NES Classic Edition Announced By Nintendo

While we’ll be left waiting for the Codename NX until early 2017, Nintendo has a much more old-school system in the works for this year’s holiday season.  The NES Classic Edition was announced via the official Nintendo Twitter feed and will come preloaded with 30 beloved games of the 8-bit era.  The system has been shown on all of Nintendo’s official Twitter feeds, such as their Spanish, French, and Russian accounts, suggesting a global release.

While the new system is designed after the original Nintendo Entertainment System, it will not actually be able to play old NES cartridges.  Instead, the machine will have a selection of games preloaded onto it that can be readily played after plugging it in.  Many of the games included will be classic first-party games including the Super Mario trilogy, the first two Legend of Zelda games, Metroid, Excitebike, and StarTropics.

It will also feature a variety of third-party titles, including Pac-Man, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy, Double Dragon II, the first two Castlevania games, and Tecmo Bowl.  You can check out the full list of games here.  The system isn’t designed for internet access or external media, so these 30 will be the only games you’ll be able to play with the system.

There have been plenty of preloaded consoles in the past, some with dubious legality, but rarely has a major developer like Nintendo delved into such a concept.  SNK Playmore released a handheld version of their Neo Geo console called the Neo Geo X in 2012, but infamously ran into trouble with their manufacturer.  While the Classic Mini seems like an easy ticket for printing money, but there is a fair share of potential mishaps that could harm it.  Given Nintendo’s recent problems with supplying hardware like amiibos and the Gamecube controller adapter, there’s a chance that Nintendo may see this as nothing more than a collector’s item and understock it.

The NES Classic Edition is set to release on November 11th later this year for $60.  It will include one NES Controller and will be compatible with the Wii Classic Controller and Wii Classic Controller Pro.  Will you be picking one up yourself?  What NES titles do you wish had been included?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Nintendo Showing More Games at E3, New Details on Pokémon Sun and Moon

Nintendo

It looks like the claims that the new Legend of Zelda releasing for Wii U and NX would be the only game Nintendo would be showing at this year’s E3 were inaccurate.  While Zelda will be the only Nintendo game with playable demos on the show floor, the Treehouse livestream will be showing off other upcoming titles over the course of the event.  Pokémon SunPokémon Moon, Monster Hunter Generations, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgetten Past, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE will all be shown off with live gameplay throughout the day on June 14th and 15th.  There will also be a Q&A session dedicated to Pokémon GO to kick off the livestream on the 15th.

On the topic of Pokémon, new details were revealed for Sun and Moon.  First, we have more information on the legendary Pokemon that are featured on the covers of the games, Solgaleo and Lunala.  Solgaleo is a Psychic/Steel type with the new Full Metal Body ability that prevents its stats from being lowered by any of an opponent’s effects and has the unique Sunsteel Strike attack that ignores an opponent’s ability when it hits.  Lunala is a Psychic/Ghost type with the Shadow Shield ability that reduces damage it takes while at full health and the Moongeist Beam attack that also ignores abilities.

We also have more details on the characters that will be in Sun and Moon.  Your mentor will be the young scientist Professor Kukui along with his assistant will be the peaceful bookworm Lillie.  Your rival will be the friendly boy Hau who appeared in the debut trailer.  The most interesting addition to the cast is the poltergeist-like Pokémon Rotom who will possess your specially-design Pokédex and accompany you all throughout the game.

A number of new features for Sun and Moon have also been announced.  Tracking down Pokémon will be easier with the ability to scan QR codes to add information to your Pokédex on specific Pokémon, including where they can be found on the world map.  We also have confimation that the Alola region will be spread across four large island rather than be restricted to a single one.  Finally, we can see a Slowpoke and a Luvdisc appearing in a pair of videos released on the official Japanese Pokémon Youtube channel, dispelling the rumor that Sun and Moon would only feature new Pokémon in the wild like in Black and White.

What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s E3 plans or the new info on Pokémon Sun and Moon?  Given that the Treehouse livestream will be handled by Nintendo staff rather than journalists, be prepared to take any demonstrations that come from it with a grain of salt.  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

2016 Inductees to World Video Game Hall of Fame Announced

The Strong’s World Video Game Hall of Fame for the National Museum of Play located in Rochester, New York, has announced the second line of historic games that will be inducted into the exhibit.  The Oregon Trail, Space Invaders, The Legend of ZeldaSonic the Hedgehog, The Sims, and Grand Theft Auto III will be joining the Hall of Fame as the 2016 inductees.  They will be accompanying last year’s inductees of Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Pong, Tetris, Doom, and World of Warcraft.

The Oregon Trail, the oldest game among all of the inductees, had players take the role of settlers of Western America and was popularized through its use as an educational tool in many schools.  Space Invaders, while archaic today, was cutting-edge when it released in 1978 as the first Japanese arcade game using a microprocessor and helped define the space-shooter genre.  The Legend of Zelda not only set a new benchmark for the action-adventure genre with its open world-map and trove of collectible items, it also introduced the idea of save files to gaming.  Sonic the Hedgehog is most famous as the game that brought Sega to prominence as a major console developer.  The Sims took an unconventional approach to game design by casting aside objectives and scores for something more akin to a virtual dollhouse and launched the highest-selling franchise of PC games.  Finally, Grand Theft Auto III set itself in an open-world where players could have hours of fun without even pursuing the actual story missions and instead enjoy various mini-games or simply create chaos.  Each is undoubtedly a legend of the industry and warrants a place in the Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees were narrowed down from a list of fifteen finalists that were chosen from with the aid of journalists, scholars, and popular vote.  The finalists that just missed being added to the Hall of Fame were Street Fighter II, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Pokémon Red and Green, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy, Elite, John Madden Football, Minecraft, and Nürburgring.  While they haven’t made it in this year, there’s always the next.

If you have any games that you feel should be in the Hall of Fame, you can make your own nominations here.  What do you think belongs in the Video Game Hall of Fame?  How do you feel about this year’s inductees.  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Nintendo Releasing NX In 2017, Has Light Plans For E3

E3

Nintendo held their annual shareholders meeting today and made several announcements regarding their upcoming system currently codenamed NX, their mobile games, the next game in The Legend of Zelda series, and what they’ll be doing for E3.  Firstly, we have a release window for the NX for March, 2017.  The next Zelda title has also had its release pushed back to 2017 and is planned to release simultaneously for both the Wii U and NX.  They also released a new piece of concept art featuring Link (pictured above), although it doesn’t reveal anything new about the game.  An official title for the new Zelda game has yet to be announced.

Two more mobile games were announced, but there are currently no specific details publically known for either title.  All we do know is that one will be based on the Animal Crossing series while the other is based on Fire Emblem.  Animal Crossing certainly seems like a good fit for mobile with its focus on casual play and social interactions, but the Fire Emblem mobile game could easily rub its core fanbase the wrong way depending on how it’s handled.

Finally, Nintendo had some shocking announcements for their E3 plans.  They stated that the NX would not be unveiled at this year’s E3 and would not have any presence at the event whatsoever.  Not only that, the new Zelda game will be the only Nintendo game to have a playable demo for the entire trade show.  That’s not to say that it will be the only game Nintendo will discuss at E3, but any other games will be restricted to trailers and interviews.  While there hasn’t been an announcement regarding it, it seems unlikely that the Treehouse Livestream will be broadcasting throughout the week given that they’d only have one title to work with for four entire days.  The rest of the year is looking uneventful for the Wii U now that Zelda has been pushed back as the only other titles known to be in development for the system currently are Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, Paper Mario: Color Splash, and Bandai Namco’s free-to-play game Lost Reavers.

What are your thoughts on the news to come out of Nintendo’s shareholders meeting?  What are your hopes for the mysterious NX?  How do you feel about their E3 plans?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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.

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Manga Announced

The Legend of Zelda series has seen its fair share of graphic novels in the past, with adaptations of Ocarina of Time, A Link to the Past, and The Minish Cap to name a few.  A new manga adaptation of the series was teased by Akira Himekawa on his Twitter back in July of 2015, and he recently confirmed on his blog that it will be based on the Gamecube/Wii game Twilight Princess.  It is planned for a digital release on the app Manga One.  Whether or not there will ever be a physical release or if the manga will receive any level of international release is currently unknown.  The adaptation was originally planned to be released last summer shortly after the initial tease, but complications held it back until this year.  Given that it will now coincide with the release of Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U, I doubt anyone is complaining.

Twilight Princess boasts the darkest artstyle in the series and seeing how Himekawa captures it should certainly be interesting.  In fact, Twilight Princess is the reason the previous run of Zelda manga was cancelled.  Twilight Princess received a CERO B age rating in Japan, roughly the equivalent of ESRB T or PEGI 12, and the magazine that the previous Zelda manga was published in, Gakunenshi, aims at younger readers.

The release of the Twilight Princess manga wasn’t the only announcement Himekawa made.  He also announced that all ten of the previous Zelda manga volumes will be rereleased in a single collection.  This Perfect Edition will also include an additional five volumes of unreleased content.  Have you read any of the previous Zelda manga?  What do you hope to see with the Twilight Princess manga?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Someone Tried to Put Hyrule: Total War Through Greenlight

First and foremost, no, this game does not involve Nintendo, Sega, or Creative Assembly at all.  Hyrule: Total War is a fan-made, total-conversion mod for Medieval II: Total War based on The Legend of Zelda series.  A recent attempt to put the mod through Steam’s Greenlight program not only didn’t involve the owners of The Legend of Zelda or Total War, but it didn’t even involve the creator of the mod.  Someone going by the name WolfDampf posted the mod to Greenlight claiming to have the creator’s permission and that the mod would be available for free.  Firstly, mods are supposed to be posted to the Workshop while Greenlight is for games hoping to be released on the store page.  Second, the mod’s creator, known as UndyingNephalim, denied the claim that WolfDampf had permission from him to post the mod to Greenlight.  A DMCA takedown notice has already been filed against WolfDampf’s Greenlight entry and it has no chance of going through.

This isn’t the first time that someone has pulled a stunt like this on Greenlight.  A user called sundry foot tried the same with Cartoon Fighters, a game built off of the open-source fighting game engine MUGEN that compiles various fighters designed for the engine by various different users based on various different copyrighted characters, including characters from The Simpsons, Dragonball Z, and even The Legend of Zelda‘s Link.  It is debatable whether or not sundry foot had any involvement in developing any of the characters or the stages used in the game for MUGEN‘s engine, was not even responsible for compiling all of the content into a single game, and he certainly did not have legal rights to use any of the content for commercial release.  There have also been countless attempts to put Minecraft through Greenlight by numerous individuals with no affiliation to Mojang or Microsoft.

Valve provides no oversight of their own to their Greenlight program, making the only barrier for entry a $100 fee.  As a result, attempts of this nature by either scammers or those who simply don’t understand what Greenlight is actually for are shockingly commonplace.  Fortunately, several users have taken upon themselves to police Greenlight for these fiascoes and none of the attempts listed above gained any traction as a result.  However, there have been cases of copyright infringement slipping through Greenlight in the past.  One example is Spartans vs. Zombies Defense, which used the depiction of Leonidas from the film 300 and audio clips from the same movie without legal consent from the copyright holders.  Not only did it make it through Greenlight, it was even featured under the Popular New Releases section before Valve finally caught on and pulled the title off their service.

Many are concerned that this recent fiasco may lead Nintendo to send a cease-and-desist against the original mod.  Hyrule: Total War is already a famous fan-project and it’s likely that Nintendo has already heard about it without feeling the need to step in.  However, this incident may force Nintendo’s hand simply as a matter of protecting their intellectual property.  Some have suspected that this may have even been WolfDampf’s intention from the beginning as the project has drawn backlash from other Zelda fans in the past.  It would be a tragedy if seven years worth of dedication and passion were to all go to waste because of something that the creator had no part in or control over.

What are your thoughts on this recent Greenlight incident?  Does Valve need to take a more active role in what appears on Greenlight and has a chance of making it onto their store front?  On a lighter note, how awesome is the idea of a Legend of Zelda RTS?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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!

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.

“The Legend of Zelda Wii U” Is My Most Anticipated Game of 2016

As any human being I like to be excited about something. I like to be excited about games in particular. Why? It’s simple, because I want to know that there are more unexplored horizons out there to look forward to, new worlds to be discovered and new characters to meet. But sometimes a game pops-up that overshadows all the others in that aspiration. And this time, it’s “Legend of Zelda” for Wii U.

There are a number of reasons of why it is my favorite amidst the games that are yet to be released. Besides the fact that amongst upcoming titles it can be considered an underdog, a David to Microsoft’s and Sony’s Goliath. Which is admirable and why Nintendo deserves some praise at least for that alone.

But besides that, the first major point for my excitement for this game is that at this moment Wii U doesn’t have big AAA-titles coming out this year. Unlike its peers PS4 and Xbox One who have a number of projects, like Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid V that are set to arrive over next 6 months. So Nintendo is going to need a sure hit if they want to catch up to their big brothers. And this is not from pure cheapskate standpoint, but from the perspective of a person that wants the game to be polished in all areas. So the end result must not only be what might be considered “a good game” and have a certain commercial success, but one alongside of “Super Mario 3d World” or “Bayonetta 2”, that will be considered one of the best games on Wii U and in history of Nintendo in general.

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Keeping in mind mentioned above, “Legend of Zelda” must also be pretty, to say the least. And if the E3 2014 demo is any indication than the game surely delivers on that front already. With high-definition textures that incorporate cel-shading graphics which will not only look great, but will also age incredibly well. Just look at 2013 “Wind Waker HD” and how tall it stands over other video games released back in 2002. We all know that Wii U is the weakest of all current-gen platforms, but till this point it didn’t stop the games on it look positively gorgeous and perform extremely well, like the aforementioned Bayonetta.

And the last part is the fact that it is an open-world game. Don’t get me wrong, there is no problem with linearity if it is implemented right, but “Zelda” series has already done that and they’ve done semi open-world, so it’s natural for them to progress even further, giving the players the freedom to tackle each dungeon, puzzle and objective in their own way. It has also been stated by the producer Eiji Aonuma that the developers are “rethinking the conventions of Zelda” to bring something new to this senior franchise. And considering that the man has been involved in the development of the games in this series for over 16 years, I’m inclined to trust him on this one and see where this line of thinking leads.

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Summing it all up together and a very peculiar picture is starting to exude. A game with such ageless and beautiful graphic-style, an interesting world to explore and improved Zelda-mechanics that has proved to be relevant for such a long time are the reasons why I think I’ll put my money on this particular title being successful not only commercially, but also being one, if not the most relevant project of 2016.