Everything Old Is New Again!
Seeing re-releases of certain games is not an unusual thing, even when done so on the same console. The Sega Saturn saw a second release of Virtua Fighter after the initial version was horribly botched in order to make the launch of the console, and Daytona USA saw a second release for much the same reason [or even three releases if one counts the super rare netlink edition of that game]. The SNES was much the same, seeing no less than three different versions of Street Fighter II, although in the case of that game each subsequent release was a heavily revised edition of the core game, almost making them quasi sequels. Things do get a little silly when one considers the release history of Pikmin 1 however.
Much like Virtua Fighter and Daytona USA, Nintendo may have felt that the initial release of Pikmin 1 suffered because of the need to get it out within the GameCube’s 2001 launch window. That is why Nintendo re-released the game in 2004 once again for the GameCube, with some minor edits made to Pikmin 1‘s code. Fast-forward to 2009, and we see Nintendo re-releasing Pikmin 1 yet again – not merely once, but twice within the same calendar year for the Wii. That said, inexplicably North America was the one region that did not get this second Wii revision of the game until 2012, possibly because in 2009 they had not yet managed to sell all the copies they had produced during 2009’s initial re-release of Pikmin 1. It is never long between drinks where Pikmin 1 is concerned however, and August of 2013 saw the game being released yet again on Nintendo’s successor console, the Wii U. Then finally this week Shigeru Miyamoto has revealed that a sixth revision of Pikmin 1 has not only been in production, but is actually almost complete.
“It’s actually very close to completion. Pikmin teams are always working on the next one.
We can confirm that Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present.”
Oddly, despite being offhandedly loose-lipped about the game’s existence, Miyamoto was not prepared to state which platform this version of Pikmin 1 is in development for. Only time will tell whether Nintendo elects to continue the tradition of dropping two revisions of Pikmin 1 per console generation by supporting the Wii U, or whether the game is intended to be an NX launch title in late 2016. Then again, this version of Pikmin 1 may simply be being ported to the New 3DS, like Xenoblade Chronicles before it.
Final Fantasy V Is Getting a PC Release on Steam
Speaking about re-releases, Square Enix is of the opinion that the world can never get enough shitty ones, especially when they have the name Final Fantasy in the title [excluding Final Fantasy XII of course, since people actually want that one]. Thus, on the twenty-fourth of this month Final Fantasy V will be seeing its long awaited PC debut on Steam. Here are some of the amazing new features:
“Veteran character designer Kazuko Shibuya has returned to recreate the characters and graphics for an enhanced experience!
Updated controls and active-time battle system are optimized for fluid combat for PC.
This new version also includes “The Sealed Temple” from the 2006 release, as well as the Tetsuya Nomura-designed optional boss Ennui, and an extraordinary soundtrack.”
Great, so it appears that Square Enix are completely revamping the graphics from the ground up, so as to customise it for the high fidelity PC environment! Even better, the controls have been optimised for the PC, so we should have little difficulty pulling off sick headshots with mouse and keyboard controls! And then best of all is the fact that Square Enix even thought to include some old tat that Tetsuya Nomura retconned into the experience! Brilliant!!!
Of course if one wishes to maintain this high level of enthusiasm, then perhaps consider not going to Final Fantasy V‘s Steam Page. One does not wish to sound alarmist however, and should readers venture to the game’s Steam Page then one is almost 100% sure that they will not see that Square Enix’s ‘enhanced graphics’ is merely marketing speak for the same horrid flash graphics that blighted Final Fantasy V‘s iOS release, because that would be super cynical, right? And even if due to some crazy set of circumstances the graphics did happen to suffer a little in the transition to the PC, then one can still happily affirm absolute confidence that Square Enix’s ‘optimised controls’ and ‘enhanced ATB battle system’ are more than mere afterthoughts. It is certainly not the case that ‘optimising controls’ really just means figuring out how to make the game’s touch interface work with PC control schemes, and it double certainly is not the case that the iOS touch icons are still visible down the side of the battle screen, nope, this simply will not be the case! Square Enix are releasing this port to celebrate the twenty-third anniversary of Final Fantasy V and they are charging sixteen dollars for the experience, so one has the utmost confidence that Square Enix will absolutely treat their customer’s wallets with respect by delivering to them the kind of refined Final Fantasy V experience that PC gamers deserve!
Miyamoto Explains Why the Wii U Is Bereft of a Proper 3D Mario Title
Ever since the launch of the N64 every generation of Nintendo home consoles has ushered in a new interpretation of precisely how an open-world 3D platformer can function and push new boundaries in the form of their flagship Mario series – that is until now. Super Mario 64 is still arguably the best title that Nintendo has produced in this vein. Mario Sunshine took the core Mario 64 mechanics and then added a resort town overworld and the ability to gain height with Mario’s FLUDD waterpack. The Mario Galaxy games then took Mario into outer space, and explored how to do 3d platformers in a zero gravity environment. And now with the Wii U Nintendo has provided nothing even remotely close to these experiences – they have in essence retreated within themselves, and the lack of a proper 3d Mario title has been quite conspicuous in its absence.
This week Miyamoto has opened up about precisely why 3D Mario has been on such a long hiatus – it essentially boils down to 3d platformers just being too damn hard for some people, which is tough luck for the sizable audience that actually enjoys playing them.
“[A new Mario Galaxy] is always in discussion, but even with Mario 64 there was a lot of feedback about motion sickness with the 3D or maybe us making it too difficult.
Going back to our roots and making New Super Mario Bros., anyone can play that. So that’s why we went back.
We’re always thinking, is there a middle ground where people who do enjoy the 3D worlds of Galaxy and those who enjoy New Super Mario Bros. can both enjoy it? We’re always looking at those opportunities.”
Nintendo and Miyamoto both want two different audiences to buy the same game – and to a large extent they probably do. A portion of the 2d Mario audience quite clearly does not enjoy 3d Mario games, while presumably most of the 3d Mario audience are probably quite happy to purchase his 2d outings – this much is evident in terms of game sales. What Nintendo are too myopic to realise however, is that 3d Mario fans might be happy to buy 2d Mario games, but that does not necessarily mean that they are going to purchase a three-hundred dollar Nintendo console for that privilege. Then of course there are all the people who grew up on Nintendo, but drifted away from their consoles during the fifth and sixth console generations – any one of us could be prompted to buy a Nintendo console if Nintendo dropped something suitably amazing, but this generation Nintendo are not even contesting the field. 3d Mario titles do not sell as many games as 2d Mario titles, but they do sell consoles. It is frankly insane that Nintendo did not even think to have one in development for this console generation, preferring to bunch these two audiences together in the mistaken belief that it will earn them more shekels. And how has this genius strategy served Nintendo this generation, as the Wii U struggles to outsell the Sega Dreamcast? In fact one understands that the announcement of Shenmue III has resulted in an uptick in Dreamcast sales, which is more than anything that Nintendo has had to crow about for a good long while.
Ultimately Miyamoto gives little indication that he understands any of this, being that his stance on further games in the genre being created could be charitably described as noncommittal:
“On the other hand, me and [Yoshiaki] Koizumi-san, director of Galaxy, are always looking to challenge Galaxy and do another 3D action title, however we can’t make so many games at once in parallel.
But as the hardware technology gets better and advances, I think there will be a lot of opportunity for both options.”
So much about this perplexingly stupid utterance angers one on an almost elemental level. Why does Miyamoto believe that advances in hardware technology will help these two different genres of Mario games co-exist? Does the NX console feature technology that is going to do Miyamoto’s job for him? And why does Nintendo have the capacity to re-release Pikmin 1 for the sixth God damned time, yet lacks the capacity to produce 3d Mario games – which are only their fucking bread and butter?
Anime Spotlight: Himouto! Umaru-chan
Umaru Doma is the perfect girl. Kind and diligent, she is an ideal student and excels in her studies – that is publicly. In her private life Umaru is a loud and obnoxious slob, who binges on junk food, manga, anime, and video games. Teihei is Umaru’s hardworking and long suffering older brother upon whom she relies almost exclusively. Himouto! Umaru-chan is a series which derives much of its humour from Umaru’s poor treatment of Teihei, and from the stark division between her public and private personae [to the extent that Umaru is drawn in different styles depending on whether she is at home or at school].
Himouto! Umaru-chan began its run in July of this year, and as of now there are ten episodes available. The series was produced by Doga Kobo, a studio with which one is not wholly familiar, and is being simulcast by Crunchyroll for the delectation of Lusipurr.com’s perverted Otaku readers!