories that Foxy is actually a good guy whose just checking in on you if you don’t check in on him for too long and that you just die from shock rather than him attacking you.  There is also a plethora of fan art out there that I dare not link you to nor attempt to describe.  To each their own, but you’d think people wouldn’t be drawn toward a screeching serial killer en masse.

What other characters had public responses that surprised you?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  Depending on the response we get, your suggestions may be featured on a follow-up article in the future.  Until then, keep your eyes peeled for that Villager.  I don’t trust that guy.