Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What I'm Waiting For - Volume 3 [Gaming]

The last one of these did a recap before getting to the main subject. However, the first one only covered vague notions, it needed a recap to say what had and hadn't been confirmed. This time, the games from Volume 2 were those already announced, but since I gave my notions on them, I can still recap them in some way.

In Volume 2, I first mentioned Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker as a game I was waiting for. I gave a summary on it and wondered whether there would be any new modes from what we already knew. In a way, there is. A game of hide-and-seek with a pixel Toad, activated with the Toad amiibo from the Super Mario range. The pixel Toad walks into the level from the book, and it's up to the player to find it and tap it within the level. I've been playing the game on and off, and will soon have a Toad amiibo to try my hand at finding those pixel Toad's.

Second of the games I mentioned was Screamride. I wondered whether the game might have a split development between console generations, so both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions would be different. Turns out it didn't really need that, and while the game itself wasn't as free in its building as I'd have hoped, it did manage to be a good score attack type of game. The three modes offered within the game were diverse, though, and that made it great.

And now the games for Volume 3. The first is a LEGO game. Now while I haven't invested in the more recent ones, the last release that I played being City Undercover, there is just something charming about dinosaurs. I am talking of LEGO Jurassic World. I haven't seen any of the films, and we have a small amount of details about the game so far, but considering I buy the games based on my likes, the dinosaurs are the biggest draw for me. It appears we'll have twenty levels total, five for each of the films, but it looks like we might be going back to a larger hub rather than the several self-contained ones in the more recent games. Well, I hope so anyway. There are chase sequences, we can play as dinosaurs, and we can even create our own. There seems a lot this game is doing, and while the core gameplay will be similar, As for what I want - while I don't know the Jurassic Park series, I do know LEGO. As I said, the more bigger hub, rather than the self contained hubs, are something I'd like. We're going to get the classic LEGO humour in the game, as well as the usual range of collectables. What I'd want though, is for some kind of crossover. Doesn't matter if it's subtle, but I think we all got a laugh in LEGO Indiana Jones when the crystal skull turned out to be C-3PO's head. And with that, this game is number one of what I'm waiting for. And it'll tide me over until LEGO Star Wars 4 hits [whenever that gets into production].

The second game I am waiting for is one that it seems most people are, because this one shows Nintendo venturing somewhere new. Splatoon is a third person shooter that is getting all sorts of attention. Namely because it twists what we expect from a shooter. The game is a turf war type of game, and just as normal shooters use conquest as their main mode, so Splatoon uses turf war. The aim is to cover the ground in your team's colour ink, swapping between human and squid forms tactically to cover ground and... ahem, literally cover the ground. A king of the hill type mode was recently announced, making that two modes to what should be a number of them. The game itself, just like other shooters, puts its focus on online multiplayer. It has a single player campaign that is more like a platformer in respect. You're still using the core mechanics of the game, and shooting at enemies, but to traverse between points requires use of jumps and timing. And there's also an end goal. And what appear to be boss fights.

What I can see from this is good, and hopefully more modes get announced. What I want to see though, is something like a back-up plan. After all, it's always hard to get a new shooter series off the ground, and if online multiplayer is the main focus, it can backfire if sales aren't as expected or interest is lost quickly. Yes, the idea is teamwork, but that shouldn't stop the inclusion of bots to replace human characters. Of course I have faith in the game, but if I'm offline I shouldn't be restricted to just one mode. And let's be fair, it's a lot easier to manage a maximum of seven bots rather than sixty four. We can look to other shooters to get an insight into the modes we'll be playing, and try and think how they would be changed to fit Splatoon's style. I could talk for ages about this one, but I've covered the baiscs. There are a number of previews around to gain better insight into the game, and even video footage from the likes of GameXplain.

That's all for now from another What I'm Waiting For. The next one of these will come after E3, and I think it will be hard for me to resist putting in a certain Star Wars game for a second time, considering it is now getting to the point where a lot of material will be coming out for it [starting next month at Star Wars Celebration]. Either way, look forward to more content, coming soon.

What I'm Waiting For Series

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Wuhu Island Ideas [Gaming]

Since Nintendo first gave us the Mii's and Wii Sports, many ideas have circulated about expanding them. Then came Wii Sports Resort, which expanded the sports on offer and introduced us to Wuhu Island. The ideas since then cataclimised. Whether focused on one part of the island or the whole of it, there has always been an idea. Then we had Pilotwings Resort on the 3DS, which used Wuhu Island as its setting. The Wii Fit games use Wuhu as a basis for the jogging stages. Other games have kept the island alive, with two tracks in Mario Kart 7 and two stages in Super Smash Bros 4 WiiU. Of course, no full game set on the island has been announced yet, but maybe there's a reason for that.
Wii Sports came out in 2006. Nintendo recently released a reversion of it for WiiU in 2013. Wii Sports Club is different from its predecessor though, in the fact it has online multiplayer - though it hardly appears to get any use. And it is also different in the way the sports are delivered. Either a 24 hour pass for all the sports or buy them individually for quite a sum. Now Wii Sports Resort released in 2009, and while I'm not suggesting a date pattern, in a way, I also am. See, there is a massive list of games coming this year for WiiU. Splatoon, Mario Party 10, and Star Fox are just three games coming this year, and at E3 a game featuring Wuhu Island could be announced. It won't be released until 2016, roughly two and a half years after Wii Sports Club started rolling out [unless they are particularly generous], but it has to take Wii Sports Resort and do more than reversionise it.

Now then, ignore the blatantly ripped assets from other games and just focus on the cover as a singular game. This is one of the most thought of ideas, with varying forms. The idea is to put all of what came before into one game. In other words, all the sports seen in the two Sports games, jogging as in the Wii Fit games, and racing and flying from Mario Kart and Pilotwings respectively. Going one further, adding an open exploration of walking around the island. I will now run a more in depth look at this idea, as I find the idea an intertesting one that could offer a lot of content under one roof, and with latest developments in the Nintendo landscape, it gets even more better.
First off the general idea. You'd have the choice of being located at one of the two hotels or on the Queen Peach ship. It doesn't make much difference where you choose, but this would be your base of operations. Clothes, upgrades, leaderboards, and a host of other things would be located in this room. The island itself would be littered with sporting entry points. These are where you would enter the sport from. So a point near the bowling alley would allow you access to the bowling alley. Exceptions being those you wouldn't be able to reach, or those with no defined location, such as skydiving or archery. For those sports, the main island hotel serves as a reception area, with all other sports being available on the list for when you quickly want to get into a game.
Also at the hotel would be the main port of multiplayer. Now the success of multiplayer has been soured a bit by the fact hardly anyone plays it on Wii Sports Club, but the features available here would be a lot more inclusive. For a start, you would have the option of local, friendly online, country online, continent online, or global online. Many people would be allowed on one server at a time, but the island would be the hub while the sports would be self contained [so no getting run over by a kart or being attacked by a plane].
The sports themselves would also be more fleshed out and have a lot more to do. I've seen people wonder many times why flying in Pilotwings Resort's Free Flight Mode was restricted to five minutes, so I feel unrestricted flying would be preferable. Same with a kart. The ability to drive around anywhere you can reach, as well as the various challenges. For flying a plane, dogfighting. For karting, Grand Prix's and Time Trials. Except the tracks would not be the same ones from Mario Kart. No under water driving or gliding for the karts, since there are specific water and air sports already available.

One extra feature, and a lot of use I am thinking for them, would be amiibo. Instead of being character specific, they would be series specific. Once a day, you could scan in an amiibo from a series and collect items from that series. So any from the Mario series could get you a baseball bat coloured with Mario's dungarees, for example. Or an amiibo from the Sonic series could get you an Omochao skin for your plane. After you collect a certain amount of items from a series, more amiibo functionality would be unlocked. This is when the features swap from series specific to character specific. Scan a specific amiibo in on a newly unlocked amiibo selection screen and you would be able to play as that character, complete with their own stats within the various sports. So now there is the choice of continuing to play as your Mii, or use one of your amiibo. Use of the amiibo would allow for something else, though. After a certain period of using an amiibo from a specific series, the world and events would start to represent that series. So use of a Legend of Zelda series amiibo would make the trees look like those from the woods of the Kokiri Forest and the sword fighting arena that of one of the Streetpass Arenas from A Link Between Worlds. Use of a certain character over time would start giving the world an even more specific look. So buildings of the Pokemon world would start to have Pikachu billboards advertising the latest in Pikachu news, as an example. The fact is though, if you don't want the changes to happen, they can be disabled.

I'm not going to describe every little feature of the game, but you can see the general idea of what it is. There would be a lot of sports from the games that use Wuhu Island. We'd finally be able to explore Wuhu Island fully without being restricted to a vehicle or mode of transport. And because it would need it, a fully scaled and proportionate rendition of Wuhu Island.
A game of this size would have something for nearly everyone, as some new sports would be added to the mix. These would be those that have no representation. A sort of Nerf war-like sport, or even paintball. Perhaps even laser tag. Rock climbing, or parkour-like events. Football, dodgeball, and other ball-related sports.
The fact of the matter is though, a game like this would have a lot of controls to consider. There would be an easy control scheme, using just the remote or remote and nunchuck. And of course a more classic control mode using a more typical controller of Wii U Pro or Wii Classic, or even the Gamepad. Then of course, for those who like to, would be custom controls so you can choose which scheme to use on which sport. A more tailored experience.

And so we come to the near end of this general idea. I'm sure this is something like what many people ask for when they want Wuhu Island to be used more. Many fans of Resort wanted the next expansion of the series to be something more like this, and not just a reversion of the original. The Island itself has a lot of potential, as other ideas show. A Google search of "Ideas for Wuhu Island" brings some of them within the first few pages. A game like The Sims, for example, or a murder mystery game set within one of its hotels. Ideas for the island are plentyful, but one of the key ideas each of them has is that more of the Island has to be explored.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Mainline March [Network]

The second part of the tenth anniversary of Star Wars Battlefront 1 video was just recently uploaded, making it just on the fringe of the end of February. And in terms of videos this month, I don't have any planned as of yet. However, the Game Developers Conference starts tomorrow, and runs until the end of the week, and there might be something announced I could do a video on. I am, of course, talking of PC game demos or betas. If anything gets announced that gets my attention, and I can do a video on it, I will be sure to. I'll definitely get a blog post up about anything announced that I find interesting. And with the GDC, I'm also hoping another games related event happens as well. I am talking about a new Nintendo Direct, where numerous games always get shown off, and one or two surprises get enormous reaction. I don't normally cover them, but this blog has yet to see any E3 coverage on it. E3 last year got absolutely no mention by me on the blog, and that was purely due to missing any chance to post about it. E3 takes place in June, each and every year. Last year in June, the transition from Weebly to Blogger took place for CDS Blogs. This year I will be posting the same as I did in 2012 and 2013. Predictions, any conferences I watch and what I liked about them, then a roundup at the end. So of course, to get back into that, a Game Developers Conference post will get me in the spirit of things to come.
On the website itself, you'll have noticed a slight colour change to match the background of the logo. There's not a lot to the change except to keep colours more consistent, and CDS Media might be following the same change soon enough.
As for other things this month, I've got two more blogs lined up, though won't reveal what they are about yet. I've also got another little something to post about, as well. I'm not going to say anything about that, yet, but will say the clue is coming up.
I finished a digital fan art picture I was working on throughout the week, featuring a certain agency from the Sonic-verse. I am talking about The Chaotix. Hardly ever have I uploaded anything to my DeviantArt since I created an account for it last year [or maybe 2013. It's been that long] that today I made a point of uploading something to it. With Team Chaotix in the name, this picture features the three members of The Chaotix - Espio, Charmy, and Vector - in what I picture as a snowstorm. Charmy, being the more playful, has a tea tray and has been sliding down a hill. The other two aren't happy with him. That's my interpretation of it. See what you think.
I'll be sure to keep you updated on all those secret posts, and other things, when they happen. But for now, that's it for another post.