The FlyingFisch reaches 100,000 visits

April 25, 2011

On a quick note, The FlyingFisch broke its 100,000th visitor today on April 25th. I said that this would be the next mark to celebrate, so here we are! 

I don´t have much to say, really, since I´m just grateful to all of you who decided to read one of my articles on video games, game design and everything that somehow relates to our beloved entertainment industry.

As for fact time, other than my nostalgia trip on Pokémon, the reports about Monster Hunter Tri have been some of the most read blog entries. And another one is coming, I promise! As a little bit of a sneak preview (lol): I killed Deviljho. More than just once.

So, that is it. FlyingFisch reaching 100,000 visitors is a big feat for this blog, since it has absolutely no advertisement or constant place of attention.  However way you found this website, I hope you enjoyed reading it. As for the future, I have no intention to stop writing about games until I stop playing them. And with the 3DS I just recently got and the Wii 2 coming up, I doubt I´ll run out of topics worth debating. Of course, I won´t post a story when there just isn´t one worth it (imo), so the amount of monthly entries can vary. Better than going for filler-stuff, right?

Next party will be when we reach our 1,000,000th visitor. Could take some time 😉

Advertisements

Project Café is real

April 25, 2011

Enjoy the following message that Nintendo sent out into the interwebs today. Looking forward to potential more news at Nintendo´s investors meeting that´s also happening today in Japan (tomorrow for the rest of us). See you on the other side.


The Calm before E³ 2011 – Crazy Prediction Time

April 18, 2011

At some point of the year, E3 feels awfully far away. When it is in the coming then, it feels like it´s been just a day since the previous one. Unneeded to say that pre-E3 time has hit hard four days ago, when – we´ll get to that. E3 2011 takes place from June 7th – 9th, with conferences starting on Monday 6th. When I wrote last year that E3 2010 was shaping up to become a great one, I meant it. What I planned to write in this entrance passage of this year´s prediction article was the c0mplete opposite. By no means did I think that E3 2011 would be a bad one, but a … rather boring show. An E3 of games, rather than shocking announcements and revelations. Again, this changed about four days ago. As in the previous years, I´ll mostly focus on Nintendo stuff, since that´s what I´m most interested in, and I´m no phoney to pretend excitement for things that I´m not excited for. So let´s start with the FlyingFisch´ predictions of E3 2011!

Fanboy´s Favorite: Nintendo 


Shit – that is what would be a good single-word description of the Wii´s software lineup for 2011. There´s been nothing, and there will be more of that. Ah, well, we got Kirby and Mario Sports Mix, and we´re going to see Wii Play Motion. I guess that´s better than nothing? Not really.  Reality is, the Wii is in a comatose state, both in software- and hardware-sales, though the software-side is off dramatically worse. There´s literally not a single promising third-party title to look forward to (except for DQ10, sigh), and the only Nintendo-titles to wait for are long-overdue localizations of year-old JRPGs and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I guess that releasing those three titles could somewhat excuse the shit first half of the year, but after these three games, it´s over, nada, finito, the end. And with all due respect: I don´t see Nintendo announcing enough totally unknown high-profile games for the Wii to keep it running in 2012. That is where the happenings from the past four days come into play.

Project Café, N6 or simply: Wii 2. Ever since Game Informer published information on a Wii 2-reveal at this year´s E3, together with a bunch of other informations, a non-fact-megaton took place. More and more reputable (lol) websites started to report on anonymous sources, claiming that indeed the Wii 2 is coming. That by itself isn´t news-worthy, but nobody would have expected Nintendo to show off their new home console at E3 2011 already, much less in-depth details. However, all these reports say that Wii 2 will be “a notch” more powerful than Xbox 360, feature a 6 inch screen and better motion controls than PlayStation Move. Also, big publishers are supposed to have development kits for months and and anonymous comment made it sound as if this would be a system that´ll please all self-proclaimed hardcore-gamers. That is it. What´s notable is that none of this is reported as rumors, but a actual facts.  As for a launch-date of the Wii-successor, one source mentioned that Nintendo planned to launch these holidays, but delayed it back to Q1/Q2 2012 due to 3DS.

What can you expect of Nintendo´s E3-conference, then? You can see my mock-up of the N6 just below this blog entry. That is what I expect. Nintendo´s answer to take over all of our homes, introducing a 6 inch-tablet in addition to improved Wii-remotes. The actual system, that doubles as a docking station, streams content to the tablet. Even when you´re not fully engaged in some hardcore-game experience, where you´d use the wiimote and nunchuck, you can just grab the tablet and access all the other functions of the Wii 2, like social networking, entertainment stuff like movies, and playing smaller games that you purchased online, as well as accessing bonus-content from retail-games. Now, why a tablet, you might ask? Because that would solve one of the biggest staples of gaming: Destroying the boundary to a single place at home. Whenever someone wants to play a game, he or she has to sit down in the living room and devote time exclusively to that environment. That makes playing games a very luxurious experience for a lot of casual gamers. You´re probably familiar with “it´s just a game, leave it and come”, answered by you with an annoyed “let me just save!”. A tablet would make away with such limited occasions for gaming. Actually, there´s a great example of a single game where this matter applies to: Animal Crossing. When I bought the GameCube-version way back then, no matter how neat the game might have been, it was too boring to motivate myself to sit down in front of the TV. When the NDS-version was released, I kept playing it for hours. Because I could play next to the PC, while watching something on TV, or quickly close my DS if I had enough. The barrier of exclusive environment was shattered.

If it was a Nintendo-commercial, it´d go like that: You wake up in the morning, walk into the living room. You see the tablet, that´s sitting in the docking station,  and a light keeps blinking. You pick up the tablet and the screen turns on: You have a new message from one of your friends. You smile and walk into the kitchen, make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, sit down at the table and touch an icon on the tablet to read the message. You decide to reply, so you type something on an up-popping virtual keyboard and click “send”. You look at the time display and realize that it´s a bit early, so you start playing Cut The Rope. After a while, you remember that you could use the time you have a bit better and after a few clicks through the tablet´s menu, you start Monster Hunter 4. You cannot play the full game – you´d need wiimote and nunchuck and the TV for that – but you can access your MH4-account through the tablet and organize your items, change your current equipment, make sure that the damn cats produce more honey, and so on. Then you see that a friend has come online, and, oh, it´s one of your fellow MH4-players, so start a text-chat with him or her, and so you plan for your next game-session. It´s finally time to leave the house, so you put the tablet back into the docking station. And just before leaving the house, you grab your 3DS. Fín.

That´s it for Wii 2. Maybe Nintendo won´t show anything about their next home c0nsole and all of these reports are revealed to be fake. But let´s hope that it´s all true, because nobody can want to live through the year of 2012 with the Wii. That´s not going to happen. What´s definitely going to happen is the announcement of dozens of games for Nintendo 3DS. We already know that Super Mario Galaxy 3 will be shown off at E3. Additionally, Mario Kart and Paper Mario are sure bets. Since they won´t be out by then, Ocarina of Time 3D, Kid Icarus and Starfox 64 3D will make an appearance, too. Add Resident Evil: Revelations, and you have all the known stuff for 3DS. But what about more?

The Wii 2-hype kind of ruins this prediction, because I believe it´d be overkill, but a Smash Bros. for 3DS would make for a great announcement.  Honestly, it doesn´t matter for which system, a Smash Bros.-game would always be celebrated. Just make sure to add Ridley and Krystal as playable characters this time, Nintendo! Other than that, I want to see a new Fire Emblem-series for 3DS. I´m currently playing Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars and it is a perfect fit for a handheld. Your typical FE-story would blow that Tom Clancy-stuff out of cold water, though. I´m not doing any game-predictions for the Wii 2, since that´s a risky prediction in itself, but if it wasn´t for that rumor, a new F-Zero-game would be nice. But that´d probably be a better showcase for a new HD-system.

What I want to see from Third-Parties is the biggest support one could imagine. What this means: Give me Final Fantasy 15 exclusively for 3DS, Square Enix! Give me Monster Hunter 4 Portable exclusively for 3DS, Capcom (splitting the fanbase would be the best way to ruin the franchise, which is why I think MH-games should stick to one platform. Obviously, I´d prefer 3DS over PSP2) ! Give me Zone of the Enders 3, Konami, as well as full-fledged Pro Evolution Soccer (with online-multiplayer, sigh). Give me a high-quality Mass Effect-spin off, Electronic Arts! Give me GTA, Take Two! Give me Assassin´s Creed, Ubisoft, but not a shitty, dumbed-down version. That´s it for the big names. I hope to see a lot of new stuff, too, good new stuff.

It´s not dead, yet, but close to it. I expect to see localization announcments of Xenoblade and The Last Story for Wii. Zelda: Skyward Sword will be an early fall release or another dual-release like Twilight Princess, releasing in the holidays, both as a Wii- and a Wii 2-version. Add in the recently announced Kirby-game and you have the last breath of the Wii.

As for complete out-of-the-blue predictions, I won´t let go of a big, epic Berserk-game, that lets you control Guts and swing the sword by yourself, using a wiimote with motionplus. Other than that, I have little to predict here. Wii 2 consumes most of my imagination.

Microsoft´s effort machine


That is really just me, so don´t take it as me claiming that it is a fact for all of us, but the Xbox 360 is even more dead to me than the Wii is. There´s two games I´m looking forward to, and I might buy one of them for PC instead of my 360. The biggest title is Mass Effect 3, of course. The final part of the trilogy, showing us if (male) Shepard can defend the galaxy against the Reapers´ menace. The last DLC “Arrival” was disappointing, but latest informations about the third ME-game have been quite positive. My one and only expectation for ME3 is that it is fun to play (and re-play) and that the solution to defeating the Reapers is NOT bringing all alien races together and kill the enemy with a combined fleet. That´d be utterly unbelievable (in the negative sense). And boring. And show me Tali´s face. That´s it. That other game is Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I never played the first to Deus Ex-games, but from what I saw of this one, it looks like a game filled with options to interact with the world around you. I love non-linear challenges, so this should please me greatly. But it might be even more pleasing on my PC. We´ll see about that.

The Third Place: Sony


I´m (not) sorry, but i just don´t care.

Conclusion:

Aaand that is it. Another E3 already, eh? I know it´s crazy with all these Wii 2-rumors, even moreso since the 3DS launched early this year. But it´s too exciting, too tantalizing to buy into all of that. The 3DS is a fantastic handheld and it´s destined to see a vast amount of great games. But a new Nintendo-home console, with another crazy feature? That´s the real deal, at least during these few days of conferences and hands-ons. It´s a hard wait, but in less then 1,5 months, we will know the truth about Wii 2. Is this another Nintendo ON-situation, or is it really happening? No matter how tiny the number of games worth playing, E3 is always the most exciting time for any gamers, and I´m happy that this year´s expo is shaping up to be more interesting than I had previously thunk.


It begins …

April 14, 2011

From Game Informer

From Kotaku

From IGN

From CVG

From Blu-Ray.com

From Neowin

From Edge-Online

From Next-Gen.biz

Exciting times 🙂

Edit before bed time: I think CVG either didn´t get all the details or misinterpreted the screen-stuff. It won´t be a built-in hd screen in the Wii 2´s controller, but the Wii 2 itself will be a tablet that´ll feature an HD screen. Yes, I am further clinging onto my tablet-console-hybrid theory. And tonight I will dream of the future of video games and E3 … or some hot girl, hm …

Another Edit: Here´s a mock up I just made. Just a quick thought on the whole 6″ screen and such. Enjoy.


Wii-successor this year?

April 8, 2011

Ignoring that i myself already published an article on how the Wii´s successor had to be launched in 2011: It would make sense.

When being debated, gamers claim that Nintendo doesn´t want to divert attention away from the newly launched 3DS-handheld. So neither would there be a new home console nor would we hear about it at E3 in June. Matter of fact, though, is that the Wii is on its last breath. Europe, and most likely the USA as well, finally get to see Xenoblade and likely The Last Story, too. In combination with Zelda, that makes for an okay 2011 in the west, but is far from an objectively great lineup. Looking at Japan is inherently worse, with Pandora´s  Tower being the only interesting announcement. And Dragon Quest 10 somewhere in the far away future.

I´m giving Nintendo the benefit of doubt, aka repeating last year´s E3, aka: Announcing 2-3 totally unknown titles. But I completely doubt that they have enough stuff to keep the Wii going in 2012. The question, thus, isn´t so much, IF the Wii Too launches this or next year. It is much more: Is Nintendo willing to rot the Wii without any compelling software at all for half a year or longer?

What makes me give it one more point towards a 2011-launch of the new home console is the launch-date of the 3DS. Originally, it was supposed to be released for christmas in Japan, then delayed due to production issues. Anyway, Nintendo purposely put the new handheld on market far away from any holidays. That´s okay, because handhelds are Nintendo´s A-game, they´re sure to sell over time, and Sony´s PSP2 is far away. Christmas 2011 is “empty”, so to say. One way would be to just sit back and watch 3DS-sales rise during the holiday-season. Another way, however, would be to launch the Wii-successor shortly before christmas and give the new system an impactful, big start. That could even work as a little sabotage of Sony´s PSP2, that´s expected to launch during that time. One could surely claim that a new home console is more interesting than another handheld, even moreso if Nintendo successfully came up with another ground-breaking gimmick for the new home console.

It does sound kinda crazy to think that we might see a new Nintendo-console this year, but there´s also this apparent lack of parallel-action: Reggie himself said that there weren´t any Wii-games in Q1/2, because Nintendo wanted to make room for the 3DS. Yeah, good one. Fact is, there´s almost no future games for the Wii, the NDS is dead (in terms of big announcements) and even the 3DS hasn´t seen too many first-party-announcements. Two remakes, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, that´s it. In other words: Nintendo gives a strong impression of seemingly having lots of in-house developers with a lot of free time. That´s obviously not the case. Nintendo has to start taking action on two areas at the same time. They cannot focus on 3DS and let their home console-business fall apart. The Wii has done its part and will surely continue to sell nicely, but it has dried up for enthusiast gamers. For all that´s worth, I believe that a Wii Too in late 2011 is a real possibility.