The relationship between Sony and Square (Enix) had been (for a time at least) one of the most mutually beneficial ever seen within the games industry, not only did it lead to some of the best Final Fantasy titles ever being released exclusively on one Sony platform or an other but even saw Sony themselves become Square Enix’s third largest shareholder for more than ten years.
Things change with time however and earlier this week so did Sony’s investor status in the Dragon Quest publisher with the sale of all Square Enix stock held by Sony to one of Japan’s leading financial security companies SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. for around ¥15.3 billion or $150 million, a deal which, for the foreseeable future at least will probably prove neither here nor there for Square Enix themselves but help in Sony’s chief executive Kaz Hirai’s campaign to reduce the corporation’s losses which are predicted to currently be around the billion mark.
“What are Nintendo planning to do with…?’ This is a question asked across forums the world over day in day out with the name in the sentence usually being either Star Fox, F-Zero or Metroid. Today we’ll be discussing Metroid and while we’re not quite sure what Nintendo is actually planning to do with Samus and Co. we do know that series creator Yoshio Sakamoto won’t have an awful lot to do with it at all. During an interview with CVG, Mr. Sakamoto, who was promoting his newest game Tomodachi Life was asked whether he would in the future continue to create titles or return to existing ones? His answer was quite clear.
“I do not intend to do so. There might currently be various tasks I might be involved in with past series. However, even if so I would always like to introduce new entertainment and new fun to those series. I would like to satisfy fans of those series, but also working with other talented individuals I would like to create entertainment that’s completely different and that brings new emotions. I would like to challenge myself in those unique directions. This might be indirect, but if we can make new types of gamers enjoy video games for the first time through Tomodachi Life, then they might eventually become interested in the more conventional games. I think we need to ensure that video games remain attractive to consumers, and in order to do so new concepts and ideas are important. I would like to challenge myself to do that.”
So there you go, the mere suggestion that Yoshio Sakamoto won’t be returning to the series he created will likely please some Metroid fans no end, namely those who hated Other M however a word of caution; without the likes of Mr. Sakamoto at least chipping in in some fashion, we risk losing the very essence of Metroid altogether and be you an Other M or Prime fan that can’t be good.
2K Games have confirmed that a spin off of the long running Civilization series is winging it’s way to PC Mac and Linux platforms later this year. Dubbed Civilization Beyond Earth, the new turn-based strategy will as the title suggests task players with the exploring, setting up and building of their own civilization on strange new alien worlds. Firaxis director of creative development Sid Meier went on to comment following Beyond Earth’s announcement that “The Civ team are excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future…” before detailing a handful of features Civilization Beyond Earth players can look forward to, each of which you’ll find below.
Civilization Beyond Earth features.
Seed the Adventure: Players will establish a cultural identity, select a leader and sponsor an expedition by assembling the spacecraft, cargo and colonists through a series of choices that directly impact starting conditions when arriving on the new alien planet.
Alien World: Exploring the benefits and dangers of a new planet filled with dangerous terrain, mystical resources and hostile lifeforms unlike those of Earth, players will build outposts, unearth ancient alien relics, tame new forms of life, develop flourishing cities and establish trade routes to create prosperity for their people.
New Technology Web: Reflecting forward progress in an uncertain future, technology advancement will occur through a series of nonlinear choices that affect the development of mankind. The tech web is organised around three broad themes, each with a distinct victory condition.
New Quest System: Quests are infused with fiction about the planet, and will help guide players through a series of side missions that will aid in the collection of resources, upgrading units, and advancing through the game.
New Orbital Layer: Players will build and deploy advanced military, economic and scientific satellites that provide strategic offensive, defensive and support capabilities from orbit.
Rising Star Games have confirmed that Yasuhiro Wada’s (father of Harvest Moon) Hometown Story will at long last be released in Europe this May 2nd. The good news doesn’t end there however as Rising Star went on to confirm that not only was Hometown Story on it’s way but given the delay Mr. Wada has had time to make a couple of improvements to the the game on the whole including, faster pacing of story development, improved shop mechanics and greater NPC’s reactions. May 2nd just can’t come soon enough.
The Last of Us has become hands down one of the most successful new IPs in recent memory so it’s of little surprise to learn that Sony plan to re-release Naughty Dog’s effort, remastered on the Playstation 4. According to Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer The Last of Us Remastered will feature a number of improvements over the PS3 original. It will in 1080p resolution, with higher resolution character models, improved shadows and lighting, upgraded textures and an aim of achieving 60fps, double that of the Playstation 3 version. Further details surrounding The Last of Us Remastered, i.e. the release date and price remain unclear but we’re unlikely to have to wait that long before teaming up with Joel and Ellie again.
Yesterday Nintendo held a Super Smash Bros’ themed Direct that revealed a number of interesting new facts surrounding the forth coming 3DS and Wii U games. All the major ones can be found below.
- Smash Bros. 3DS and Smash Bros. Wii U to be released separately with the 3DS game hitting shop shelves this summer, while Wii U owners will have to play the waiting game until this Winter.
- The roster will be identical in both the Wii U and 3DS games.
- Many stages will differ between versions.
- 3DS owners will have access to an exclusive mode dubbed Smash Run.
- Both Wii U and 3DS versions of the game will feature two online modes dubbed, “For Fun” and “For Glory”. One will record only your wins while the other records everything.
- All online matches will be played with your Nintendo Network ID.
Nintendo promised to deal with any players who play dirty or frequently disconnect.
- One new brawler was announced in the form of Pokemon X and Y’s water starter Greninja while it was confirmed that Charizard, Zero Suit Samus and Sheik will become independent characters instead of mere alternate forms.
Nintendo EAD Tokyo studio have confirmed that they are currently hard at work on a brand new Mario title. Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D Land producer Yoshiaki Koizumi however refused to be drawn on whether or not the new title was being developed for the 3DS or Wii U stating that, “That’s still a secret,” Perhaps more will be revealed towards E3.
The creator of the Fire Pro Wrestling series Masato Masuda has died aged just 48. Masato Masuda who single handedly programmed and designed the original Pro Wrestling for the Family Computer Disk System in 1986 spent much of his career refining the long running wrestling series as well as mentoring future industry greats like Goichi Suda who commented “He was 48 years old, still young. I genuinely pray for his happiness in the next world, he was one of the greatest creators of video games and he was my direct teacher. Thank you for giving us our favourite Fire Pro-wrestling. You are the god of it.”
Nintendo will be broadcasting their next Direct event this Tuesday April 8th (11pm UK time, 6pm EDT and 3pm PT) and it’s a Smash Bros. special. The Direct itself will likely reveal both the release dates of Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U as well as hopefully a new character or two, some stages and perhaps details surrounding the game’s online mode.
Rumours have been rife for awhile now that Amazon, the world famous online retailer would be making it’s own inroads into the entertainment streaming, app gaming market and today those rumours were confirmed with the unveiling of Amazon Fire TV. Much like Apple TV Amazon Fire TV will allow users to stream films, TV shows, music, games and a truck load of apps right to their televisions, and that’s about it. Amazon Fire TV is a capable little media streaming box that does a lot of things a lot of other boxes already do but with the added value the Amazon brand brings. If you’re in the market for such a thing (and your in the U.S) Amazon Fire TV will set you back $99.99 without a controller (they’re sold separately at $40 a pop) and can be bought right now this very minute.