Nintendo Announces a Wii Remote Plus Controller Fit for Princesses

Nintendo Announces a Wii Remote Plus Controller Fit for Princesses

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Royal swag

The royal proclamation is as follows:

“Nintendo hereby announced a new Wii Remote Plus controller styled in the royal fashion of Princess Peach. The pink controller features many touches that pay homage to the Mushroom Kingdom’s most powerful heroine, who recently starred in the Super Mario 3D World game for the Wii U console. The new controller includes a crown design over the speaker, blue buttons that echo Peach’s royal jewelry and a golden-yellow plus pad that evokes her regal crown.

The new Peach Pink Wii Remote Plus will start appearing in stores in late April at a suggested retail price of $39.99. It joins other controllers themed to Nintendo characters, including the red Mario and green Luigi controllers. Wii Remote Plus includes Wii MotionPlus technology, and works with all Wii and Wii U games that call for Wii Remote controllers. Fans of Mario Kart 8 might want to pick up the new remote to control Peach when the game launches May 30.”

There you have it. A pink Wii Remote Plus added to collection.

Character Wii Remote Plus Controllers

I wonder if we’ll see controller themes based on other Nintendo characters. What would you like to see next? Share you thoughts below.

BurgerTime World Tour Price Drop – Get This Special before the WiiWare Game Is Removed

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MonkeyPaw Games, Inc. has announced that BurgerTime World Tour will now sell for a tastier $4.99 in the Wii Shop Channel until April 30, 2014 when it will be removed from digital store fronts due to expiring licensing agreements.

After April 30, 2014, players who have purchased the game should still be able to access their download.

“Removing a game is never something we like to do, but it is part of the nature of working with retro game franchises,” said Ryan Olsen, PR Manager for MonkeyPaw Games. “For those that have yet to snack on the game, we are offering it at a tasty price before BurgerTime World Tour is taken off the menu.”

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BurgerTime World Tour introduced new ingredients to the re-imagined franchise. It also featured platforming elements, boss characters and local plus online multiplayer to spice up the classic gaming favorite. It is worth noting that all online connections for the Wii will cease come May 20, 2014.

Sonic Boom To Use Enhanced Version of Crytek 3 Engine; Standard Engine Wouldn’t Suffice

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Usually the Wii U isn’t associated with being a graphic powerhouse, so the fact that when Sonic Boom was announced to be using the Crytek 3 engine, people took notice. What was once considered “unbelievable” on the system, the trailer for Sonic Boom looked like it could easily be on the PS4 or Xbox One, but was exclusively for Wii U. Now, new details are emerging that the standard Crytek 3 engine actually couldn’t handle Sonic Boom.

Sega of America producer Stephen Frost recently said that the Crytek 3 engine was chosen because of “association” with the engine and lush, tropical, and “beachy” things, which is the goal of the environments of Sonic Boom. Big Red Button CEO (and ex-Naughty Dog member) Bob Rafei went on to say they have a close working relationship with the Crytek team in Germany, and that the actual Crytek 3 engine didn’t have the ability to run the game in split-screen mode, so the team at Big Red Button had to enhance the engine to be able to the split-screen between the TV and the GamePad that is planned.

Sonic Boom seems to be shaping up to be a very ambitious Wii U title that I’m sure a lot of fans are looking forward to. Is Sonic Boom on your radar? Let us know the in the comments below!

Cult County Coming Back to 3DS? You Can Help!

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Cult County was originally a 3DS title that looked to be a spiritual successor to the Dementium series, which was very popular on the DS. However, a Kickstarter campaign was recently launched, and Cult County appeared to be skipping the 3DS and joining the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, Steam, and Vita.

Or has it? Jools Watsham, Co-Owner of Renegade Kid (the studio creating the game) sent out the following Tweet on April 6th:

While it may appear on the surface to just be PR work to appease any upset 3DS owners, a follow up Tweet was done today:

So it appears that there is truth and a chance for the game to return back to its original home on the 3DS. What can you do to help? Simply retweet the original Tweet sent by Jools to confirm your interest in Cult County on the 3DS!

Today’s Smash Bros. Update: Gerudo Valley, Final Destination Style

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If you couldn’t get enough of Final Destination before, Sakurai has you covered! Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS will feature Final Destination variants for a number of the stages featured in each game, such as Pyrosphere or Mario Galaxy on Smash for Wii U. Today, we get a glimpse of a another Final Destination variant, the simplified Gerudo Valley on Smash for 3DS.

“Pic of the day. This the final destination version of Gerudo Valley. No more surprise visits from Koume and Kotake, and the bridge is gone. There are no distractions and there’s nowhere to run. And the score that players in the background is “Gerudo Valley.”

When a stage is in Final Destination mode, it loses all its gimmicks, platforms, and assets outside the main platform itself. However, not even version will be the same.

You can make most stages turn into a final destination. Depending on the stage, it might be floating in midair or perched on a cliff.

Even with every stage mimicking Final Destination, they’ll each still have minor differences in their structure for a bit of diversity. I wonder how this will play into selecting stages? Which will be your favorite?

So far, it seems like there are more stages confirmed for FD mode on Wii U than 3DS, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason why each game won’t have a similar or the same amount of Final Destination variants.

JetGetters Has Been Funded but Needs to Hit Stretch Goals to See Console Versions

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After great response from first playable at PAX East

It was only eight days ago Alex Nichiporchik, co-founder and producer at TinyBuild Games gave his remarks about his troubles with his Kickstarter campaign. The issue has been quickly resolved now.

TinyBuild’s latest multiplayer shooter about hijacking jets mid-air – JetGetters – just got funded on Kickstarter. They still have four days to go to hit console stretch goals. For TinyBuild, this will be the year of jumping out of fighter jets, surfing on missiles, and doing crazy stunts mid-air.

At PAX East the team showcased the very first playable build of JetGetters. According to the developer, it was a sandbox level with split-screen co-op. No real goal to the game, just an early alpha showing the basic gameplay, the hijacking and missile surfing mechanic, and the way the game will move and feel.

“The smile on people’s faces when they realize it’s not a flight game – but a shooter – made all the hard work worth it,” Alex said. “As soon as you realize ‘A’ is to jump out of your plane, and ‘A’ when focused on an enemy jet is to hijack, that moment when you’re reeling into the enemy jet, that’s what sells the game.”

In fact, you can download the PAX East Demo on your computer right here.

  • Xbox 360 controller required
  • Windows build
  • 2 player split-screen support
  • Press start on 2nd controller to activate co-op
  • “A” to jump out of jet
  • “A” to hijack
  • “B” to fire missiles (you can surf them)
  • Right Trigger to shoot

“We launched our Kickstarter and went straight to GDC, spending the time between GDC and PAX East on investor meetings,” Alex said. “We were travelling around California, all the way down to San Diego, before making our way back to Boston via Seattle.

The reason we were looking for investors is to scale our indie publishing initiative. We could help more indie developers make their games more successful. This part of our business can scale – we already have a dozen signed third party games, but we would love to do so much more. So we were looking for investors to scale that division. While nothing concrete came out of these meetings, some of the people we met got super excited about JetGetters and it’s idea. This is why we had some big bumps in our Kickstarter. Not all investors are evil, especially game-focused ones. We all play video games, and some people can help make a huge difference.

We also got phenomenal response during PAX East from gamers. It is amazing to see how anyone from a 4 year old to a seasoned gamer can pick up JetGetters and play it.

So please, checkout the demo and let us know what you think.”

So what are their next steps? Well, today Mr. Nichiporchik is flying back to the Netherlands to do a final push for their campaign, film latest updates, and to let the post-PAX adrenaline wind down.

“It’s clear that very soon we’ll swing into full production on JetGetters,” he said. “I am super excited about the game, and very happy with it’s reception. We were able to put a smile on people’s faces with a very, very early prototype. That makes it all worth it.

Thanks for your support”

Want to see the game on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or likely in your case, Wii U? Help their Kickstarter reach it’s stretch goals.

Ubisoft Confirms E3 Press Conference Date & Time

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Last week, EA confirmed their plans for their E3 press conference this year, and now Ubisoft have followed suit. Ubisoft will hold their press event at the Orpheum Theatre between the Santa Monic 10 and the Hollywood 101 Freeways. The event will be held at 3pm (PST) on June 9th.

They have yet to confirm their line-up but it would be wise to expect updates from The Division and The Crew as well as a couple of surprises and yearly updates such as Just Dance. Ubisoft have been making noises to suggest that their Wii U support may be drying up. After Child of Light in a few weeks, the only other announced game is Watchdogs, which is currently without a confirmed release date despite other versions releasing in the next few weeks.

For the last two years Ubisoft have hired American actress, comedian and author, Aisha Tyler. It is uclear, if Tyler will appear for her third consecutive year, but I already have #girlwood at the thought.

 

Capcom Announces Construction of Two New R&D Buildings

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Capcom Co Ltd today revealed that construction has begun on two new research and development buildings which will be located close to their head office in Osaka, Japan.

Capcom have cited the appearance of “next-generation consoles with a variety of network functions”, which in turn have shifted how consumers are purchasing their software, from conventional boxed games to digitally distrubted content as the main factor behind this decision. Furthermore the “profit structure, and business model are changing at an increasing speed” as well as the popularity of social games, thanks to smart phones “enlarging the entire game market”.

Capcom believe that to succeed in this ever changing environment, they need to focus their resources on “strategic and growing areas under a policy of selection and concentration” in order to operatre in an efficient manner. The construction of these two new buildings will centralise game development saving consts, as well as improve over all software quality. Capcom hopes to hire roughly one hundred graduates a year to increase their workforce to 2,500 developers by March 2022.

The two new buildings will be host to a variety of market leading technology including the latest motion capture, sound effects are multi-purpose spaces than can hold over 100 people. Both will also incorporate the newest in seismic isolation systems for protection in the event of a major earthquake.

This Week’s European Download – NPFC, F-Zero: MV, Golden Sun & Free Mario Golf Demo

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This week’s European Download includes Nintendo Pocket Football Club, a free demo for Mario Golf: World Tour, and the Wii U Virtual Console releases of GBA games, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity & Golden Sun.

Nintendo have also revealed a new special offer for those who purchase Mario Golf: World Tour from the eShop before 29th May. Anyone who buys the game digitally, will recieve a free download code for the Gameboy Colour game, Mario Golf. This game is currently not available to be purchased regularly, but will be from the 29th of May. Those who take Nintendo up on this offer get to download the game early!

Nintendo eShop (3DS)
Nintendo Pocket Football Club (Nintendo) – €11.99/£10.79 (Special offers ends May 1, normally €14.99/£13.49)
Putty Squad (System 3 Software) – €19.99/£17.99
Tiny Games – Knights & Dragons (Reactor) – €2.99/£2.49
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (KONAMI, NES VC) – €4.99/£4.49Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl Demo (NIS America) – Free
Mario Golf: World Tour Demo (Nintendo) – Free

Special offers
Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion (Disney) – €9.99/£8.99 (Ends April 24, €19.99/£17.99)

Nintendo eShop (Wii U)

F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (Nintendo, GBA VC) – €6.99/£6.29
Golden Sun (Nintendo, GBA VC) – €6.99/£6.29
My Exotic Farm (BiP Media) – €4.99/£4.49

Special offers
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Disney) – €17.49/£14.99 (Ends April 24, €34.99/£29.99)
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (Black Forest Games) – €8.99/£7.79 (Ends April 24, €14.99/£12.99)
My Farm (BiP Media) – €4.99/£4.49 (Permanent, was €7.99/£7.19)

Nintendo DSiWare

I am in the Movie (CIRCLE Ent.) – €1.99/£1.79/200 Points

Today’s Smash Bros. Update: More on Newcomer Greninja

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Last week’s Nintendo Direct revealed not only the revamps of Sheik, Yoshi, Zero Suit Samus, and Charizard in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, but an entirely new fighter for the next Smash installments – Greninja from the recent generation of Pokemon games. Representing Pokemon X and Y, the ninja frog is the focus of today’s official Smash Bros. update.

“Pic of the day. Here’s a very, very new fighter in the upcoming Smash games, Greninja. Greninja’s sophisticated moves are extremely fun to use once you get used to how it controls!”

From the looks of the Nintendo Direct, this was already more than obvious. Greninja’s quick attacks, teleports, Substitute counter, and Pikachu-like recovery are likely enough to make it a force to be reckoned with and a lot of fun to play with. Hopefully any apparent technical barrier won’t keep new players from picking up as a character. Even his Water Shuriken projectile looks like a blast to try out!

Sakurai continued to post in the comments on Greninja’s moves.

The side special attack Shadow Sneak is a move that makes Greninja suddenly disappear and ambush opponents. If you press and hold the button, Greninja will move a greater distance. Another unique feature is you can move Greninja around freely while charging up.

Now that sounds lethal! Shadow Sneak sounds a bit like Metaknight’s down special attack, Dimensional Cape, though Greninja will be able to charge up the move and can move will doing so. Smart players will likely find ways to use this tool without looking too predictable. Charge up too long and opponents may already be ready with a reversal.

With two starter Pokemon, plus Pikachu and Lucario already announced, who else do you think will be added to the roster to represent the monster-catching franchise? Will a grass-type starter square off against the fire and water types? Will Mewtwo return to Smash once again? And where’s Jigglypuff? Sound off in the comments on today’s updates and what other Pokemon should join Smash for Wii U and 3DS!

 

Diddy Kong Confirmed for Mario Kart 8?

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It appears that the Official Nintendo Magazine (a Spanish publication) has inadvertently spoiled a Mario Kart 8 character. In a preview of their website, they posted an image promoting Mario Kart 8 which includes characters in the game on page 26 of issue 260. One of the characters spot lighted in the bottom right hand corner? Diddy Kong.

This is the first sort of confirmation for Diddy Kong being in the game, as Nintendo has yet to make that confirmation. It would make sense for Diddy Kong to be in the game, considering his karting pedigree (including his N64 and DS kart-based games). Diddy Kong joins the already strong line-up of characters to be included in Mario Kart 8.

Will you be using Diddy Kong when Mario Kart 8 releases on May 30th? Let us know in the comments, along with characters who haven’t been confirmed that you would like to see in the game as well.

Tomodachi Life: Big On Fun, Not on File Size

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The upcoming Tomodachi Life for the 3DS is one of the most interesting games in recent memory. Part The Sims, part Animal Crossing, and part Nintendo just being bizaare, Tomodachi Life is a life simulation game with the classic Nintendo touches to make it stand out from the pack.

Today it was revealed that Tomodachi Life may be a sprawling interactive world, but it won’t take up much space should you choose to purchase it from the eShop. Tomodachi Life will be 3391 blocks, which equates to about 424MB. In comparison, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is 14,284 blocks.

The small file size should attract those with limited space on their SD cards to choose a digital purchase if a retail purchase is an inconvenience. For more information on Tomodachi Life, be sure to check out our comprehensive coverage of the game and features involved in the game. Tomodachi Life will be coming to the 3DS on June 6th to both North America and Europe.

Nintendo Cuts Prices of 5 Great 3DS Games

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Nintendo games always have the ability to hold their value over time, usually do to the timeless game play involved in them. For consumers, that usually leads to Nintendo’s first party game prices staying at a debut price level.

Fear not 3DS owners, as today Nintendo announced that they are dropping the price of 5 of the best 3DS games, both as a retail price and an eShop price. The following 3DS classics are now $29.99:

  • Mario Kart 7
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 are three of the best selling titles on the system, each selling over 2.5 million in retail and digital combined. Is this price drop enough to get you to purchase some of these 3DS titles? Which ones are you going to pick up? Let us know in the comments below!

How Nintendo and LucasArts’ New IP Exclusivity Deal – as Well as the Entire Project – Fell Through

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Fear, anger, hate, and suffering got canceled

Game Informer reports in their May 2014 edition of their magazine that Austin-based developer Red Fly Studio was appointed by LucasArts to produce a dark coming-of-age experience featuring Darth Maul, the well-known Sith Lord who was introduced to us in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and featured in various Star Wars video games, forced against his will into the Sith hierarchy.

The studio envisioned a dark coming-of-age tale, showing a young Maul forced against his will into the Sith chain of command.

“We wanted people to see him as a kid kidnapped by emperor Palpatine and tortured – physically, mentally, and emotionally – becoming this powerful Sith Lord,” says a developer who worked on the project but wishes to remain anonymous. “You got angry, you got frustrated, and you made the same mistakes he did. No one has ever seen Sith training up close. No one has ever seen how to construct a Sith from kid to adult. We’ve only seen the five-second turn: Anakin Skywalker cries a little bit, and then he’s evil.”

For those who haven’t seen all six Star Wars films (shame on you), Palpatine, or Darth Sidious, assumed the role of both Chancellor and Emperor, in order to rise to power through manipulation and treachery. We never saw his evil schemes in action so this is what Game Informer reports Red Fly was looking to correct all while showing the role Maul played in them. You, the player, were to experience the digressing relationship between the two to the point of Maul raising his double-sided saber – a weapon players helped construct – against Palpatine.

“You want to fight him, and of course that’s what he wants,” recalls the developer. “Our story basically bookended at the end of The Phantom Menace with Maul’s death. We felt [this story] would be a really solid, large game, maybe two games.”

While Red Fly’s vision never made it back to LucasArts, they did get a chance to continue working with the Sith Lord in two succeeding visions – one based on the Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and another based on ideas from George Lucas, who Game Informer says “proposed a crazy idea that took everyone by surprise, and would have shattered the temporal fabric of the Star Wars universe had it seen the light of day.”

So began the rough road Red Fly’s team was taken on, where there efforts only amounted to getting the chance to influence one of the largest franchises on the planet.

Following up on the story of how Red Fly studios acquired the job to work on  Ninetendo and LucasArts new IP, we find out that prototyping of working title called “Maul” began on October 9, 2010 under the internal code-name “Damage.” Red Fly was under the impression that they’d be telling the origin story of Darth Maul and were even had LucasArts promise them that they’d help with the general direction of the fiction. Unfortunately, Lucasfilm already had plans to tell his story in the Clone Wars animated series.

“We were told Maul survived his encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace,” says a former Red Fly team member who wishes to remain nameless. “We fashioned robotic legs on Maul after being told he had them. Then we were told he had a brother named Savage Opress. He was supposedly green. Again, we were not told of the Clone Wars storyline at this time.”

It was at this time that the team learned that the negotiations between LucasArts and Nintendo to make the Darth Maul project exclusive to a Nintendo platform had collapsed – “due largely to Nintendo not meeting financial demands to make it a first-party project,” Game Informer reports. As a result, development was extended to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U.

“It was tough because we didn’t have any information,” remembers a developer. “They didn’t want to share it. They didn’t want to leak any Clone Wars stuff. We were like, ‘Good God, are we doing this or not?’”

Just about the only lead LucasArts gave Red Fly to go on for a few months was the tagline (and potential name) “Battle of the Sith Lords.”

“We were kind of fumbling around in the dark in terms of lore, so we just started making a game instead, which was kind of fun,” recalls another anonymous ex-Red Fly employee. “The initial plan was to explore making a stealth game that was action-centric. So instead of a stop-and-wait game like Thief, it was more forward stealth, like kill that person before they can actually alert someone, then disappear into the rafters. We also started developing the concept of Maul as a glass cannon. Taking our cues from Arkham Asylum, you are insanely powerful and deadly, but one or two hits will take you out.”

Months work on a prototype for the Darth Maul game was going well. Gameplay systems and art direction were all coming ashore and even Maul’s animations, specifically vaults over obstacles, were reportedly as fluid as his movie counterpart. A core team of Red Fly employees later brought their prototype to LucasArts creative director Clint Hocking and designer Kent Hudson to discuss the next steps.

“We discussed ways to make the core gameplay loop compelling,” recalled an anonymous source. “We said Darth Maul’s connection to the Force was through generating fear. The idea was to f— with the A.I., and generate fear to build up your ability to use the Force, execute stealth kills, and manipulate the environment. It was exciting, cool stuff. Later on, we learned this was probably a little bit of a misstep.”

Red Fly representatives later traveled to LucasFilm’s Big Rock Ranch to meet with key members of the Clone Wars animated team, where they gained some clarity for Darth Maul’s future, though not necessarily their game.

“We were told that after The Phantom Menace, Maul ended up in a trash compactor, went crazy, and assembled a spider body for himself out of junk,” recalls the former Red Fly staffer. “So we were going, ‘Oh God, we have to put a robotic spider body on f— ing Darth Maul! What the hell!’

Red Fly wasn’t particularly thrilled with the direction the Clone Wars’ Darth Maul story was taking and began to distance itself from it, hoping they could return to their original idea. Around the same time, LucasArts had informed Red Fly of George Lucas’s interest in bringing Darth Talon, a female Lethan Twi’lek who became a Sith Lady and served under Darth Kryat in Dark Horse Comics’ Legacy era stories, into the game. All this confusion because to frustrate the team as one Red Fly developer recalls:

“LucasArts said, ‘There is a lot of crosstalk going on, misinformation. Let’s actually sit down and have you guys talk to George.’”

In the end, talks with the creator, who as interesting in hearing their pitch, were less than successful, with a source advising the team to never say “No” to Lucas, say “Yeah, that will be easy,” mention Starkiller as anything else but “that guy,” and, most importantly, “Don’t tell George how the Force works.”

“Before they could finish their spiel, Lucas cut them off, stood up, walked over to the statues, rotated them to be facing the same direction, pushed them together, and said ‘They’re friends!’” adds the source. “He wanted these characters to be friends, and to play off of each other. He talked about the show Bum Notice as a reference point. He likened Darth Maul to Sonny from The Godfather, and he likened Darth Talon to Lauren Bacall. He actually did an impersonation of her. It was supposedly the weirdest impersonation of a ’40s actress going, ‘Don’t you know how to whistle? Put your lips together and blow.’”

What Red Fly understood was that Maul and Talon were separated by over 170 years of Star Wars fiction – like if Han Solo was buddies with Anakin Skywalker. Lucas’ solution to this was to have Talon be a descendant of Darth Maul or a clone of him.

“He wanted the kind of experience where the player could tell the game what type of story they wanted,” an ex-Red Fly employee recalled. “It wasn’t so much choose-your-own-adven-ture; it was more of a player being able to act as director, letting the game still respond and react to the player’s wishes and surprising the player with new experiences that maybe they didn’t expect. Clearly this was not the forward stealth game for Darth Maul anymore.”

The Red Fly team left the three hour meeting, dumbfounded by the new direction, and spent a few more days at LucasArts’ campus working closely with its team to determine how to get this new idea to work.

The new story would have Darth Maul and Darth Talon pitted against Darth Krayt and his Sith army.

A developer close to the story discussions remembers, “If we were going that route, the heir of Maul had to be a secret. He could be trained by the ghost of Maul himself in the ways of the Sith, and wait until it was time to ‘strike back’ at the Sith for polluting the rule of Two: One Master, One Apprentice. We wanted to go with that. It was up to Maul’s heir to return the Sith to the balance of two – and of course have Talon be focused into it. We felt this was the best [story] we could make out of the ingredients we were given. We never got to hear if Lucas liked this story or the direction we were going.”

LucasArts’ Frederic Markus believed that the game needed a sophisticated laser deflection mechanic.

“We had this Arkham mechanic with lightsabers, and he wanted us to come up with a mechanic that would allow the player to deflect incoming laser fire, which is not that difficult,” remembers a former Red Fly developer. “But at the same time, we had to direct it back, and control it while not breaking combat or using time dilation. That was quite a feat. We almost cracked it, and we came up with something that was kind of a hybrid and almost workable, but we really didn’t feel like deflection was a Maul trait. Maul is just about attack. Attack, attack, attack, attack. We had heads flying everywhere.”

Despite the great effort in developing proof of concept, LucasArts wouldn’t sign off on any of the big-ticket items that would allow development to truly get underway.

The concept art pieces obtained by Game Informer revealed a few things, such as the team’s hopes to tie in the Black Sun criminal syndicate.

Prototyping continued with the ideas from the concept art in mind, and and idea of how the studio could complete the game was in sight.

“We had the idea that Talon would be a reflection of the player character in many ways, and would respond to what the player was doing as Maul,” says a former source from the team. “We had a bunch of prototypes for different storytelling techniques whereby you could start nudging the scene toward a Talon approach or a Darth Maul approach. We had characters that could take any number of weird situational inputs and could query the world for things, and then make a response that seemed to make sense. But I think there were still people that were in love with the idea of Darth Maul using fear as his root to the Force. It started shooting out in too many different directions at once, unfortunately, and we had a lot of people – we should have trimmed that down to probably 10 or 15.”

The team was later flown to San Francisco for help with the prototypes.

“We went to LucasArts’ campus every day and prototyped with Frederic,” a developer says. “We learned a lot, did some good work, went back to Austin, but weren’t really able to execute on it.”

Finally, LucasArts thought the team was ready to make the game and even brought up the idea of acquiring the studio as a subsidiary.

In a sad turn of events, LucasArts abruptly ended communication with Red Fly.

“We didn’t hear from them for two weeks,” an ex-Red Fly employee remembers. “Two and a half weeks. No word. Nothing. And when I say no word, I mean nothing. We tried to contact them over and over and over again. We know how slow they move, and we’ve seen them do this before. We were at least hopeful. But still no word came. We did manage to get some of the guys, the internal producers that were on our project, on Skype, and they looked like they were kicked in the nuts. We knew what was going on. They just couldn’t tell us. But we didn’t know the extent of what was going on. We thought, ‘Okay, they’re not going to buy us. Fine.’ We didn’t know the game would get canceled.”

On June 24, 2011, Red Fly’s executives received an email with the subject heading “Maul Termination Letter.”

Not only was the game dead, but the studio was entering financial struggles without LucasArts’ support.

“Despite the project being canceled, LucasArts treated us very well afterwards,” says Red Fly’s Dan Borth. “While it was a struggle, they gave us the ability to continue operating.”

But the studio survived, and work on new, unannounced game projects continues today. However, that all didn’t come without having to let go 70 percent of the workforce.

As Game Informer reports, numerous ex-Red Fly staffers believe the cancellation didn’t have anything to do with their prototypes, but rather all to do with George Lucas’ decision to sell his company to Disney.

“It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” says a former Red Fly employee. “Everything needed to be put on ice.”

“A lot of good people on both sides really put their hearts into it,” Borth says. “We certainly wish things would have gone differently.”

Subscribe to Game Informer magazine to read the piece in full.

How Red Fly Studios Got the Job to Work on the Canceled New IP from Nintendo and LucasArts

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Proving it’s worth

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Before being commission by LucasArts to work on the canceled Darth Maul game, Red Fly Studio had only had three published Wii games under their belt: Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars, Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked, Ghostbusters: The Video Game (a game they also brought to PlayStation 2).

Come early early 2010, Red Fly Studios had be chosen to work on The Force Unleashed II in part because of LucasArts’ discontent with the quality of developer Krome Studios’ port of the Wii version of the initial Force Unleashed video game,  despite it selling well (Part of why I love LucasArts I’ll add).

“Not on purpose, we carved out that we were the Wii guys,” says Red Fly CEO Dan Borth as reported in the May 2014 edition of Game Informer. “They wanted [the Wii port of Force Unleashed II] to be better, but didn’t know what to do really. We built a demo in two weeks with little assistance from LucasArts. Neil Garrett, their head of external production, thought we should do it.”

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Image provided by Game Informer

LucasArts was caught off guard with how fast the 50 man development team had been moving with Force Unleashed II to the point of not being able to deliver art assets to Red Fly in a timely manner. So the project was codenamed “Swift.”

“The project moved quickly – way too fast for LucasArts to give us art assets in a timely manner,” says Borth. “So we built almost everything from scratch.”

The rest is history. Red Fly shipped the Wii version of The Force Unleashed II on time and it critically received as the best version of the game, just as the Wii version of The Force Unleashed developed by Krome Studios.

While LucasArts saw The Force Unleashed II as another failure, Red Fly’s involvement was successful enough for them to be tapped by LucasArts president Paul Meegan to work on a brand new intellectual property starring Darth Maulfrom Nintendo and LucasArts for either the Nintendo 3DS, Wii, or, at the time, the upcoming Wii U system.

“They kind of kept us on the hook,” Borth recalls. “They told us Force Unleashed III was coming, and there were some rumors we might actually get the next-gen versions to prove ourselves worthy, but they just kind of dismissed us as, ‘You are just the Wii guys. You can’t do that.’ When publishers look at you, you have to fit into their wheelhouse or you don’t get the job.”

“I got a call from Paul, and he asked me if I would be interested in making a Darth Maul game,” Borth says. “I was like ‘Yes, of course, of course.’ They signed us to a contract that was basically, ‘You guys start working on ideas, start working on demos, start working on mechanics.’ It wasn’t really a game contract; it was more like a work-for-hire, month-to-month thing. We started to flesh out our ideas and content and stuff like that. I think after about three or four months we entered into the game contract. It got intimate pretty quick.”

While Borth never went into specifics, other sources that worked on the game confirmed to GI that it was at this time that the studio had dreamed up the origin story of Maul’s transformation into a Sith Lord.

More on this story soon.

Video: Bit Boy!! Arcade 3DS Preview/Gameplay Footage

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Happy Sunday folks! Shawn Long here, and today we are talking a look at Bit Boy!! Arcade which is coming to the 3DS eShop this week, April 17th. I’m working on the review for the game, but I thought it’d be fun to show a little footage and describe what Bit Boy!! Arcade is all about. Enjoy the video, and check back this week for the full review on Bit Boy!! Arcade for the 3DS!

Shuhei Yoshida Has Been Banned From Miiverse Twice

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The President of Sony Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, has already revealed that he owns two Wii U consoles, and has commended Nintendo on their games multiple times. Unfortunately, it seems like Yoshida never considered the Terms of Service on Miiverse when using the service, which resulted in two bans.

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The first time was because I had my Twitter account in my profile and that’s against the rules,” Yoshida said. “The second time is because I wrote, ‘I love PS.’ You’re not supposed to promote a commercial product in MiiVerse, so they correctly interpreted ‘PS’ as PlayStation.

Nintendo has been known to be very proactive in enforcing the terms of service on Miiverse; both bans and deleted posts are not uncommon things.

Was Nintendo too strict in simply banning Yoshida without warning? Was this all just a move in politics, or was the whole decision justified? Make sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Watch Dogs Wii U Release Date, Smash and Tomodachi Direct – Week in Review 4/12

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It’s Saturday so you know what that means: It’s time for the Nintendo Enthusiast – Week in Review. This weeks episode covers Watch Dogs Wii U Release Date, Smash Brothers for Wii U and 3DS, Tomodachi Life, and much more! Be sure to check out the video, and if you like it, add a “like” and subscribe to our channel. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!