My name is Christopher Lage, I've been playing video games since I was a small child. The first this I can honestly remember is getting an NES for Christmas when I was 3 and playing the Mario Bros./Duck Hunt Game that came with it. Ever since I've been a gamer. I even spent a few years claiming to be "industry personnel" and it's gotten me into an E3 at a very reduced cost! (Thanks GameStop). Not to mention half of my wardrobe is free advertising for old games. I did work for the company as an assistant manager for three years and now I'm currently a security director for a shopping center.
What I'm currently playing:
New Super Luigi U (Wii U)
Pokemon X (3DS)
The Stanley Parable (PC)
What I'm waiting for:
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
Bayonetta 2 (Wii U)
For those of you who have owned any or all incarnations of the DS family of systems you've probably played a game by Renegade Kid. Dementium, Moon, and most recently Mutant Mudds for the eShop are just a few examples. Last weekend at PAX East I was able to sit in on the StreetPass Network panel on Saturday morning and Jools Watsham, Co-Founder of Renegade Kid was one of the speakers. Now this got me thinking... A few months back I was a little sore about The Binding of Isaac getting snubbed from the eShop. The it hit me! I thought, "Who better to talk to about what kinds of limitations, both from a techical and creative standpoint, go into creating a software title for a Nintendo system, than a man who has spent the last five years developing exclusively for the DS and 3DS systems." Below is what Jools, co-founder of Renegade Kid had to say in regards to the process. The answers might surprise you. Enjoy!
What is the process of developing a game for the eShop/Nintendo hardware? Can you explain the steps of a title's verification process?
Jools: In my experience it has been extremely simple, easy, and quick to work with Nintendo. That probably sounds like hyperbole to some, but it's true. We submit a very brief description of the game at the start of development. This is primarily to get the game into the system. With this information, Nintendo is able to issue data needed for development that is specific to your game, such as unique game IDs, and prepare their staff for submission dates and any marketing efforts planned.
Once we feel the game is complete, we submit it to Nintendo for their final approval. I think a lot of people believe that when materials are submitted to Nintendo they review the creative content to see if it is suitable for their platform. This may have been the case in the 16-bit days, but to my knowledge this does not happen anymore. That's the ESRB's job. Based on my experience with Nintendo, and we've made some mature content in the past with the Dementium and Moon series, Nintendo's focus is on whether the game functions properly in terms of not crashing and always presenting consistent information regarding the naming of buttons, save data, etc.
Was there anything that you've wanted to do but were unable to based on the stipulations (if any)?
Jools: No, the only stipulations we're required to adhere to are technical and not related to creative content.
Anything you can share about an upcoming title from Renegade Kid? Either on eShop or retail for 3DS?
Jools: We're working on the European and Australian versions of Mutant Mudds. We're also finishing up Bomb Monkey and ATV Wild Ride 3D for eShop.
Do you see the company branching out to Nintendo's new home console Wii U either through downloadable games or retail releases?
Jools: It is certainly possible, yes.
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There you have it Destructoid, straight from Renegade Kid, exclusive to my blog postings. Confirmed Wii U project from Renegade Kid! </sarcasm>. But in all seriousness it was wonderful to be able to get a peek behind the scenes and I came out of the whole experience, both at the panel and being able to talk with Jools about games, with more insight about companies and their products that I truly care about. So a huge thank you to him for taking the time to answer my questions!
You can follow Jools on Twitter @JoolsWatsham, learn more about Renegade Kid and their future projects here. Mutant Mudds is currently available on the Nintendo eShop, and keep your eyes peeled for Bomb Monkey for eShop and ATV Wild Ride for the 3DS!
So Iím a few days late to the party but better late than never I guess. I've spent the last week recovering from waking up sick at PAX on Saturday and getting some quality time in with Xenoblade. In addition to this blog post which I feel like I should let you guys and gals know me a little bit more since youíve all posted such great blogs lately. In addition since my Photoshop skills are shit Iím running a contest for the cover image on my blog. So hereís trying to kill 2 birds with one stone!
The contest is pretty straight forward, Iíd like a cover banner/image for my blog, so you can read the post below to get some insight on me or the kind of stuff I like or am into or you could always ask me, the only stipulation is it has Mr. Destructoid or the Dtoid logo on it. Submit entries to my email address, lagechj(at)gmail.com with the subject line Dtoid Banner Contest. Whatís in it for you? Well the winning entry will be notified either thru PM or social media outlets (teh twittorz) and sent a code for their choice of digital cheddar aka mullah aka 1600 MS Points/$20 PSN/Wii Points/3DS Shop. Thatís $20! In digital form. Pretty sweet eh? Contest ends 04/27/12!
1. I am a huge Nintendo Fan Boy (itís kind of depressing) Right now Iím living large with just over 500 Club Nintendo coins, my Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary poster reward coming in the mail to display in all their glory throughout my house once they get framed, and Iíve got more games for my Wii either downloadable or retail than I do for my 360. In fact if you take a look at my Wiiís home screen I have every Legend of Zelda game sitting pretty on it! Out of all of my friends Iím the only one that has any kind of love for the Big N, and Iím the only person I know that is actually thinking about buying a Wii U at launch (especially if they drop the price 6 months later and give us a bunch of free games again). I canít explain it, but I have this distaste for this generationís overuse of the super brofisting shooters that are Gears of War, Halo, CoD, etc. I feel like Nintendo always innovates rather than tries to make the quick buck on rehashes. (Usually 1 or 2 games per franchise per generation). Iím more than happy to pick up games like Mass Effect and Bayonetta but for whatever reason Nintendo just does things different. Rhythm Heaven Fever is one of my favorite games of this generation and the ďgameĒ requires two button presses total. Oh yeah, and that Club Nintendo membership? It used to be a Nintendo Power Club membership.
2. I have a guitar that I have NO IDEA how to play. Back in high school a buddy of mine was in a band, they were pretty good and got a few shows and Iíd always try and go to them. Then the coolest thing happened, he gave me one of his guitars. Well when I say give me he let me ďborrowĒ it. The worst part? It was about 8 years ago! T_T
I tried really hard to teach myself how to play the damn thing but I just couldnít get it down through any of the lessons/programs I found scouring the internet. More importantly the guitar is pretty damn special to me. We were really great friends in high school, and went to different colleges and now we donít really see each other/talk much at all, which I guess is what happens when you get older but Iíll never get rid of the guitar no matter how much dust itís currently collecting. One day Iíll be able to play the damn thing. At this point though it seems even playing something simple is turning out to be my version of Mozartís Requiem.
3. If my life had a soundtrack the main theme would be ďCigarettes and Chocolate MilkĒ
I smoke cigarettes, terrible habit I know Iíd love to quit but and for those of you that currently do or used to smoke thereís nothing better in the morning that waking up having a cup of coffee and a cigarette. I feel like when the modern cigarette was invented the folks at the soon-to-be tobacco companies were all sitting around drinking coffee and realized that theyíd go great together. But in the song is pretty much a perfect way to describe my sometimes self-destructive behaviors:
ďCigarettes and chocolate milk these are just a couple of my cravings everything it seems I like's a little bit stronger a little bit thicker a little bit harmful for meĒ
4. I am the epitome of the ďSocially Awkward PenguinĒ meme Around the age of 21 I went through this really weird change, Iím not sure if I spent the better portion of my late high school and college career mostly at parties/clubs/bars and just got sick of it all but if I were to see the me aged 18-21, heíd probably kick my ass and laugh about it with his friends later. I used to be way more extroverted in terms of personality, willingness to talk to people, and going out. Call it getting older, more mature (thatís debatable) or anything else but I generally am not a huge fan of people anymore, or large crowds. For as much fun as I had during the Dtoid party and meeting Hamza, Max, and Jonathan I was nervous as all hell the entire time! Maybe I just have a fear of rejection, who knows but if you ever talk to anyone I know theyíll tell you Iíve become way more of an introvert, and Iím looking to change that.
5. I believe in extra terrestrial life and all that jazz I mean how can there not be aliens out there? I have this terrible feeling that if we ever do make first contact with an alien race weíll totally fuck it up as humanity normally does with things it fears or doesnít quite understandÖ (Iím looking at you religion!) But anyways Iím sure Iíll end up losing a whole of my humanity since itís always been a dream of mine ever since being a youngster to travel into space, more importantly to be alive to see the day to meet an actual alien and visit their civilization. If anyoneís familiar with the show ďVĒ I would be on the first spaceship off this rock we call home, after quitting my job, maxing out my credit limits and taking out everyone I know for a night and party like rock stars before submitting to a higher evolved/intelligent life form if theyíre the ones to travel here and make first contact.
6. Water and I arenít friends Strangely enough Iím Ĺ Portuguese and Ĺ Italian but the way that I got programmed is anything but Mediterranean-like. Iím allergic to shellfish, something that kind of freaked out most of the family when I had some as a kid and itís always left a bad taste in my mouth and nose in terms of any other kind of aquatic food. I hate the way fish smells, looks, feels, itís freaking gross. But it also could have been the whole Jellyfish and Octopus thing for Christmas when I was growing up (the joys of being Portuguese) that freaked me out and wanted me to go nowhere near anything related to the ocean. And I canít swim all that well, fictional hydrodynamic animals i.e. water type Pokťmon are fine. Weíre still cool starmie! Aqua Man you still suck though, talking to fish isnít a power, but a handicap. Maybe Iím just jaded though; I couldnít swim my way out of a paper bag filled with water.
7. I have always had dogs Not Nintendogs! But real dogs! Ever since I was a kid Iíve always had at least one in the house. Not quite the Corgi King that our Dale North is but ever since watching Cowboy Bebop Iíve always wanted one to name it Ein! ^_^
To date Iíve had all bigger dogs, I have had the fortune of living with the following types of pooches: German shepherd, Brittany spaniel, golden retriever, German shorthaired pointer, and Red Siberian husky (I like big dogs; theyíre more fun to play withÖ and to wrestle).
8. I love cartoons! I have the awesome experience of being a big kid, or small adult whichever (both in height and in interest. Iím 5í7Ē on a good day!) But I abso-freaking-loutely love me some cartoons and anime. Old school Voltron, Thundercats, X-Men, G.I. Joe, Transformers, Ninja Turtles (stop getting ideas for more bastardizations Michael Bay) and even new stuff like Adventure Time and Regular show! My favorite anime series are Cowboy Bebop, Serial Experiments Lain, Elfen Lied, Evangelion, Samurai Champloo, and Death Note. I like mind fucks haha.
9. Iím officially running out of things to write about because I find myself quite boring. Not so much from a low self esteem sort of viewpoint, just from the tl;dr. If you have any questions are wanna chat more hit me up on the twitters @MagitekNiGHT (bonus points for the name reference itís been my XBL name for 4 years and no one has asked me about it ever) or send me a PM or drop a comment below!
10. Remember thereís a contest at the top of this post so enter youíve only got 2 weeks to potentially earn $20. Hell even if you donít think youíre going to win my best Photoshop project looks ten times worse than Jim Sterlingís MS Paint drawings! Plus, if youíre lucky, and the only participant you could win by default!
I'm unfortunately writing this from an iPhone so apologies in advance for any typos I'll fix them at some point I promise!
Today started haphazardly, I woke up late, ran late to the convention center due to traffic and was literally seconds away from missing the Dtoid group photo. I ran from pretty much 1/2 way down the street carrying all of my stuff to get to the photo. The only reason I knew it was going on was seeing Hamza raising his arms around not to mention a fancy camera. After the photos I really needed to make up for lost time so I unfortunately dipped out. First thing I did... Waited in line to play Borderlands 2, which in a word was amazing but more importantly I yelled "I love you" at Randy Pitchford and he waved at me. ^_^
I really am impressed with the way they switched up the abilities for classes in the game. The gunzerker can "tank" based off talent points and the new siren class can "heal" it really changes the dynamic of larger boss fights during group play. Borderlands didn't really do that for me in my opinion. Especially since you got crazy powerful and could solo the boss in Knoxx's Armory for fat lootz.
Anywho after blowing lots of time I checked my 3DS and boy was that a mistake. I got over 100 street passes just today! My total count WAS 6... And I live right outside Hartford so it's not like it's in the middle of no where. Almost completed Find Mii and finished 4 puzzles! It was a good day for my lesser used console. After some swag hunting I went to the awesome Chicken and Waffles party!
And oh man was the food good. It did turn into a chicken sans waffles party since they were gone really quick. The chicken tasted like waffles though and I got a sweet Xevious T-Shirt and autographs from the folks who did the art for Rocket Fox. I didn't get a chance to play it but from the stuff I saw it looked like a sweet platformer and the fox had 3 tails! Making him one tail cooler than Tails Miles!
But the highlight of my day and maybe even the whole weekend was getting to meet and greet with Hamza, Holmes, and Max! Plus, the best part is I now have a super limited edition DTOID 3DS! So marvel and be jealous!
Is there anything YOU, the reader (if anyone even reads this thing) want to see or want me to try and cover for tomorrow? I promise Aliens: Colonial Marines is gonna get a write up! That is if i can get photos there If not you'll have to use your imaginations I'd like to get some feedback and try and make this more of a dialogue than just a place to dump my musings. On that note I'll see some of you at Karaoke tomorrow at E&C. Tomorrow is my panel heavy day so I'll need to be drunk.
Until then be safe folks at PAX I look forward to being more fun tomorrow!
For a franchise that has had two entries over the last 25 years, Project Sora had a huge task in front of them. Create a game based on a universe with literally no established cannon, modernize it, and still make it fun while providing some type of connection to it's manic 8-bit predecessor. Enter Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo 3DS) Developer: Project Sora Publisher: Nintendo Released: March 23, 2012 MSRP: $39.99
First off the amount of content in the game is incredible. There are over 100 weapons which can be purchased, collected from treasure chests, and fused with weapons currently in your inventory. In addition AR cards provide Idols or trophies a la Smash Bros. to be collected. In addition the game boasts 360 "achievements" which unlock more weapons, idols, music, etc. and form pictures. A single player campaign sporting 25 levels with both aerial and ground sections, online multiplayer, and a practice range to try out different weapons and powers. Interestingly enough the game's difficulty system actually encourages players to up the ante by betting hearts (in game currency) on their skills to increase the value and stats of the rewards for completing levels at the higher difficulties. At the time of this writing I had about 10 hours on the single player campaign with a complete playthrough, and have finished the first two chapters at intensity 9.0 (the highest difficulty). This game could easily have been a home console title with only half of the content found on the cartridge.
It's easy to see the amount of love and care that Sora put into the project and the game shines with its personality, however after you've completed the game you get the option to turn off the dialogue completely. But it's worth seeing all the way through at least once. The game is completely self-aware that it is a game and constantly breaks the fourth wall, providing some pretty good humor. At one point during a pretty hectic combat section Pit makes mention that komaytos look like metroids and Viridi, the Goddess of Nature completely flips out.
With that being said, the humor is somewhat distracting and I did have a few instances when shout-outs to other games, pop culture references, etc. made me to look down to the bottom screen and see what was going on and caused, at higher difficulty levels my ass to get kicked. 8 bit screen shots of old monsters and bosses were cool as well. The soundtrack augments the humor and personality of the game nicely and the added ability to change the menu music thru unlocks allows for more exploration of the sounds without having to deal with combat and voice effects, allowing the player to really appreciate the score.
The game is split in terms of the campaign with an air combat section and a ground section. I absolutely loved the air combat, especially being a huge fan of things like Panzer Dragoon and top down shooters so I felt right at home and the controls were not an issue. Since Pits wings are made of wax and he can't fly (you're welcome for the Greek mythology lesson) Palutena grants him the power of flight, but only for five minutes, and she controls your flight path. During air combat you only control Pit's firing and dodging of enemy attacks. The ground sections of the game are hit or miss. I really enjoyed a lot of the level designs but during frantic portions of combat, and especially on higher difficulty levels until you're really comfortable with the control scheme you're going to have problems. There were a lot of reviews I saw that did not like the controls, and I have a love/hate relationship with them. I use the stand included with the game when I am playing at home, but when I'm on the go it's a little bit of a different situation. I've had to play the game with some type of something in my lap, for example my messenger bag to make it a little more comfortable. After a few hours with the game though I got used to the controls. I do think twin sticks would work better than using the touch screen and maybe they'll fix it with a patch but in the mean time man up and work out that wrist!
Multiplayer sports two modes, Light vs. Dark which is a 3v3 PvP style game, and free for all. I had a lot of fun with both ad the weapons earned in single player can be used in multiplayer and vice versa. In Light vs. Dark once a team's life gauge runs out the last remaining player on the field becomes either Pit or Dark Pit and the other team must defeat the angel for victory. It's nothing superb but adds something in terms of replay value and according to the logo on the box art utilized the "Nintnedo Network." That is promising on its own at least to me since I didn't run into any latency issues or disconnects, which gives me hope that Nintendo's online infrastructure has made leaps and bounds from the mess that is SSBB on Wii.
In closing, I'm absolutely loving my time with Kid Icarus: Uprising, and if you're on the fence about it I urge you to find a friend who has it and give it a shot. If the controls are holding you back there's a wealth of options that can allow you to not even use the touch screen at all. The air sections of combat are definitely the best in the game and Uprising is a worthy successor to a game most 3DS players weren't even alive to see.
Final Verdict: 7.5 Good: 7s are well-above average games that definitely have an enthusiastic audience within their *genre*. Some might lack replay value, could be too short, or has are some hard-to-ignore faults. Nevertheless, the experience is still very fun.
I'm extremely disappointed in Square Enix for the way they are handling their DLC forecast for Final Fantasy XIII-2. So far there have been one character expansion, three boss battles, and a ton of weapons and costumes for both Noel and Sarah. Totaled up it will cost you 3180 MSP/$39.75! Forty dollars?! Really? Two-thirds of the full retail price of the game with single digit percents of content?! These numbers do not account for the planned Ultros/Typhoon retro bosses and the only other outlandish way to whore out Mass Effect 3 with N7 armor DLC. It's quite a shame really, considering how much I loved the game, I have dumped over 75 hours into it, and can say that I've done everything there is to do, now I pop it in from time to time to grind for items and level monsters. As much as I've always wanted a console Pokemon, XIII-2 feels like the next best thing.
Wait a minute...
Coincidentally enough, and this is just nitpicking at this point Square Enix has pretty much all of their digital items (steam, iOS, PSN, etc.) at 50-75% off. XIII-2's DLC? Not included. You could purchase Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, and IX for $20 right now, and get at least 300 hours of content out of them! The real gripe I have with it and it's the easy way out to just not purchase it and let capitalism play out but what is the purpose of creating new content which is pretty much filler, and only added for the sole purpose of making money? It was completely disheartening for this first time in a game that I have played at launch that included an area of the game accessible, however you could not interact with an object in the world, and when attempted were greeted by an advertisement. If you're still going through the game and have not downloaded the Sazh expansion go to Serendipity's casino and interact with the first roulette/card table...
My one concern is SE is going to be switching over to micro-transactions for their console series. Final Fantasy IV: The After Years for WiiWare was episodic and turned up being a $40 RPG, but for the same amount of money you're getting costumes, starter weapons, and a few boss battles, that are not that challenging for XIII-2, it makes me worried about Versus XIII, and games for the future.
So do yourselves a favor, buy classic Square Enix games, hell if you're itching to give them cash buy Deux Ex: Human Revolution on Steam for $15, just don't waste your money on this stuff...
With Nintendo's recent announcement of The Binding of Isaac not appearing on the 3DS, (J. Holmes' Article), it shows the nature of the company and debunks its new mantra of "learning from it's past mistakes and correcting them." The unfortunate thing is that the Iwata and Reggie have said that they've learned many things from the 3DS launch and won't make them with the Wii U. Not to mention it also means that any potential for Steam getting integrated into the Wii U/Nintendo Network is definitely damaged. It also means that Nintendo of America hasn't learned anything at all and the regression from finally publishing Xenoblade Chronicles in North America, to letting XSeed take all the financial risk and do all the work in The Last Story, which means that Pandora's Tower (despite how good/bad it may be) will never be released and the regression is complete. We can see NOA for what it really is, a company that thinks it's going to ride on the coattail's of a system they've already taken into the backyard with a shotgun. The problem is everyone has already thrown out the corpse. This was merely a flash in the pan for an otherwise dead system over the last year. (Skyward Sword excluded)
Psst... Nintendo, you might have just burned a developer too. Remember what Team Meat's Tommy Refenes said? Lemme refresh, "If we can in the future, we'd like our next game to be on Wii U as well as everything else," WHOOPS! But worst of all you've pissed off the "core" gamers you say you want to "win back."
But at the heart of the decision, why not release it? Religious reasons? Financial risk? There are a few reasons why we can debunk the two. And they both end up ultimately in the hands of consumers. In terms of financial risks, the game has been a huge success on steam. In a recent interview, Edmund McMillen was overwhelmed with the title's success. McMillen said, " It's pretty absurd, we're closing in to 450,000 copies, it's just ridiculous, there's no reason for this game to have done well. It's nice for everyone involved." If those were all Isaac sales on 3DS it would put it just shy of ExciteBike 3D, the best selling game on the eShop! Which was free for quite a while but more importantly, made Nintendo over a million dollars! (source). Many gamers, including myself have Steam accounts, and since my iPhone can only let me buy steam games, I can't play it on the go. I'm sure I'm not alone and other people feel the same way. Plus the eShop is lacking in content for non-ambassadors anyway.
If religion is your scapegoat then aren't you just undermining the intelligence your customers? There are safeguards for content! The means are in place to protect the consumer by your rules remember? if a child tries to buy the game what parent who was legitamately worried if their child played this game would leave their credit card information and not monitor the kid's 3DS activity. Not to mention if a child had the interest in playing the game it's not going to be for it's religious overtone, it's going to be because it plays like The Legend of Zelda! If I remember correctly you're apart of the ESA right? So, if Nintendo is in the ESA, which created and funded the ESRB... Yeah. Isn't it up to the consumer to decide if they don't want content by showing it doesn't sell well? I understand if you have morals Nintendo, I do. But you're a corporation, designed to make money. Our money. The money you need to keep making games. Money clearly already spent by roughly 449k other people too. [See what I did there? :)]
Get your shit together Nintendo!
Would you buy The Binding of Isaac for 3DS? How do you feel about this decision? Sound off below.