Zelda as a Protagonist

The Legend of Zelda

I happened across an interesting article from Nintendo Enthusiast detailing a theoretical idea for a Legend of Zelda title; one where Zelda is the protagonist and player-controlled character rather than Link:

[…] Yet, for all the times Link has been called “Zelda” due to the series’ moniker, we’ve never actually played as Zelda herself. Whenever she is involved, she is the damsel in distress, hoping Link will return to save her once again. Even when she debuts a tougher exterior in The Wind Waker, she is eventually reduced to kidnap-bait anyway. And although Zelda does help Link in his final battle a number of times throughout the franchise, it is never without Link that Zelda is able to escape from the clutches of evil.

So, why are we never able to take control of Zelda – or even better, her alter ego Sheik – once Link has completed his adventure? Why have we never learned of Zelda’s whereabouts in Ocarina of Time when Link travels to the future? Is Zelda not capable of even having an entirely new adventure on her own? [….] Continue reading

Call of Duty: Ghosts and The Revealing Power of Buzzwords

Call of Duty Ghosts

Now featuring a dog and superior fish AI.

Even though Call of Duty: Ghosts is going to come out on practically every available system, both current and next-gen, everyone knows that any real discussion over AI or graphical innovation is mainly going to involve Microsoft, Sony, and the PC. What is so interesting about this particular discussion, however, is that it provides yet another example of just how insecure Microsoft is about the upcoming jump from the current generation to the next generation in terms of PR and sales. Take this recent article from Eurogamer and Infinity Ward’s Executive Producer Mark Rubin talking about the differences between Call of Duty: Ghosts on this generation’s consoles and the next: Continue reading

Playstation 4 and the PS Vita: Bundles and Options

Playstation 4 and PS Vita Bundle

Hopefully this becomes a thing. It would be an awesome thing indeed.

Perhaps the most important thing to consumers, after convenience, is options. Even if those options are are pointless, or downright counter-intuitive, consumers want them none the less. In a world where entertainment technology is becoming increasingly homogenized, and thus the amount of choices offered is increasing everyday, a distributor merely seeming to have fewer options can be a major disadvantage. This is doubly so when done in the face of competition, and triply so if the distributor is seen as just plain not giving enough or no options at all.

This was part of the problem with the original Wii, and has been the case for the Wii-U even more. Though this consensus mostly deals with the offered software, and not so much the package itself. It does bring up some interesting questions, however. Continue reading

Faith or No Faith: Nintendo Wii-U, Struggling Sales, and Improving Morale

Nintendo Wii U

The Wii-U; yet another underdog console from Nintendo.

Every now and then it helps to deliberately ask people for their thoughts or views. In terms of Nintendo’s Wii-U, the overall consensus seems somewhat scattered. There is no shortage of articles lamenting the consoles poor sales, and recently it was announced that the Wii-U is still going to be sold at a loss:

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“Earlier this week, Nintendo’s annual report cited Wii U hardware sales as a major factor in the company’s 36.4 billion yen ($387 million) operating loss. In the same document, Nintendo [President] Satoru Iwata promised investors the company will ‘strive to regain ‘Nintendo-like’ profits’ in the current fiscal year.

Selling hardware at a loss is a decidedly un-Nintendo-like practice. Iwata made headlines last October when he first revealed the company would be losing money on each Wii U sold. However, the following month Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime downplayed the significance of the profit shortfall, saying ‘as soon as we get the consumer to buy one piece of software, then that entire transaction becomes profit positive.’” Continue reading

Rumor – Amazon’s New Console: Flooding the Market

Video game controllers

So many ways to play; a flood of gaming options.

Many have speculated that this may very well be the final full-fledged console generation. With heightened production costs, supposedly “inadequate” sales numbers, and increasing competition from outside markets; i.e. smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, digital download services, and so forth, it isn’t difficult to imagine.

Case in point; consider the rumors of yet another new console being released into the market, from a recent article via joystiq:

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“Online retail giant Amazon will enter the Android console market later this year, according to Game Informer sources. In a brief report, the site claims people with ‘knowledge of the in-development hardware’ said the Amazon console will have its own controller, will use Amazon’s own library of Android apps, and will ‘most likely’ be available by Black Friday.

Meanwhile, GamesBeat notes it’s ‘heard rumblings’ of the console, including one developer’s report that Amazon exhibited a version of it recently. However, GamesBeat also says a couple of sources weren’t sure if ‘Amazon was serious’ about developing it.” Continue reading

Super Smash Bros. Without Cutscenes: Closed Minds and “Two Black Ships”

Super Smash Bros. Logo

Before talking about the newest iteration, it is perhaps important to establish some thoughts about the previous game in the franchise; Super Smash Bros. Brawl (SSBB). Super Smash Bros. Brawl offered a strange and conflicting experience. One one hand:

  • It had superb production value.
  • An amazing and inimitable soundtrack.
  • Was almost perfectly balanced (almost to a fault).
  • Fixed the horrendous level of “clone” and “copy-paste” characters (i.e. Mario/Dr. Mario/Luigi, Pikachu/Pichu, Captain Falcon/Ganondorf, Marth/Roy, Mewtwo and Ness/Zelda, etc.).
  • Had a much better variety of stages.
  • Added good variety of game modes.
  • The inclusion of an online mode.
  • Interesting addition of third-party characters.

On the other hand: Continue reading

3rd Party Exclusives: The Declining Relevancy of Gaming Consoles

While perusing the internet, fiddling around on YouTube earlier this morning, this video showed up in my feed and it got me thinking. It mostly focuses on the decline on 3rd party exclusives and increasing dependency on 1st party exclusives:

Continue reading