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Review in Progress: Project X Zone 2

Feb 12 // CJ Andriessen
Project X Zone 2 (3DS)Developer: Monolith Software Inc.Publisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: February 16 (US), February 12 (EU, AUS)MSRP: 39.99 I'm more than a dozen hours into Project X Zone 2 and I'm still amazed how many improvements have been made from the last game. Project X Zone, released in 2013, had the misfortune of coming out after the outstanding Fire Emblem: Awakening. When compared side-by-side, it's not hard to argue that Awakening is the better TRPG while Project X Zone mostly coasts by on its fan service appeal. Here we are with sequels to these titles releasing within a week of each other and, while I haven't played Fates yet, I can honestly say there is more to Project X Zone 2 than just its cast.  The biggest improvement you'll find here is the battle system. Unlike the first game, player and enemy turns are now separated so the enemy only moves after you've made your moves. Something about this small change just seems to make the chapters move at a more breezy pace compared to the first game. Yes, chapters are still interrupted halfway with extended bits of story and exposition, but I have yet to reach a chapter in the game that is aggravatingly long. Combat is still all style and timing as you chain together attacks for maximum damage. Time it right and you can increase your damage output. If you have a solo unit assigned to your team or are adjacent to another team, you can call them into the action and significantly increase your attack power if you land a Cross Hit. Unlike the first game, Cross Hits are noticeably more difficult to properly land this time and there are many attacks that can break them. Just throwing a whole bunch of characters on the screen at the same time isn't a guarantee you'll perform a Cross Hit. Now, you have to know your teams and their attacks well. The big new addition to the combat system is the Charge Bonus. If you don't use one of your attacks in a fight, that attack will be charged for your next fight. A charged attacked does more damage and regains more XP than a standard attack. You seem to be limited to three attacks at a time (plus a special attack if you have enough XP), but there is no limit to how many of those three attacks can be the same one. This means I can use the same individual attack three times in a row and save my other two for a Charge Bonus to use in my next fight. Charge Bonuses are rewarded both when you're attacking and when you're countering, which has also seen improvements this game. When the enemy is on the advance, only a full defense (which negates any damage you may take) uses the group XP. Now, regular defense and counters use the character's individual SP. Speaking of counters, I've found them a hell of a lot more useful in this game than the last. You're able to use more of your attacks this time and when countered, the enemy's shield will already be depleted so all of your attacks will do damage. I've defeated more enemies on the defense than when I was the one attacking.   If you're wondering how the story is, know that it's better than the last time around. Yes, there is still a lot of exposition and, yes, every character has to comment at least once in a story segment and, yes, I am missing pervy Frank West and his camera; but everything is much more focused. I don't know if this is the work of the localization team or the original scenario writers of the game, but gone is the disjointed structure of Project X Zone and here is an easy-to-follow storyline that even people who are totally unfamiliar with the series will be able to understand. As someone as stupid as I am, I appreciate the simplicity.  If you're in Europe and plan on picking this up today, know there is an option for paid DLC in the intermission menu between chapters; however I have no idea what it entails as nothing has been available for me to purchase at this point. I will have more on the DLC as well as the improved maps in the game in the full review next week. [This review in progress is based on a retail version of the game provided by the publisher.]
Project X Zone 2 photo
Another journey through the multi-verse
I just popped an Advil because I'm dealing with some annoying pain right now. It's a pain that starts to sting right in the inside of my elbow as I try to stretch my arm out. I'm not unfamiliar with this pain, in fact we're o...

Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker is getting the original Pokemon trio


20th Anniversary rages on
Feb 12
// Chris Carter
I have to say, Nintendo is doing a bang-up job of celebrating Pokémon's 20th anniversary. Hell, there's already been a ton of fanfare (the Mew event, tons of merchandise worldwide, amiibo restocks, a Splatoon Spla...
NINTENDO photo
NINTENDO

Splatoon: Which is better, Pokemon Red or Blue?


The new Splatfest makes you choose
Feb 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Pokémon Red or Pokémon Blue? Splatoon's latest Splatfest is forcing us choose between them. Players will need to pick a side by next Friday, February 19 at 10pm PT, when the shooter's latest special event i...
The Legend of Zelda photo
The Legend of Zelda

See what's new in Twilight Princess HD


Mmm, this looks solid
Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
As a follow-up to that recent story trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, Nintendo has put together a video overviewing the new features. There are quite a few additions for this Wii U re-release, including e...

Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty


Also, Kuru Kuru Kururin
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
After almost two years of waiting, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is now available on the Wii U platform. Also on Wii U is Big Brain Academy, Kuru Kuru Kurrin, Polarium Advance, Cutie Clash, Cutie Pets Go Fishing, and Outside the Re...
Super Smash Bros. photo
Super Smash Bros.

Farewell, newest Super Smash Bros., you were the best


You were supported well
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
This is it for Super Smash Bros., it seems. All of the DLC has been released, the polls are over, and Sakurai has noted that there will be no more balance patches. It's time for the team to move onto Smash 5, or for Saku...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Mega Man is coming to Nintendo Badge Arcade


Mega news, man
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
Mega Man, meet badges. Badges, Mega Man. According to Famitsu, Capcom will be partnering up with Nintendo to bring the Blue Bomber and company to Nintendo Badge Arcade, in the form of special in-game rewards and boards. Right...
Super Smash mods photo
Super Smash mods

Super Smash Bros. sure got a lot sexier with Bayonetta around


Who needs arms with legs like these?
Feb 10
// Ben Davis
The Super Smash Bros. series has had its fair share of mods, but I think this just might be my favorite one yet. Modder Smb123w64gb has taken the liberty of swapping everyone on the Super Smash Bros. roster with Bayonetta's c...
OG Pokestuff photo
OG Pokestuff

Japan gets merch based on original Pokemon sprites


Celebrating 20 years in style
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
Some new, 20th anniversary Pokemon junk is going on sale in Japan this month. February 27, if you want to plan a trip around it. Playing up the re-releases of Red, Blue, and Yellow (and their subsequent themed 2DS models in J...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

The newest Pokemon on the block is 'Magiana'


Insert dirty joke here
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
CoroCoro Magazine has revealed a brand new Pokemon, Magiana. Evidently this 'mon is going to show up in the new movie, where Volcanion will be chasing after it for some unknown reason that will likely be a revelation. Said fi...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

Watch Pokemon: The First Movie online for free


Poor Mewtwo
Feb 08
// Kyle MacGregor
You can now watch Pokémon: The First Movie via Pokémon TV, The Pokémon Company's official video streaming service, via your web browser, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, or Android device. I can ...
Fire Emblem Fates photo
Fire Emblem Fates

Customize your Corrin before Fire Emblem Fates launches


Just some small tweaks
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
When Fire Emblem Fates launches next week (finally) you'll have a few options to choose from when creating your avatar. It's not a whole lot, but it's enough to differentiate your Corrin for when other players stop by yo...
Pokken photo
Pokken

'All' amiibo figures will work with Pokken Tournament


Puttin' those toys to work
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
According to an official listing from Nintendo's website, "all" amiibo figures will be compatible with Pokkén Tournament for Wii U, and will unlock "in-game items" upon use. While we've known that using the Shadow Mewt...

What changes can we expect from an official Mother 3 localization?

Feb 06 // Ben Davis
So, what would Nintendo change during the localization process of Mother 3? Well, let's first take a look at EarthBound, a game that received quite a few notable changes before it made its way out of Japan. This might give us a clue as to the types of things Nintendo will be looking for in Mother 3. Ignoring the many revisions to text and dialogue for now, EarthBound featured several sprites and background visuals that were altered for various reasons. The major ones include: Ness's nude sprites in Magicant being covered with the pajama outfit from the beginning of the game, obviously because nudity would be more problematic in the West. The Octopus and Kokeshi statues changing into Pencil and Eraser statues, since the cultural references would be lost on a young international audience. The Insane Cultists' battle sprites had the letters "HH" removed from their hats and were replaced with little puff balls to make them look less like KKK members. Also, the town name Threek was changed to Threed, possibly because Threek could be interpreted as Three-K, or KKK. Red crosses were removed from hospitals and a certain red truck's appearance was altered to avoid potential lawsuits with the Red Cross and Coca-Cola. Signs that read "drug" were replaced with "store" in most instances (but not in the Dusty Dunes Desert, for some reason), and signs that said "bar" were changed to "café." Moreover, any references to alcohol being replaced with coffee, espresso, cappuccino, and the like. There was an emphasis on removing or reducing references to violence and death, including new sound effects used when Pokey and his brother are disciplined by their father. More changes can be found over at Legends of Localization, a handy resource compiled by Clyde Mandelin of Starmen.net. So, to break it down, with EarthBound, Nintendo was specifically interested in nixing or mitigating any references to nudity, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, violence, material that might lead to a lawsuit, and obscure cultural references. Since Mother 3 happens to contain a few of those things too, here are some of the changes I expect Nintendo might make if (*ahem* when) Mother 3 finally comes to western shores. First off, a few name changes are probably in order. It's safe to assume that the game will be called EarthBound 2, or some other variation on the EarthBound name, rather than Mother 3. With the original Mother being changed to EarthBound Beginnings for its western release (I still wish Nintendo stuck with"EarthBound Zero!"), this would come as little surprise. There are also a few character and location names that might need to be reconsidered. Specifically: Kumatora, Hinawa, Club Titiboo, Osohe Castle, and DCMC. Of course, it's important to note Super Smash Bros. Brawl did use the names Kumatora and Hinawa on stickers, so they would probably stay the same -- although I honestly wouldn't mind Hinawa's name being changed to correspond with her husband's name, Flint. "Hinawa" refers to a matchlock gun, similar to a flintlock gun, and considering the names of with neighbors, Lighter and Fuel, I've always wondered why Hinawa wasn't changed to something more consistent. "Match" would be a weird name, but I'm confident a localization team could come up with something suitable to keep with the theme. As for the others, I'm sure Club Titiboo could be seen as potentially offensive (heh, Titiboo), Osohe Castle is a little hard to pronounce, and the band name DCMC might be too similar to ACDC. They already re-colored the Runaway Five to look less like the Blues Brothers, so who knows what else they might change, but I hope they leave it as is. I also expect we won't see an enemy called the Gently Weeping Guitar for similar reasons, even though it's a great name! Now onto the bigger stuff. Whenever the topic of Mother 3's localization comes up, fans point to a handful of scenes and characters as reasons why it will never see the light of day outside of Japan. For starters, we have the Magypsies. These wonderful characters are technically not human and have transcended gender. Their appearances resemble those of stereotypical drag queens, complete with dresses, makeup, and facial hair. They even give Lucas and friends mementos comprised of razors and lipstick. The Magypsies are some of my favorite characters in the game, but given their depictions, it would be no surprise if Nintendo thought they were too controversial for a western audience. I could see Nintendo changing their outfits, mannerisms, removing any references to gender, or choosing one specific gender and sticking with it. However, I sincerely hope the Magypsies would be left unchanged. I think they're perfect just the way they are. There's a specific moment involving a Magypsy named Ionia that I can almost guarantee would be changed, though. The scene in question occurs in a hot spring, when Ionia teaches Lucas how to awaken his PSI powers for the first time. The fan translation makes it a bit unclear what is actually happening, and it's probably just as ambiguous in the original Japanese text. Basically, Ionia (who admits to being naked in the hot spring) turns Lucas around as the screen fades to black. We then hear Ionia saying, "Don't struggle! Just endure it for a little bit!" After a moment, the screen opens back up to Lucas with his head under the water and Ionia standing behind him. And suddenly, Lucas has awoken to his latent PSI abilities. [embed]339478:62147:0[/embed] Now, I'll admit this scene has always left me feeling rather icky. It's more than likely that the scene was meant to be a sort of "baptism," with Lucas keeping his head under the hot water until the stress and pain forced his mental powers to surface. But it's definitely not made clear, and it's easy to see how it could be interpreted in a more sinister, suggestive way. This is actually one change I really hope Nintendo does decide to make, and it would be very easy to do. Simply add a bit of text when the screen goes dark to make it clear what's actually going on, or better yet, don't have the screen go dark at all so that we can plainly see what's happening. Problem solved. Aside from the Magypsies, the other big moment occurs in the jungles of Tanetane Island, where Lucas and friends consume some suspicious-looking mushrooms and end up with some seriously psychedelic hallucinations. With Nintendo's insistence on removing references to drugs and alcohol in EarthBound, it's no wonder why fans would be skeptical of this scene. Personally, I honestly don't think this part of the game is too problematic. They're eating the mushrooms to survive, rather than for recreational purposes, and they have to deal with the consequences. It's meant to be humorous. However, it's possible Nintendo doesn't not view this issue the same way and might decide to alter it, but how anyone's best guess. I think it's likely the mushroom sprite could be changed to something else, perhaps a pool of liquid or a food that causes dehydration, some kind of creature that uses hypnosis, or whatever other creative solution localization editors can come up with. Then just rewrite the text and remove any potential drug references, and Nintendo is in the clear. If they do decide to keep the shrooms though, it would certainly be ideal. It's one of my favorite moments in the story, after all! Staying consistent with the removal of drugs and alcohol, they might also decide to remove the wine-drinking ghost in Osohe Castle. They could also just make a point of having the ghost call it "juice" or something, kind of like the guy in EarthBound who calls his drink a cappuccino when it's obviously a mug of beer. Watching the wine flow through the ghost's body and splash onto the ground is always hilarious, so I hope they keep him. [embed]339478:62148:0[/embed] Next up is the issue of violence. Ignoring the final boss fight (which better not change, or so help me, Nintendo!), there are two questionable moments: the campfire scene and the chapter with Salsa and Fassad. The former is one of the most powerful moments in the story and it would be a huge shame to see Nintendo cut any of it out. But Flint straight up smacks a dude in the gut with a piece of wood and whacks another guy across the face with it before getting clubbed in the back of the head with a huge piece of lumber. If Nintendo is still concerned about the violence in EarthBound, then it's possible some parts of this scene could be edited. As for Salsa and Fassad, there's the whole issue of animal cruelty. But seeing as how Salsa eventually gets revenge on both Fassad and the device he uses to electrocute the poor monkey, hopefully none of that will have to be altered. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Oxygen Supply Machines of the Sea Floor Dungeon. These machines were made to resemble mermen with luscious lips, and in order to get oxygen from them, one must give them a nice big smooch. So, basically, we have a young boy, a woman, a man, and a dog making out with mermen in order to stay alive under water. Now, I'm of the opinion that the Oxygen Supply Machines are too ridiculous and hilarious to be seen as sexually obscene, but it's entirely possible Nintendo feels differently. I sure hope the company would keep them, though, because I love those guys. The Sea Floor Dungeon just wouldn't be the same without them. Oh yeah, and there's also the scene where we see Lucas's butt. Are butts okay, Nintendo? It's a funny moment, but I could take it or leave it. Other than that, I'm sure we'd see some new dialogue, updated enemy and item names, and many other changes to the text to make it stand out from the fan translation. I know the creators of the fan translation offered to let Nintendo use their work for free, but I highly doubt Nintendo would take them up on that offer. And that's fine! I'm excited to see what Nintendo's localization experts come up with, and if I don't like it as much, I can always go back and play the fan-made version. Those are the biggest changes I expect we might see if and when Nintendo finally localizes Mother 3. A few of them I would honestly be okay with, but some others would be severely disappointing. Of course, we'll just have to wait and see what happens. I'll be happy as long as we actually get the game. Anything is better than nothing, and I say we've waited long enough. Nintendo, we want Mother 3!
Mother 3 localization photo
Lucas' butt might be a no-no
We've waited nearly 10 years for Nintendo to officially localize Mother 3. The wait has been so long, it's started to seem like an impossibility. However, due to some rumors over the past week, it's beginning t...

 photo

Friday Night Fights - Snuggie time


Game with the Dtoid Community!
Feb 05
// Mike Martin
I feel like hot garbage. Woke up just... blech. I feel like the inside of Andy's asshole after a NARP. Heavy, floppy, and grossly wet. Anyway, games. We should play them. I still have to drag my carcass to work, so I won't be on until late, but... I don't even know. Bah, play games, make love. Eat chicken soup. *falls over* 
Pokemon Nendoroid photo
Pokemon Nendoroid

Red and Blue battle it out as the newest Pokemon Nendoroid figures


Gary was here, Ash is a loser!
Feb 05
// Ben Davis
It's getting hard to keep up with all these awesome and adorable Nendoroid figures! Coming soon are new figures for the Pokémon trainer and his rival from Pokémon Red and Blue, as well as Mew. As with all Nendor...
Fire Emblem photo
Fire Emblem

See how Nintendo altered the Fire Emblem Fates 'petting' minigame


It's basically the same
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Fire Emblem Fates has been getting a lot of flak for cutting its "skinship" petting minigame in the western localization, but now that the game is in the hands of a select few (I got my copy earlier this week), we can se...
Timmy & Tommy Nook amiibo photo
Timmy & Tommy Nook amiibo

Timmy & Tommy Nook amiibo, a Target exclusive, up on Amazon


Haha what
Feb 05
// Chris Carter
Outside of the US, you lucky folk have generally not had to deal with the exclusive amiibo nonsense. Pre Wave 5, it was pretty damn terrible, but now Nintendo has gotten it together and has started actually providing lots of ...
Bayonetta Impressions photo
Bayonetta Impressions

Bayonetta is a showstopper in Super Smash Bros.


Stupid sexy Bayonetta
Feb 04
// Patrick Hancock
Here's the step-by-step experience I have had with Bayonetta's character in Super Smash Bros. First, take her into the training room and understand how her moves work. Then, play some matches against the CPU. Feel confident, then go online. Immediately get hit by an opponent's Bayonetta with a gigantic combo. Welp.
Nintendo sleep monitor  photo
Nintendo sleep monitor

Nintendo nixes plans to watch you sleep


Still into 'Quality of Life' field
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo no longer wants to watch you sleep and -- wait, did he write "nixes" in reference to shelved new Nintendo hardware ideas while the new Nintendo console is being referred to as the "NX"? What a clever writer, that fel...
Pokken photo
Pokken

Learn how to play Pokken Tournament with this instructional video


Helpful even if you don't know Japanese
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
I think Pokken Tournament is pretty easy to pick up, and within a few sessions of playing it in arcades I had the hang of it. But if you haven't been able to take the trip out to Japan to experience it, this video is the...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition


Also, Bayonetta and Corrin in Smash
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
The Wii U is getting a few gems today, one of which takes the form of DLC. As far as full releases go, Shutshimi and Resident Evil Wii Edition are in, as are FreezeMe and Peg Solitaire. Super Smash Bros. i...
Mother 3 photo
Mother 3

Is Nintendo preparing a Mother 3 localization?


Multiple sources say 'yes'
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
Mother 3 has been a long-awaited localization -- perhaps one of the most requested in the history of gaming. Gamers have been assuaged by fan translation efforts, but a real, actual release would get this classic into the han...
Undertale Port photo
Undertale Port

Toby Fox is looking into a Wii U Undertale port


Would need help remaking the game
Feb 04
// Laura Kate Dale
Undertale, that bullet hell RPG meme fuel that the Internet loves or loves to hate, has so far only been available for PC gamers, but that has not stopped gamers from clamouring for information about possible ports. Talking o...
Pokemon photo
Pokemon

Game Freak nearly lost Pokemon Red and Green


Major technical difficulties
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
This month is Pokémon's 20th anniversary, which seems like as good an opportunity as any for the development team to share some memories of their time working on the series over the years. Game Freak's Junichi Masuda h...
Smash DLC photo
Smash DLC

Bayonetta and Corrin are now playable in Super Smash Bros.


The DLC era has ended
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
Late last night, Bayonetta and Corrin finally arrived in Super Smash Bros., signaling the end of the DLC era for the game as the final content drop. They came with a bunch of new Mii costumes, and a Bayonetta level. At this p...
Pokemon Go photo
Pokemon Go

We'll see more of Pokemon Go in March


I want Gengar... or do I?
Feb 03
// Jordan Devore
[Delightfully horrific illustration by Junji Ito] The world is ready for Pokémon Go, but is Pokémon Go ready for us? We haven't heard much out of the augmented-reality, location-based mobile game since its unvei...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Oh hey, Professor E. Gadd is coming to Super Mario Maker


Is it the Year of Luigi again?
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
Super Mario Maker has been pretty fantastic in terms of its event course and 8-bit sprite offerings (read: free DLC), and this new one is no different. Professor E. Gadd of the Luigi's Mansion series joins the fray, comp...
Mario Party Arcade photo
Mario Party Arcade

Now you can throw a fit in public with Mario Party Arcade


A joint venture with Capcom
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
You're leading by four Stars in Mario Party -- it's down to the final few turns -- and you've won most of the minigames so far so you're pretty sure the Minigame Star in the bag. Then your friend uncovers a hidden Star, ...
Miitomo photo
Miitomo

Nintendo's first mobile app and new rewards program launch in March


Miitomo and My Nintendo are almost here
Feb 03
// Kyle MacGregor
Nintendo's first mobile app, Miitomo, and its new rewards program, My Nintendo, are launching next month, the company's Japanese leadership revealed in an investors meeting today. Miitomo, a Tomodachi Life-esqu...

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