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World of Warcraft to honour Robin Williams

- August 13th, 2014
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AFP PHOTO / FILES / Frederic J. BROWN

Blizzard Activision has announced it will honour late comedian Robin Williams in World of Warcraft.

The news comes after a Change.org petition calling on Blizzard to make Williams into a non-playable character in the game garnered 10,975 signatures.

Because of his presence within our community, we the players of World of Warcraft are asking Blizzard to kindly create an NPC within the game that memorializes the actor/comedian. Many have expressed a wish to this character perform some of Williams best jokes within the Worlds End Tavern, so that he may continue making us smile long after his passing.

Williams was an avid gamer. He often spoke in interviews about his love of video games, including WoW and was rumoured to be a WoW player. His daughter Zelda is named for the beloved Nintendo series, and the pair have even appeared together in ads for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

Another petition asking Nintendo to name a character in the next Zelda game after Williams has amassed more than 33,800 signatures by Wednesday afternoon. Nintendo has not yet responded.

Williams was found dead from an apparent suicide on Monday. He was 63.

h/t Canada.com

 

 

 

 

Tomodachi Life’s lack of gay marriage sends ‘hurtful message,’ says GLAAD

- May 8th, 2014

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[Update, May 9: Nintendo has issued an apology and promised that any possible sequel will "strive to design a game-play experience from the ground up that is more inclusive, and better represents all players."]

Nintendo has come under fire for excluding gay characters and same-sex marriage from its upcoming 3DS life simulator Tomodachi Life.

A Sims-like game with little Mii characters, Tomodachi Life players can fall in love, get married and have kids — but only in the “traditional” sense.

That’s prompted the gaymer community to call on Nintendo to support “Miiquality.”

But while Nintendo claims it meant no offence, it isn’t backing down from its straight-Miis-only policy.

“The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation,” a spokesperson for Nintendo said in a statement. “We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary.”

American LBGT rights group GLAAD hit back in an interview with Venture Beat.

“In purposefully limiting players’ relationship options, Nintendo is not only sending a hurtful message to many of its fans and consumers by excluding them, but also setting itself way behind the times,” GLAAD national spokesperson Wilson Cruz told GamesBeat. “It’s been over a decade since The Sims — the original ‘whimsical and quirky’ life simulator — allowed its users to marry any character they wanted, and many other mainstream and massively popular video games have followed their lead since. Nintendo should do the same.”

h/t Polygon

‘Super Smash Bros.’: All you need to know

- April 9th, 2014

Nintendo promised they would have some big announcements regarding their fighting game franchise at Tuesday’s Direct Conference, and did they ever deliver.

The newest installments of Super Smash Bros., the company’s longest running and most beloved fighting game, will be released on the 3DS this summer, with the Wii U version being released closer to the holiday shopping period.

Host of the Smash Bros. direct and series creator Masahiro Sakurai also put to bed rumors that the 3DS version would be of lesser quality because of its platform. Instead, he announced, the main fighters would move at 60 frames per second (FPS), while assist characters would move at 30 FPS. The game, he added, would be available in full stereoscopic 3D, fully using the handheld device’s capability.

The only difference, Sakurai confirmed, would be the stages players can fight on. While some stages will be shared, like the average battle arena stage, they will look completely different depending on what Nintendo platform players choose.

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Sakurai put aside fears, however, that certain players, items, and specialty moves would only be available on one platform.

He assured the extremely large roster of first and secondary characters would be available on the 3DS and the Wii U, as well as the items players can grab mid-battle to fight with.

And what a roster it is this time around.

It’s been six years since the last Smash Bros. installment, Brawl, was released to appease “Smashers” requests. In that time, Nintendo has developed a hoard of brand spanking new characters that have all been added to the lineup.

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Shiek, Princess Zelda’s secret identity in the incredibly beloved Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Yoshi, and Zero Suit Samus from Metroid were the first round of unannounced characters to get their fair share of the spotlight during the conference.

It wasn’t until Sakurai bid his farewells and ended the hour and half long presentation, however, that the two massive character announcements were made.

Charizard, one of the most popular Pokemon from the first generation games, and Greninja, one of the more poplar characters introduced in the last generation of Pokemon, X and Y, have also been confirmed as playable fighters.

To go along with the increase in roster size, Sakurai introduced some of the new items Smashers would be able to use in battle.

Motion censor bombs, fire swords, ore swords, and back shields were just some of the new items on a list of many Sakurai revealed during the presentation.

Although Sakurai didn’t specifically mention the old generation items, Nintendo has never removed them from play before, and it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they’ll be in the upcoming titles.

The last announcement Nintendo had for fans was the inclusion of new gameplay options, branching out from the stagnant fighting arena formula they’ve relied on for so long.

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The two different modes -For Fun and For Glory- are only available to play online, and showcase the first time Nintendo has ever considered the game as a competitive title.

In the “For Fun” mode, players can fight with strangers of varying skill level and not have to worry about their losses directly affecting their online player scorecard.

In the “For Glory” mode, players will be teamed up with others of the same ranking and fight either in groups of four, or in one-on-one battles, that will directly affect their scorecard. The higher a player’s scorecard is, the faster and stronger their character becomes, giving them an overall advantage in the arena.

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Wii U arena example.

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3DS arena example.

To make sure the game stays fun, though, Sakurai confirmed Nintendo would be cracking down on cheating players and in doing so, will be implementing a temporary ban system.

Although there’s no concrete release date for either the 3DS or Wii U versions, my guess is that we can expect to see the 3DS title drop sometime in June, with the Wii U title dropping in late October, just in time for the holiday retail season.

Rainbow Road inclusion in ‘Mario Kart 8′ sends internet into frenzy

- April 5th, 2014

Something about the new Mario Kart game looks very familiar, and it’s got the internet all riled up.

That’s putting it lightly, too.

When Nintendo dropped the latest trailer for Mario Kart 8, the newest installment in the company’s popular racing game franchise, the nostalgia hunting twenty and thirty somethings couldn’t contain their excitement at the sight of classic Mario Kart N64 tracks.

Everything from Toad’s Turnpike to the infamous Rainbow Road have been completely revamped for the Wii U, and they are without question, stunning.

The added retro levels, just a part of the 32 level package, have been paired with recently introduced items, like the ability to parachute over enemies and barrel through opponents with Piranha Plants attached to the hood of the vehicles, in an attempt to blend the old with the new.

Which, if we’re honest, has always been a bit of an issue for Nintendo. Trying to find the perfect balance of new content while pandering to the traditional fans has been a rather complicated, unforeseen algorithm Nintendo may have just solved.

Gaming aficionados, floored by the design visuals, instantly began tweeting their joy, excited with the new direction Nintendo was headed in after months upon months of dismal announcements and strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your thoughts on the newest Mario racing title? A last hope gimmick to bring back old fans, or a stoke of marketing genius?