All posts by J.T. Melanson

Legend of Kay Anniversary Review – Platforming From the Days of Yore, Unwieldly Camera Included

Legend of Kay Logo

The Legend of Kay is a game that is remembered by those who played it, especially on the PS2, as a cult classic of sorts; so much so that publisher Nordic Games had the game revamped for current generation consoles and PC in the form of The Legend of Kay Anniversary. Having never played the original, and barely even hearing of it; it’s no wonder I was going into this as a new experience rather than something I was already familiar with. Is it one of those classics that deserve to be remembered as one of the greats? Or is it one of those games that were probably better off being left untouched? These questions will be answered in the following review.

The story of the game is simple, for centuries the civilizations of the island of Yenching lived in harmony thanks to a form of discipline simply called “The Way”, the four civilizations on the island, those being the hares, cats, frogs and pandas, all lived peacefully and adhered to this code. However, as time moved forward the younger generations began abandoning The Way. As a result, the island lost its protection and ended up being prone to attack by the Gorillas and the Rats whom are working together in one cohesive force led by two named figures; Minister Shun of the Gorillas, and Alchemist Tak of the Rats. To say these two rule the roost with an iron fist would be an understatement.

Kay in the blue is discussing techniques with Master in the green.
Kay in the blue is discussing techniques with Master in the green.

From here, you take control of Kay; a hotheaded young cat lad with a desire to become strong and take on the enemy. However, like most folk in his village, he doesn’t believe in The Way which causes a conundrum. Everyone around him tries to convince him to follow it, but to no avail. He begins to realize his error when his master surrenders to the invading Gorilla + Rat army without a fight. Infuriated, he sneaks in and steals his master’s old sword. The story continues from there, and it continues at the same pace that it started at; basically it’s not a memorable story at all. It’s one that you will most likely forget upon completion of the game itself. That’s not to say that the game isn’t without its charm though, as some of the one-liners peppered throughout are chuckle-worthy puns on the characters being literal, anthropomorphic animals.

Upon booting the game, the first thing I noticed was the visuals, very bright, very colorful, and very reminiscent of games like Jak and Daxter or any other Saturday morning cartoon that you grew up watching. The fps seems to be locked down tight; not a single iota of slowdown or screen tears to be found whatsoever. The game looks okay overall; with these bright visuals being downright refreshing compared to most games today. However, on the same coin, it’s hard to deny that the visuals are also dated, they are not pushing the limits of any of the systems this game is out for. The interface displaying your life meter and quests were overhauled some, and textures here and there were enhanced very nicely, but all in all, you can tell this was originally a game designed for the PS2.

Example of some of the platforming throughout the game.
Example of some of the platforming throughout the game.

Now normally in many cases this would be a good thing, here? I am honestly not so sure. The camera in the game is very cumbersome and unwieldly at times, this is especially apparent when you enter a new area. It does not pan around to behind Kay’s back automatically meaning that if you want to see the platforming and enemy challenges that lay ahead? You have to turn the camera using the right analog stick yourself. There’s no camera reset button in the game itself to boot, giving this fault some extra weight behind it.

The areas themselves are designed well enough; there are some secrets to be found, but the secrets themselves are none too hard to spot. There’s nothing that is completely out of reach, but detection at times can be a little whacky, requiring multiple tries in order to get to the location you need to go to. This is compounded by the oftentimes unwieldly and frustrating camera that the game has you work with, this camera actually makes it quite easy for you to not spot something that needs to be activated or a platform that you need to hop on in order to get to the next location.

There are a few things the game does to break up the monotony of exploring the areas around you, for one, there are times where you will have to ride on another beast in order to get from point A to point B, don’t think this is a one track ride though; because you will be dodging obstacles along the way. Not only that, if you make one mistake? Yup, you fail the challenge and have to start from the beginning of it. While some would revel in the challenge, especially if you enjoy a game like this. Others will find this to be tedious and incredibly frustrating due to having to go through these trials several times. It doesn’t help that depending on the beast you’re riding, the controls can feel cumbersome.

A battle in the game itself.
A battle in the game itself.

Combat is there, and it works. It’s simple enough to execute basic attacks and a few tricks. You learn a few fancy moves, some of which will be put to use later on in the game. However, for the most part it is just there, and it can get repetitive, even with the variety of weapons Kay will ultimately have at his disposal. Though the combat can be fun at times, especially when you pull off a move that KOs your enemies, there’s no denying that oftentimes it feels more like a chore and that is not how a game should make the combat feel by any stretch of the imagination.

The soundtrack, much like the combat, is just there, it does have a Chinese/Asian ethnic feel to it, which fits in with the atmosphere of the game itself and is somewhat pleasant to listen to overall. The soundtrack works well in the game, almost always befitting the mood as not a single song is out of place. However, it isn’t what I’d call memorable either with only a few songs being truly standouts throughout the entire game.

Final Verdict:

Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition is a platformer that has its positives. The platforming itself when it works can be a lot of fun, and the controls are fundamentally sound. However, this isn’t a platformer that makes me wax nostalgic by any stretch of the imagination, and it definitely has its flaws. From the unwieldly camera to the forgettable plot and soundtrack, The Legend of Kay isn’t a game that has aged very well and is one that I feel is priced just right at $24.99 all things considered. I would recommend this game only to those who wax nostalgic for the days of the PS2 or for those who are platforming die-hards.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

Developer: Neon Studios

Publisher: Nordic Games

Available on: PS4|PS3|Wii U|Steam

Played on: PS4

Review Copy: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Review.

Xenoblade Chronicles Review – An Epic Tale of Two Races Woven Into a Long-winded Masterpiece

xenoblade-chronicles-3d-logo

Back in 2011, a game known as Xenoblade Chronicles was confirmed for release in Europe. During that timeframe, there were whispers at the time that there were no plans to bring the game to North America. This in turn angered many of us here in North America, and in response to it, a group known as Operation Rainfall was born. Now Operation Rainfall actually broke the ice with two other games as well, but their primary target was Xenoblade Chronicles and we knew it for a fact.

Exploring the large world.
Exploring the large world.

An incredible effort, including write-in/call-in campaigns direct to Nintendo of America, actually getting to the point where even executives within the company caught wind of the efforts. Ultimately our prayers were answered; Xenoblade Chronicles was released for the Wii here in North America in early 2012. Exclusive to GameStop, the game nonetheless went on to sell extremely well, so well that it actually sold the best in North America over all the other territories put together.

Fast forward 3 years later and not only has Xenoblade Chronicles garnered critical acclaim, but the game was ported to the 3DS by US based Monster Games, by that I mean the upgraded New 3DS. Nintendo actually had their engineers develop a 3DS system with a more powerful CPU and GPU on the die in order to have the game run properly on the handheld and unlike the Wii iteration, we didn’t have to write or call to Nintendo of America to bring the game over. But in order to play it, you do have to upgrade your 3DS to the newer model. Is it worth the price of admission to do so? We’ll get to that later.

Battling the Mechon
Battling the Mechon

So here’s a brief overview of the story for those who are unfamiliar with this game. According to in-game lore, two gigantic robots known as Bionis and Mechonis were engaged in what seemed to be an endless battle between the two behemoths. Ultimately, both of these titanic mechs ended up critically wounding one another to the point where they both just stopped dead. Several centuries later, and we see life is flourishing on both of their husks. Humans or “Homs” as they are called in game on Bionis, and Mechons, mechanical creatures on Mechonis; to say these two races hate one another would be an understatement as they are locked in bitter war at the start of the game in an area known simply as Sword Valley.

You begin the game with what’s basically an introduction to the game’s interesting battle system, controlling three characters that all become integral to the game’s storyline later on. After that brief but storied introduction, you now end up controlling a teenage boy known as Shulk. This plucky young man ends up leading a band of unlikely heroes on a great quest to possibly destroy the Mechonis, with all sorts of interesting twists and turns throughout the campaign’s 60+ hour playthrough. In Layman’s terms, this game is absolutely huge and will take you a long time to finish.

Not only is the world itself enormous, but there is plenty to do within the confines of this world itself. Just about everything is reachable with little exception to that rule. Transitions from towns to overworld map are seamless and you can take your time talking to all the citizens within each town, doing so might open up side quests within the game expanding the gameplay time considerably if you want to take them all on. The huge world map is obviously populated by all sorts of various, exotic creatures based off real world creatures like wolves, spiders, bats, etc. You can actually choose to either leave them be and not engage in battle with them, or you can actually go for it and challenge just about any creature you see to combat.

Speaking of which, battles take place in real time right on the map, and can be engaged by hitting the R button on the New 3DS or the Wii if you’re using a Classic Controller attachment. If you hit A, the battle begins, bringing up a command menu that you can use with Shulk and his crew to issue commands. The battle system can get a little complex at times, but for the most part I’ve had no problems issuing commands as needed and winning the battles presented to me. With rare exception most organic creatures will not attack you if you are within their level group. But if you’re not leveled up enough, prepare to get slaughtered as when a powerful creature smells blood, you’ll be crushed in no time flat.

There are special moves available once Shulk acquires a powerful weapon known as the Monado; again this is a key artifact in this game’s long and twisted tale. The Monado actually allows Shulk to do a few things in battle, for one it allows you to damage Mechon whom would be untouchable otherwise. There is a special ability in the game that if you wish to battle Mechon units, is practically required as it allows normal weaponry carried by your teammates to damage the Mechon as well. Not only that, the Monado opens up other forms of special attack and status boosters that would be inaccessible otherwise. It is safe to say that the battle system and story all revolve around the Monado and its abilities. I say this because you’ll primarily be controlling Shulk throughout the game.

Now, regarding the differences between the Wii and the New 3DS versions of the game? It’s safe to say they are pretty negligible. The New 3DS version has two things over the Wii version; one is compatibility with the Shulk Amiibo to unlock extra currency, which is pretty nifty all things considered as currency is not exactly easy to acquire in the game itself. There’s also a dossier of beasts you encounter throughout the game as well. However, because of the reduced size of the 3DS cart, the Japanese voice acting that was present in the Wii version is absent. This is a small loss all things considered though because the British voice acting present in this game is very well done, and gives the characters a ton of personality.

Shulk and Reyn, Brothers in Arms
Shulk and Reyn, Brothers in Arms

There are reports that the textures are downgraded on the New 3DS version but it is extremely hard to tell, and honestly, when viewing the game on both the New 3DS and the Wii? The difference is pretty negligible at best. That is pretty impressive all things considered as the Wii version had to use every last bit of horsepower available in the system in order to produce the visuals present in the game. The New 3DS version looks stunning on the handheld; it is amazing that they were able to cram the entire game onto a handheld with minimal losses.

The differences between the two versions are so miniscule that you’ll be quick to overlook them and just get completely lost in the huge, open world that sprawls out before you upon getting to the Gaur Plains and listening to the beautiful music that plays upon your arrival during the daytime. Which brings me to another selling point, the game’s soundtrack itself is amazing being composed by six amazing composers including two legends, Yoko Shimomura and Yasunori Mitsuda, this soundtrack is a treat for the ears with some melodies being hauntingly beautiful and memorable. It runs the gamut from epic orchestral scores that illustrate the world you’re traveling in so perfectly to crunchy guitar riffs that serve to add intensity to battles. Somehow this incredible soundtrack manages to always befit the atmosphere as needed, never straying out of place, and hitting all the right notes at all the right times. Beautiful is a massive understatement when it comes to describing this soundtrack.

So between the awesome story, the massive in-game world, the incredible soundtrack and the likeable characters, is Xenoblade Chronicles a must have? Is it worth upgrading to the New 3DS XL to get? In the end, I would say yes. The New 3DS XL version is much easier to find, it is every bit as good as the Wii version having 99% of the content with the only thing missing being the Japanese voices, and it looks fantastic no matter what system you get the game for.

Final Verdict:

All in all, Xenoblade Chronicles is an amazing game that came out at the right time during the twilight years of the Wii, and is the perfect game to show off the capabilities of the New 3DS XL and what the machine is truly capable of. Bringing attention to the fact that this game is truly massive in scale, it is no small feat for it to be running on a handheld a mere 3 years after the Wii version was released, even if you have to get the upgraded hardware to pull it off, it is still amazing that 99% of the game is all present and accounted for. But no matter what system you get the game for, Xenoblade Chronicles is a tale for the ages. A stunning masterpiece that needs to be experienced by everyone who loves RPGs at least once in their lifetime; especially if they desire something that fuses throwback with current day, if you haven’t checked this game out yet, you are missing out on a very special game.

Official Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 9.7/10
RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer: Monolith Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Available on: Wii | New 3DS XL

Played on: Both systems

Review Copy: Physical copies of both games were purchased for the purpose of this review.

E3 2015: Nintendo Press Conference Final Verdict

RGN Analysis

If there are words that seem to be ringing true after watching Nintendo’s Digital Event of 2015, those words would be: Disappointment, underwhelming, and milquetoast.

They kicked it off in high gear with Star Fox Zero’s announcement, and some awesome looking gameplay footage that really showed off a heralded return to the classic Star Fox gameplay that we all know and love. Not only that; they announced that Platinum Games, the same folks behind Bayonetta 2, is the developer, so we kicked off with a guns a blazin’ start.

What happened after? Well, let’s just simply say it was almost an absolute disaster. So after Star Fox Zero’s reveal, we were shown a game called Metroid Prime: Federation Force which is being made for the 3DS. The negative reaction to the game was so strong that there’s actually a petition on Change.org calling for the game’s cancellation. Seriously, no joke, it’s a legit petition, but I do not think it’ll amount to anything.

Aside from that, Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival looked interesting, though many were quick to dismiss it as a Mario Party knock-off, and another excuse for Nintendo to unleash even more Amiibo upon us when current Amiibo are near impossible to find as is. Not only that, both Metroid Prime: Federation Force and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival seemed to do nothing but frustrate fans and add fuel to the fire regarding the notion that “Nintendo doesn’t listen.”

To make matters even worse, they focused once again on familiar turf, games that were already announced, like Super Mario Maker (which does look absolutely awesome) and Yoshi’s Woolly World. These two games are expected to be released soon so it’s natural to want to hype them. But we already know these games are coming and both games look solid, so why devote more time than necessary to hyping the titles? That’s time that could be used to talk about further upcoming titles that were conspicuously absent from the show.

The Xenoblade Chronicles X trailer was a sight to behold, for the first time we actually saw English menus and dialogue in the game itself. The game’s release date is finally set for 12/05/15, which while a long ways away, gives is plenty of time to go reserve the game if we so desire. Not a bad thing at all if you ask me. I get the feeling they’re working on polishing things up and getting a possible English dub done too.

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash looked good as well, and could very well serve as a precursor to another Mario Golf game for the console. But the game did look solid, and I am sure we will find out more about it in the near future. I’m pretty sure this game will have on-line play considering its predecessor did. The game also had some interesting features like being able to morph into a bigger version of your character to make matches either easier or more challenging depending on how things go.

A surprise that was accidentally released was Hyrule Warriors: Legends for the 3DS, which is not a straight port of Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U but rather it seems to take cues from Samurai Warriors: Chronicles in that you switch between characters and perform combos. The game has all the previous characters from the Wii U version, and includes Tetra and another character, The King of Red Lions, both of whom can be unlocked in the Wii U version of the game as well.

Then for some bizarre reason, Nintendo decided to show off Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem even though that game is nowhere near close to release yet. Heck, the trailer seemed to be almost the exact same one shown in April’s Nintendo Direct. Why they did this is beyond me. Again, they could’ve, and should’ve used the time much better than they did. They did show Mario x Luigi: Paper Jam though, which is a nifty cross-over title of the two RPG franchises, very cool and looked awesome as well.

However, some titles that we know are coming, like Devil’s Third and Fatal Frame were conspicuously absent from the Digital Event itself, why? I can’t put my finger on this, especially considering that we both know these games are coming to North America and Europe. Believe it or not, Europe already has a confirmed release date for Devil’s Third, 8/25/15, while North America? Still trying to find out when it’s hitting these shores. Funny thing is though; Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water got a new trailer and the official name revealed after the Digital Event was done.

Final Verdict: Nintendo E3 2015:

All in all, I agree with the consensus, the Nintendo E3 Digital Event of 2015 was underwhelming, to me it felt half-baked and needed more time in the oven. So much greatness was held back by many missed marks. Things that would’ve been perfect to show off during the event were instead held off until further notice, and things that should’ve been revealed at the event, were completely absent. Simply put, the whole thing was a mess and when compared to last year’s incredible showing, not only does it come up woefully short, but suffice it to say, the undercooked cake they served left a bitter taste in many a gamers’ mouth.

Operation Zero – Heralding the Return of Fatal Frame #WeWantFatalFrame #WiiU

Fatal Frame Wii U Coming to North America - RealGamerNewz

Hey everyone; J.T. here, I hope all of you out there tuning in are doing well, and once again I apologize for my absenteeism here at RGN. Anyway, how about that Fatal Frame; I mean wow, who would’ve thought after almost a decade of lying dormant here in the US that suddenly the series is finally making a comeback, huh? Recall that article from before were I was railing and saying Nintendo just didn’t get it? Well, guess what folks, I’m eating my words on that. Boy, I almost feel like a total ass right about now.

That Nintendo Direct overall was simply incredible, actually their best one ever in my books. We got a look at a project that we thought was dead in the form of Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, which might I add looks downright amazing, and of course some updated looks on upcoming titles like Splatoon and the like. But for me and thousands of others, the highlight was easily the reveal of Fatal Frame.

When I saw the ghostly image followed by Bill Trinen saying “Anyway, here’s something I know the fans have been clamoring for.” then Mr. Trinen going on his spiel about the game itself, I was screaming at the top of my lungs for a moment; so much so that my dad told me to shut up. My spirit wasn’t dampened in the slightest though, if anything I was grinning ear to ear the rest of that night as I am sure thousands of others were too.

Either way, it’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come; of course it is doubly amazing how Nintendo is finally listening to their fans on what games they want. When I first took over Operation Zero, there were all of 13 members on the page. That number has increased exponentially and membership still seems to grow both here, and on Twitter where my fellow admin Fingal (we have codenames to identify who we are, out of respect for privacy he wishes not to have his real name revealed) has done a bang-up job managing our presence on that network and has every ounce of my respect as my equal. Furthermore; he’s just as passionate about the franchise as I am, to say I am glad for Fingal’s presence in working with Operation Zero is an understatement. The man has my deepest gratitude for all he’s done for Operation Zero.

This begs the question, however; are we at Operation Zero done? Now that we’ve achieved our goal of getting Nintendo to release a Fatal Frame game in the US for the first time in almost a decade, the answer is a definitive no. Why? Well, we’ve got work to do to help this game out. Now that it’s coming, we’re going to be the ones who help Nintendo sell the game and advertise it. That means word of mouth, posters, videos via social media, anything and everything we can use to broadcast this game and sell it to people, we must use.

Not only that, because of this bold move; the older games in the series actually have a legit chance of making it to the US now. Know what this means? The idea of a double pack of the two Wii games would be a great start. It’s a pipe dream at the moment, but who’s to say it won’t become a reality. Some already suggested an eShop release of the two Wii games ala the way Super Mario Galaxy 2 and the Metroid Prime Trilogy can be accessed, but honestly, I feel by doing it digital only, it’d be gutting the sales of the series.

I think if Nintendo were to do this right, they could pull a Bayonetta 2 and bundle this double pack of Mask of the Lunar Eclipse and Deep Crimson Butterfly in with Oracle of the Sodden Raven. They could also release these games on the eShop too. Do I expect them to do so? No, at least not yet anyway; but if they were to do so it could very well be a great start towards promoting the series in both the US and EU, allowing the series to become more accessible to their audience is a great thing if you ask me. That includes physical and digital distribution of the games.

Fatal Frame Wii U Coming to North America - RealGamerNewz 2

There would be work needed to get Mask of the Lunar Eclipse; the game that never really left Japan, to be satisfactory for US/EU consumption of course. With that one, the glitches that break the game and don’t allow you to complete the ghost list would need to be fixed, and not only that an English dub would need to be recorded too. Some would say this extra step isn’t necessary and just to leave the game subtitled, but I say otherwise. A happy compromise would be to have the Japanese voices available as well for selection, but honestly; I much prefer a good dub any day of the week.

With both games, the textures would need to be revamped for HD, and controls tweaked to take advantage of the Wii U’s controller, but a classic mode allowing you to play the games the way they were originally designed to be played would also be ideal. That way everyone gets what they want from the experience, and we get to enjoy more of this wonderful series. Win-win, right? I’d say so.

However, I noticed a matter of growing concern throughout the community. That there were brief talks of a boycott of the game if it were to be censored in any way, shape or form. While we can all rest assured that many of us are simply grateful that we’re getting this game at all, the fact that a boycott was even mentioned in the first place is just ridiculous and asinine; also dare I say incredibly insulting to me and to every one of us who worked hard to get Nintendo to give the series a chance worldwide. Boycotting would only ensure that we never get another Fatal Frame worldwide again, something I absolutely do not want to happen.

I felt this needed to be addressed because the talks of doing so in the first place upset me and others within the community of Fatal Framers quite deeply, we all felt as if a katana slashed us to the bone. While we don’t know at this point whether or not the game will be censored in any way, shape or form; I am willing to bet that some of the more risqué outfits of the game will probably be either altered or taken out completely to be added in later as DLC if you so desire it, but I feel that’s about as far as the censorship will go; that is if the game is even censored.

Fatal Frame Wii U Coming to North America - RealGamerNewz 3

Believe it or not, Nintendo has actually let some controversial things slide in the past. Remember the game Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the N64, remade into Conker: Live and Reloaded on the X-Box? I do, and I remember that game was chock full of M-rated content. In an infamous segment of the game, you fight against a creature known as the Great Mighty Poo, and get this, there’s actually a sing-along musical complete with a bouncing ball following the lyrics so you could sing along. I won’t give too much details out about the fight itself but I will say that the song was uncensored on the N64, the curse words were not bleeped out at all. When Live and Reloaded hit the X-Box, the lyrics were censored and the curse words bleeped out.

There are other examples of Nintendo letting things like this slide even today. For instance; Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 are both completely uncensored, all the curse words, the sexual innuendos, etc. are completely intact with those two games. Even Devil’s Third, a game that was previously multiplatform but picked up by Nintendo, is also completely uncensored. I’d say at this point Nintendo won’t be taking much, if anything out of the core game at all. Nothing story related will be touched, that’s for sure.

While I always said I have a love/hate thing going on with Nintendo; with this power move Nintendo has won me back as a loyal customer and it is safe to say that everyone needs to get their hands on a Wii U. I’ve always rather enjoyed the console from the start, but with all the original software hitting the US/EU later on this year including three must-have games, two rated M for Mature no less; Nintendo truly is catering to the core at long last. The house Mario built now has one of the most diverse library of games that one simply can’t find anywhere else. I dare anyone to say “Nintendo is for kids” now, chances are they’ll get laughed out of the building.

Opinion Piece: Nintendo just doesn’t “get it”, do they?

Nintendo Procrastination RealGamerNewz Parody

Hi everyone, it’s been forever in a day since I’ve written something for any gaming website, and let me tell you it’s been quite an experience. I’ve been incredibly busy with college and for a time I was working almost full-time hours as well. That said, I’m in my second semester back at college again as of this writing and I have to say it feels damn good to be moving my life forward, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have much to say when it comes to a certain company we all love but also love to hate at the same time, I am referring to Nintendo, the genesis of all modern day gaming. You gotta love Nintendo, they’re a lightning rod for controversy and of course for scorn within the gaming community these days; but they are also known for making some of the best damn games on the face of this planet hands down!

First off, let me start with a disclaimer. I do love Nintendo; I love all the games from them that I own for their systems. Anyone who’s anyone knows I get hyped about a new Smash, Fire Emblem, Zelda, Mario, etc. My 3DS and Wii U have seen a ton of gameplay between the two and anytime I hear about them announcing new games, I’m always looking forward to finding out more about them. Also, I am well aware I don’t represent the views of everyone at RGN; or of all Nintendo fans either. So why am I writing this article?

Well, there are some things that need to be said about their business practices during the last 8 or so years. They have some serious issues that we all know about; the disaster that followed a strong launch of the Wii U in the US is just the tip of this proverbial iceberg. I sincerely believe that this goes way back to when the Wii was still flourishing, kicking ass and taking names and it starts with the lackadaisical attitude they began to have regarding localization of titles that people would’ve paid damn good money for to obtain, but couldn’t due to…well, you know, not releasing these games in the respective regions of the world.

It calls back to 2007/2008 in particular when Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse was being produced. A lot of us were genuinely excited about it, finally what became my favorite survival horror franchise was being continued and it was looking great too I might add. Localization was definitely in the works, and rumors began to spread that the game was going to hit the US/EU. Then out of the blue, it was announced that the localization for the title was being shuttered, as in cancelled. To say me and others were angry about this would be an understatement. For a brief time I actually considered selling my Wii and if it weren’t for Metroid Prime Trilogy among other titles, I would’ve done so.

An image from Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse – a title that unfortunately never saw the light of day outside Japan.

It only continued to get worse from there, games like Disaster: Day of Crisis ended up not seeing the light of day in the US, yet again rumours spread that it was because Reggie Fils-Aime; current COO of Nintendo of America declaring the game to be “crap” that led to the cancellation of the title. I’m sorry but if this is true, then this is absurd, you don’t cancel a North American release just because the COO calls a game “crap”, what’s crap to him could be gold to another person. If it were me, I would’ve released it in North America anyway.

Another Code: R for the Wii also never saw the light of day in the US even though its predecessor Trace Memory for the DS did. Yet Another Code: R saw the light of day in Europe. Anyone else noticing a trend? Because I am, and it’s going in a negative direction, pointing the finger of blame squarely at Nintendo of America and possibly NCL too, both parties are guilty as charged. It doesn’t even end there either, oh no, it gets even worse.

We almost didn’t get this amazing game, along with two other titles.

You see, this all culminated with Operation Rainfall and their awesome efforts to push Nintendo of America to release Xenoblade Chronicles in the US. It was a massive success, and the title ended up selling the best in the US, the same goes with the Last Story and Pandora’s Tower, though the remaining two games were only released in the US thanks to XSEED Games. I do not believe Nintendo of America deserves credit for them as it was XSEED that stepped up to the plate for the last two games. Without XSEED’s efforts, chances are we would’ve been denied these games as well, just like we here in North America were stupidly denied the Fatal Frame 2 remake (which Operation Zero valiantly tried to campaign for) while in a hilarious twist of irony Europe never got Kirby Dream Collection. Gee, one would think if Nintendo truly wanted our money, they’d release both games in both territories, right? Guess what? They didn’t.

Sales charts proving that Nintendo games sell the best in the US. Slightly dated but you get the picture.

Ultimately, the end of the Wii’s lifespan was a hot mess. I find it funny, and not as in funny ha ha, I mean funny as in “that’s f***ed up” that people say “Oh, Nintendo was smart for not bringing <insert title here> to North America/Europe,” for instance; and then try so hard to validate their reasons, but always they fall back on the same excuse, that being “sales”, each and every time anyone has tried to argue that point or any inane reason they could possibly justify with me, I always come back with the fact that the Fatal Frame series or just about any game Nintendo has ever released for that matter, always sold best in North America, hell, even the 3DS spinoff known as Spirit Camera sold the best in North America. Also, I am going to add something else here, Nintendo actually has partial ownership of the Fatal Frame series now. Why piss away good money on an awesome IP only to screw over those who follow the series? See what I am getting at?

Why am I writing about this per se? Well, I am doing so to show that Nintendo really is out of touch, and that the roots of their problems are deep-seated within the company’s traditional hierarchy. Many ideas have been shot down before they could even get to the planning phases, just because someone higher up has the power to veto. Yes, it’s thanks to some of those higher up that Nintendo has had the power to remain in business for over 120 years, but at the same time, this structure is a double-edged sword that could very well end up make them pull out of the console hardware market and the gaming industry almost completely.

When you have a company that is inconsistent with their releases in North America and in Europe, one that isn’t focused on delivering the best of the best to their consumers’ worldwide, well, that lightning in a bottle that you captured? Eventually it escapes and shakes the ground, causing the foundation to crumble like a house of cards. That’s exactly what has happened with the transition from the Wii to the Wii U.

Nintendo f***ed up the international release of this incredible game badly.

You see, Nintendo neglected to pay attention to what the core fans wanted in order to pander to the new casual base that they built up during the Wii’s lifespan, and instead of sending the Wii out with a bang? It died with a whimper. Had Nintendo just made sure Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, and the Fatal Frame 2 remake had all hit North America at the same time as they did in Europe, and along with that; I know I will probably catch hell for this, but also delayed the launch of the Wii U itself until everything truly was ready to go, I guarantee they would’ve been in a more prime position to gear up for the Wii U’s launch.

Instead, the problematic launch of the Wii U, along with delays of key titles (with one notoriously going multi-platform and having the Wii U version delayed so it would launch at the same time as the other versions), software droughts, missing sales targets and third parties dropping support for the console? It’s no wonder Nintendo is in the conundrum that they’re in. While they might be making bank for the first time in a few years, let’s face it, the Wii U is still selling very poorly and a system that was thought to be dead on arrival, the Xbox 1, has surpassed it in overall lifetime sales to date.

I give Nintendo credit where credit is due; their games are always top notch, also having that warmth and charm that you simply can’t find anywhere else no matter how much others try. Plus, they have stepped it up with the edginess of the games they’re picking up and publishing, games like Devil’s Third and Bayonetta 2, the latter of which has sold very well in the US and we have Xenoblade Chronicles X coming later in 2015 as well. They’ve done a lot right, but I feel they’ve definitely not done enough to smooth things over. Nah, they need to make up for their mishaps during the last generation, big time I might add. When you miss a chance to appeal to your audience, that audience ultimately turns their backs on you.

How can anyone sit there and even think that Nintendo is in an okay situation here? Yeah, they might be turning a profit, but damn, when one thinks about it, the reason the Wii U is tanking horribly is because of bad mistakes they’ve made over the last 8 or so years. I’m sure some of you will still try to justify that they were smart in giving the Fatal Frame series in particular the shaft ever since acquiring partial rights to the license. Suffice it to say though, I am a firm believer in karma, and in this case karma bit Nintendo in their proverbial backsides, has sunk their teeth in, and is not letting go. Of right now, the Wii U’s LTD is about 9.2 million, after two and a half years that is just pitiful. Especially when your competitors have been on the market for just over a year, and one of them has sold more than double that amount in that amount of time.

Let that sink in to your heads if you may. How can anyone even think that Nintendo would be smart in not localizing every title they can get their hands on? How can anyone even think to justify the excuses made to defend Nintendo as if they’ve done no wrong in giving gamers the shaft on games they would love to play? How can anyone defend horrible business practices? When you have people (and these are actual quotes) going as far as saying “maybe there is a clause in the contract that makes it disadvantageous for them to localize the series, you never know” or “Nintendo is a business, not a charity! They don’t need your money!” to which I say yes, Nintendo is a business, but they remain in business because of us. When you use ludicrous statements like the two quoted from above to try to justify your view, I hate to say it but your argument is pretty much invalid by the time you’ve reached that point.

I might love Nintendo as much as the next guy, but I’ll be damned if I am going to stand by and watch the train-wreck happening and not say anything about it. I won’t claim to speak for all gamers, or all Nintendo fans, but I do believe that there are many out there who echo my sentiments almost to a tee. Yes, Nintendo might be a business, but they remain in business because of us, the fans, as in you and me. So long as we use our voices and do not remain silent, we control the market, we control who gets our hard-earned money, end of story.

Editor’s Note: The views of J. T. Melanson may or may not reflect the views of RGN’s Audience, RGN’s Staff, or RGN’s Affiliates. Please enjoy this Opinion Piece responsibly and feel free to disagree in the comments section below, thank you. Sincerely, RealGamerNewz Team.

Operation Zero – First Trailer and title of new Fatal Frame for Wii U Revealed/Overseas Release a Possibility

Operation Zero

Tecmo-Koei and Nintendo released the debut trailer of the new Fatal Frame for the Wii U last night through niconico, Nintendo Everything did a fly-by-night translation of the conference and came across some interesting details. Seven of them in particular stood out to me.

1. The full title is Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko (or literally Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden), it hits 9/27/2014 in Japan.

2. The three elements of a Zero/Fatal Frame game: ghosts that can come from anywhere, old Japanese houses, and the camera itself are all present.

3. The concept for the game is all about water, places with lots of flowing water such as a river, waterfall, etc. will be present, it seems to have plenty of outdoor arenas.

4. You will use the GamePad to take pictures.

5. Main character’s name is Yuri Kagemi Kozukata. – She has the ability to look for people who have been taken into the ghost world and possibly bring them back to the world of the living. Kinda like a psychic medium in a way.

6. The game’s volume will be the biggest in the entire series; lots of work being put in meaning the game itself could be a long one, bigger than Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented on PS2? It’s a possibility.

7. AnJu is doing the ending theme, titled “Higanbana” the song is about the line between life and death, seems to have a positive kind of message behind it, meant to represent reuniting with loved ones, warmth, love, etc.

The debut trailer for the game itself was also released and can be seen here: Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden – Announcement Trailer

Read more about the game, and about the Japanese and Hollywood movies being worked on:  Details about the Fatal Frame presentation from NintendoEverything.

More info will be coming in the near future, and of course you bet Operation Zero will be all over it. There was a tweet done by a member that actually gave us hope that an overseas release could very much be a reality. It can be read here: https://twitter.com/makoto_shibata/status/489696336594214912

And that does it for now, as always I encourage you to come join Operation Zero on our official Facebook page just by clicking on our name. We look forward to finding out more.

Operation Zero – Official Fatal Frame movie and Facebook page live!

Operation Zero

The official Facebook page for the Japanese Fatal Frame movie (simply titled Zero-Zero thus far) for all information pertaining to this upcoming release (hitting theatres there 9/26/14) feel free to check out the official Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/zero.movieJP

The Zero Official Movie Website has also gone live as well. More details on this movie will be upcoming.

Operation Zero: First Promotional Image of Fatal Frame 5 Released

Fatal Frame 5 RealGamerNewz

Word is traveling around the ‘net thanks to 4gamer (a Japanese gaming site), NeoGAF and Beyond the Camera’s Lens, that along with promotions for the Fatal Frame movie that’s coming out in Japan 9/26/14, a promotional teaser image of Fatal Frame 5 in development for the Wii U has been released. The picture shows the four women that were featured in Fatal Frames 1 through 4 with a shadowy view of what could possibly be the new protagonist to be featured in Fatal Frame 5, it doesn’t show gameplay, but it does lead to speculation on the story like no one’s business. It looks extremely interesting, and definitely generates buzz for the game. Personally, as a huge fan of this franchise, the possibilities of where the story will go and what it will entail are beyond exciting and lend themselves to some interesting discussions. We will be keeping afoot of any news about the game and as always, we encourage you to join Operation Zero‘s Official Facebook page.

For Full Size Image Click Here

Nintendo Confirms Two Metroid Titles are in Development

Metroid

Capping off an awesome showing at this year’s E3, Nintendo’s own Shinya Takahashi confirmed via Kotaku that not one but two Metroid titles are in development. Restoring hope to fans who were worried that this series could possibly be dormant.

As quoted from the article itself:

Takahashi: So it has been a while since we released the last one and we’re having discussions internally about what we can do next. So at this point we have two different types of Metroid games. We have the Prime style of Metroid game and we have the more traditional style of Metroid game. We feel that we do need to take care of both of these styles of play. And the hope is that at some point in the near future we’ll be able to share something about them.”

Sounds quite exciting, doesn’t it? This plays into two possibilities. One is a revival of Metroid Dread (a game that was once in development for the DS) and two is also Metroid Prime 4. What system these games will appear on is anyone’s guess, and whether or not they’d be called by these respective titles is anyone’s guess.

Shigeru Miyamoto and Mr. Takahashi have confirmed they love both styles of gameplay, as again taken from the article itself:

Takahashi: I like them both. They both have a different style of appeal.

Miyamoto: I have the New Super Mario Bros. series [for 2D], so I like Prime. I think there’s still a lot of new things that could be done with the Prime series.

Now what the “near future” means is anyone’s guess, but either way, this is very promising for those of us whom have been clamoring for another game in the Metroid franchise. We will certainly be keeping an eye out for any future updates on both of these projects for sure.

Operation Zero is Seeking the Localization of the New Fatal Frame Installment on Nintendo Wii U

Fatal Frame Wii UPhoto Credit: Obaforums

Editor’s Note: Operation Zero is a push from the video games community numbering over 1,900 strong so far on Facebook alone, and is currently entering its next phase. Gamers who want to see the Fatal Frame series localized to the Nintendo Wii U console including the New Fatal Frame Installment are urged to participate in this scheduled and planned Call In / Write-In efforts but must follow the guidelines below in order to be kind to the creators involved in making the games we all love. Below is that set of rules. This post was created for the purpose of peacefully requesting the following projects be developed and to prove that demand for those projects exists:

Check out Operation Zero for the facts about Fatal Frame Wii U localization

(including the Petition)

And then use the instructions below to Request Nintendo’s Cooperation

Hi everyone, as you all know we at Operation Zero are planning our first write-in/call-in to Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe. This event is scheduled for the week of June 16 – 20, literally right after all the events of E3 are done. You’ll note that we’re doing a slightly different approach in how we go about this; there is good reason behind it. Please allow me to explain.

If we were to dedicate a deadline day to all time zones in the US, and possibly Europe too, it makes keeping track of things too much for all in the community to bear. That means we’d have to coordinate sending letters in across several different time zones and (in the case of Europe) across the world. With this new format, we don’t need to worry about this anymore. We can all take our time, do what we need to do, and get our letters out and our calls in by the last day of the aforementioned week.

With that being said, we have but a few simple rules for everyone to follow. This will apply to our current write-in/call-in campaign as well as any future campaigns we intend to do of this nature.

1. Be polite – remember, we’re not just writing for ourselves, we’re writing for all Fatal Frame fans, and as such, we need to act accordingly. That means we should try and keep ranting and cursing at a minimum both in our letters and especially when speaking to a representative on the phone.

2. Say thank you – This is important, especially if you’re talking to a representative. Remember, you’re representing not just yourselves, but our campaign group as a whole. The least we can do after talking to someone from Nintendo is to thank them for their time.

3. Be Creative – If you want to send in artwork or photos of your collection of games, feel free to do so; in fact, it is highly encouraged that you all show us your chops. There aren’t any rules on what you can or can’t submit, but make sure your artwork is tasteful and fits the Fatal Frame universe.

4. Be specific – the goal of this campaign is to endorse enthusiasm for the upcoming Fatal Frame Wii-U title. Make sure you present this goal in both your calls and in your letters, otherwise Nintendo may not get the message we’re attempting to convey.

5. Keep a positive attitude – Let’s try and put our personal feelings towards Nintendo aside during this campaign. Regardless of how dissatisfied you are with them, this is a professional campaign. Negative attitudes or approaches will reflect poorly upon not just our campaign, but the Fatal Fame fanbase as a whole. I cannot stress how important this is, as it will affect our mobility moving forward.

We at Operation Zero want you all to know that we’re very excited to start this campaign, and look forward to seeing what response Nintendo will give us. Remember – don’t be discouraged; any response is a good response, even if it’s nothing at all. This campaign is to increase our exposure, and to let Nintendo know we exist as well as our intentions. Any and all contributions are helpful, no matter how big or small. One call, one letter is all it takes to make all the difference in the world. We can only make this happen as a group—not as individuals. Let’s see to it our message gets through. As always, we encourage all of you to like Operation Zero’s Official Facebook Page.

Contact Information for Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe will be listed HERE.

ATTN Fatal Frame Fans – Operation Zero Write In / Call-In Announcement #WeWantFatalFrame

Samurai Warriors 4 Going Global On PS4 / PS3 / Vita From Tecmo Koei This Autumn

Samurai Warriors 4

The news many Koei Warriors fans have been waiting for is upon us at last. Ladies and gentlemen it has been confirmed shortly before the London Expo that Samurai Warriors 4 is coming for the PS3, PS4 and PS Vita to the US and Europe courtesy of Tecmo-Koei Games. Developed by Omega Force, the latest incarnation in the Samurai Warriors series will have many refinements including the features listed down below. Be on the look out for it when it hits this fall!

Featuring:

– 55 Playable Characters, many of them new to the series
– New Approach to Story Mode
– Tweaked Gameplay Elements
– New and Remixed Songs
– Create Your Own Warrior Returns with Enhanced Features
– On-line Co-op available for all modes

Update: Samurai Warriors 4 will be hitting US shores on October 21st. 2014 via a digital only release on PS3 & Vita, as well in physical retail form on PS4. The EU release date for the game is October 24th.