Inti Creates  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Inti Creates  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Is Now the Time to Be Getting Hyped for Red Dead Redemption 2? https://www.gameskinny.com/d8trm/is-now-the-time-to-be-getting-hyped-for-red-dead-redemption-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/d8trm/is-now-the-time-to-be-getting-hyped-for-red-dead-redemption-2 Wed, 19 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

As we all have heard by now, Red Dead Redemption 2 has been announced by Rockstar Games. I classify Red Dead Redemption as one of the absolute best games to come out on the Xbox 360/PS3, and the best game that Rockstar has put out to date. I've spent countless hours in that game and in the Undead Nightmare DLC that they brought out for it. Knowing this, one would think that I would be ecstatic for this new game, right. Sadly, I can't say that I am. 

Now, I would be lying if I was saying that I have no excitement for a new Red Dead game. There is a small bit of excitement I have, but in the recent months, there have been plenty of places to be burned after being hyped. Let's look at a few of the games that have come out recently that were highly anticipated but came out in states that no one wanted them to be in.

Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Batman Arkham Knight

I think it's safe to say that Batman: Arkham Knight was one of the most anticipated games to come out last year. With Rocksteady returning to the helm after taking a break from the series, there was plenty to be excited for. But, after bugs that seemed to be rampant through the game, a PC port that is still broken with no official intent to be fixed, and a game that, when it did work, as a whole was just okay (in my opinion), Batman: Arkham Knight felt like it was to be the poster child for reasons to not buy into the hype machine of games marketing.

As someone who is a giant Batman fan, I felt extremely burned by this game. I had played Arkham Asylum and Arkham City numerous times and absolutely adored them. Arkham City is hands down my favorite Batman game ever made. When Arkham Knight came around, I was so hyped. I couldn't wait to see how Rocksteady was going to end an amazing series that I had no problem supporting. I even had a copy of the game that didn't have a serious bug problem and I still felt let down by that game (the Batmobile was the worst thing to happen to that game). I still have not finished the story of the game and have no desire to do so. My copy of the game now lives in the floorboard of my car because when I went to trade it in at my local game shop, I was told that they had so many copies already that they couldn't accept any more.

No Man's Sky (Hello Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

No Man's Sky

By now, everyone and their mother knows about the issues with No Man's Sky (heck, I've even written about it), but if we're talking about games that exemplify the problems with overhyping a game, it would be foolish not to mention it.

No Man's Sky is easily the most hyped game I have seen in my life. The hype around it made news on numerous occasions (remember the death threats?). If there was ever a game to point to about reserving your excitement, No Man's Sky is the perfect example.

The promises made about that game were huge and honestly unattainable especially for an indie studio who had only made Joe Danger, but the marketing around that game, the interviews with Sean Murray leading up to the game and the evangelists that came from the gaming community built that game up to basically be the second coming of Christ. When the game came out though, we all learned what mistakes the community had made by putting all their eggs in one basket.

Mighty No. 9 (Comcept/Inti Creates)

Mighty No. 9

Oh Mighty No. 9, where do I start with you? Mighty No. 9 was a game that got funded through Kickstarter after original creator for Mega Man proposed a spiritual successor to the Mega Man series. Promising a game that would feel like the Mega Man games of old, people flocked to throw their money at the Kickstarter. The game was funded in only 2 days. Originally slated for release in April of 2015, the game was delayed on numerous occasions and finally released in June of 2016. The game people received, however, was not what they were expecting. The game had many bugs and other technical issues that seemed to clog the gameplay making for a pretty mediocre experience.

This game is interesting to talk about here, because recently we've seen a fair few spiritual successors to games that are classics. Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night are two other games that have been funded on Kickstarter that are pretty hyped at the moment. The difference between those games and Mighty No. 9, is that Yooka-Laylee and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night seem like they are being handled in a way that will live up to the expectations they have set for themselves. Mighty No. 9 falls short because it seems to have been clearly mismanaged. On top of that, people rightly expected a working game and didn't get that. The game is littered with many different issues, from level design to graphical issues. This game shows to not only to reserve your hype, but to also be wary when putting your money behind a game that is being crowd funded.

These are only 3 games out of a growing list that have not lived up to their expectations. Spore, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Fable III, Duke Nukem Forever are other games could easily be talked about here. As gamers, we have to be vigilant about what we spend our hard earned cash on. We can't continue to forget about games that didn't live up to the huge expectations that we give them. If we continue to forget how we've been burned, this industry won't learn from its mistakes and continue to take advantage of us.

While I'm not saying, "you shouldn't trust Rockstar." Of the big game developers today, Rockstar can easily be one of the most trusted. Their games are almost always hits, and usually release without a lot of massive issues (GTA IV and San Andreas PC versions excluded). I'm just saying that as we have over a year until Red Dead Redemption 2 is supposed to be released. I think it's safer to reserve my excitement, for now.

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Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is Out Today! https://www.gameskinny.com/f5mjr/azure-striker-gunvolt-2-is-out-today https://www.gameskinny.com/f5mjr/azure-striker-gunvolt-2-is-out-today Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:24:55 -0400 Brawler1993

Back in 2014, a little 3DS title called Azure Striker Gunvolt was released and, despite being download-only, became an almost-instant success, selling over 160,000 units worldwide and receiving critical acclaim across the board. Naturally, developer Inti Creates have been working on a sequel, which was released in Japan last month but is now available to download today.

Shortly after the events of the previous game, main character Gunvolt finds himself forced into action once more when a new threat called Eden, an organisation comprised of powerful 'adepts' (people with superhuman powers), appears. Gunvolt must team up with his old rival Copen to fight and thwart the machinations of this new group.

Gameplay will handle exactly as the previous game. Gunvolt must jump and dash through levels whilst shooting down any enemies that cross him, in a similar style to the Mega Man Zero series (also developed by Inti Creates). What makes Gunvolt unique is his special bullets that can "tag" enemies, which grant homing properties to his electric fields.

The game will also allow players to take control of the aforementioned Copen, who features a different control scheme that involves using a dash attack to lock onto enemies. He also posses the ability to use powers from defeated bosses (again, similar to Mega Man).

It's available to download from the 3DS eShop in both North America and Europe but a physical release is also available; the latter is part of the Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack, which will come with the first game as well. However, it won't be released until October 4th.

There's currently no word on whether the physical release will be released in Europe.

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The Interesting and Rocky History of the Shantae Series https://www.gameskinny.com/mtbui/the-interesting-and-rocky-history-of-the-shantae-series https://www.gameskinny.com/mtbui/the-interesting-and-rocky-history-of-the-shantae-series Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:10:19 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

Some game series have success right out of the gate. Some series have a slow start as they emerge from humble beginnings. Then there are series like Shantae, where almost every game is funded out of the pocket of the developers, and nearly three console generations and 10 years of time separate the first and second installments.

Today we talk about the Shantae series; A series of platformer video games with a truly admirable tale of dedication attached to its creation and its duration in the tossing tides of the video game industry.

Let's start at the beginning, a very good place to start.

Shantae was the first original IP by developer WayForward Technologies, and it was co-created by now-married couple Erin Bell and Matt Bozon. The story goes that Bozon was conversing with Bell about what sort of character she'd like to make if she were to design a video game character. Some time soon after, Matt discovered Erin drawing up concept sketches of the heroine.

Matt began asking about what Shantae's abilities would be, as well as her personality and the world she lived in -- After some discussion between the couple over character and world details the purple-haired warrior maiden was born.

The design of both Shantae and her world were influenced by inspirations of both Bozon and Bell.

Shantae's name and long hair came from Erin's personal experience. She had been working as a camp counselor up until that point, and one of the campers she had worked with had been named Shantae, a name Bell grew fond of. It has also been stated by Matt that Erin had very long hair at the time, which would often whack him in the face whenever she turned around, which is where Shantae got her signature look and signature attack of whipping her hair. Erin was also inspired by the television show I Dream of Jeannie.

Matt's influences came in the shape of outside sources that inspired the gameplay style and feel of Shantae's world. The gameplay was heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, and Mega Man, as can be seen in the Metroidvania structure as well as her range of abilities.

Matt's ideas for the art style and aesthetic was inspired by cartoons like Ducktales and Transformers (properties WayForward would actually go on to make games for later on). Further inspiration came from anime like Ranma 1/2 and the works of Hayao Miyazaki.  

Matt Bozon is quick to clarify that he did not create Shantae, but rather his wife did. While he created the world around her and fleshed out characters. Both the Bozons were integral in the creation of the series and Erin Bell (now Erin Bozon) is Shantae's creator.

The development of the first Shantae began in 1997, and was originally conceived as a 2D platformer with animated characters moving along 3D backgrounds, made for release on PC, and perhaps the original PlayStation -- This version was scrapped early on, and development focus shifted to the Game Boy Color from then on, based on a decision by WayForward founder and "tyrannical overlord" Voldi Way.   

An early and unpolished screenshot of the abandoned attempt of Shantae on the PlayStation/PC.  

Although Shantae began development in 1997, it would not see a proper release until 2002, nearly an entire year after the new Game Boy Advance had been on the market.

This is where it gets messy.

The development and publishing process of the original Shantae is a ludicrous, though thankfully well-documented disaster. Through a number of different interviews with Matt Bozon, it has been made clear how many difficulties both he and WayForward faced in getting the game made.

During development, the team's computers had to have buckets of ice put inside them at times to stop them from overheating in the California heat. Matt Bozon has even reported that the Game Boy Color Development Kit he had to work with was Japanese -- Meaning he had to make his own personal cheat sheet to remember what button did what function.

But despite all these hardships Shantae was eventually finished and ready for the world to see... but not quite yet. This was when WayForward ran into their next big hurdle; finding Shantae a publisher.

In order to run properly as well as save progress, Shantae required each cartridge to be built with a 32 megabit battery, which was expensive to produce and turned a lot of publishers off. On top of this, most publishers saw launching a game with a new intellectual property as an additional risk. Luckily, this response didn't stop the team from trying to get the game published, and their perseverance paid off when they finally acquired a publisher in the form of Capcom.

Unfortunately, the game's final step in publication also came with problems. For reasons that have never been fully explained, even though Capcom was the only publisher who would pick up Shantae -- the company held the completed version of the game in storage for 8 months before releasing it.

The game would have still released late for the Game Boy Color if it had been released right away, but due to the 8 month delay, Shantae released nearly an entire year after the then-new Game Boy Advance had been out, which ultimately lead to it under-performing in sales.

So on June 2nd, 2002 Shantae on the Game Boy Color finally saw the light of day... exclusively in North America where it sold only around 25,000 copies with no second print produced (...ouch). 

Front and back cover of the original Shantae on the Game Boy Color.       

The quest for sequels!

While the first Shantae sold pretty poorly, it was received very positively by critics, and Matt Bozon and the rest of WayForward weren't discouraged enough to stop trying. Shantae would resurface years later with the announcement of a sequel to the original game dubbed Shantae Advance (also known as Shantae 2: Risky Revolution) meant for release on the Game Boy Advance.

The game was supposedly meant to feature a number of features. There was six new towns to visit, four new labyrinths to explore based on the four seasons, various minigames, new transformations, swimming, flying, the ability to jump between the background and foreground.

The plot also revolved around Risky Boots sticking a giant pillar in the middle of Sequin Land in order to completely rotate it at will. Unfortunately, WayForward once again had difficulties finding a publisher, and Capcom wasn't there to bail them out this time -- so the game was ultimately cancelled.

Early screenshot of what would have been Shantae Advance. Image credit to IGN.com.

(For those interested in seeing what exists of the game, click here to see an archive of a live stream WayForward had of the game's most finished build.)

Some time after that there was also supposedly a short-lived plan for a DS Shantae game titled Shantae: Risky Waters. The game had a basic design document laid out, but after once again failing to find a publisher, the game was cancelled just like Shantae Advance

Just when it seemed like Shantae as a series might just disappear, in 2010, WayForward pulled it out of their hat by finally releasing a sequel to the first game titled Shantae: Risky's Revenge, release for DSiWare.

 Title screen for the Director's Cut improved version of Risky's Revenge that released on PC a few years later.

Risky's Revenge, much like the first Shantae, had a few hiccups during development, but not nearly as much. Several ideas from the cancelled Shantae Advance made it into the final game, including swimming and jumping between background and foreground feature and some plot points, although it is hard to say how much.

The biggest change that occurred in development was that the game was originally meant to be a three part episodic series available for download. The final game was a single stand alone release, possibly due to budget or time constraints. Despite all this, Risky's Revenge did very well critically just like the first game, and is often cited as the best DSiWare game available. 

By this time, due to the growing power of the internet and it now being a series, the brand awareness of Shantae began to grow much larger than it had been. While DSiWare titles weren't know to sell well, Risky's Revenge did better than most, and gained an added boost by being available on the 3DS eShop early in it's life.

As a result of their newfound success, WayForward didn't need to gather their resources for nearly 9 years to make a sequel, and managed to make another in only half the time.

Pirate's Curse brings the series some well-deserved booty.

By this time, WayForward had finally become a recognizable name in the industry, after gaining praise and attention for their far-above average licensed games like DuckTales: Remastered, their Adventure Time games, and Aliens: Infestation. Not to mention their growing catalog of acclaimed original title like Mighty Switch Force 1 & 2, Double Dragon Neon, and their remake of A Boy and His Blob. 

WayForward had a resume, they had a reputation, and they had money. They had all the things needed to make a brand new Shantae game that wasn't nearly restricted as the ones prior and that's exactly what they did.

In 2014, WayForward released the third, and newest installment in the series Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. The game was initially announced in November of 2012, in one of the most stylish ways possible, by taking up the cover of the penultimate issue of famed gaming magazine Nintendo Power.

Now THAT is prime advertising space.

 

The game was first released for download on the 3DS in North America, where it enjoyed an even better commercial and critical response than Risky's Revenge. Over time it went on to be a best seller on the system.

Fast forward two years and Pirate's Curse is available nearly everywhere and not just in places other than Northern America, but on nearly every system available. WayForward has ported the game to Wii U, XBox One, Playstation 4, Steam, GOG.com, and even the Amazon Fire TV at this point -- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse slowly became the best kind of success WayForward could have hoped for: A widespread success. 

 

Shantae's story still continues on...

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 during Pirate's Curse's development, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is currently in development, and is planned for release on September 27 of this year.

The game is the first in the series to be built from the ground up for consoles, and will feature fully hand-drawn animations.  The game will have new transformations for the heroine and thanks to it's campaign reaching it's $900,000 stretch goal, it'll include four additional characters with their own playable campaigns as well.

(on a side note: of all the things that show how far Shantae as a series has come, the original trailer for half-Genie Hero's Kickstarter does it the best.)

Shantae is officially a series now, and it seems to be growing bigger and more beloved faster than it ever has before. Technology has only improved these games, as has better funding for WayForward, but what really kept this series alive and improving was heart. From the imaginative developers and dedicated fans, Shantae has been kept alive by love for a character and her world -- It's truly inspiring to see such a success story come from a battle of attrition fought by people who used to be nobodies in the industry. 

Whatever plans that Matt Bozon and the rest of WayForward Technologies have for Shantae following Half-Genie Hero are unclear as of now, but as long as the fans are there, they'll all be Ret-2-Go!

 She's come a long way.

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Why Mighty No.9 failed to succeed Mega Man https://www.gameskinny.com/2dcag/why-mighty-no9-failed-to-succeed-mega-man https://www.gameskinny.com/2dcag/why-mighty-no9-failed-to-succeed-mega-man Tue, 12 Jul 2016 08:08:41 -0400 CalendarV

Mega Man, originally known as Rockman in Japan, is a video game series developed by Capcom. Except for a few series such as Mega Man Battle Network or Mega Man Star Force, Mega Man games are basically run-and-gun platformers. The series has been loved by many gamers, having about 31 million sales as of March 2016.

However, the series is practically not being developed any more. The most recent Mega Man was Mega Man Legacy Collection, which is not a new game. It was just a collection of first six Mega Man titles. Fans of the series wanted more games like Mega Man. Understanding their wishes, Keiji Inafune, a director who contributed a lot to the Mega Man series but eventually left Capcom, announced Mighty No. 9 --  a game that closely resembles Mega Man.

There hasn’t been any official announcement that directly relates Mighty No. 9 to Mega Man, but many features of Mighty No. 9 caused people to accept it as the spiritual successor of Mega Man. However, after waiting several years to come out, Mighty No. 9 wasn’t good enough to become the successor of the beloved Mega Man. And here's why.

Mega Man did not have anachronistic graphics.

From the start to the recent Mega Man games, the graphics weren’t bad. Yes, the original Mega Man was released in 1987 for NES, and pixels were visible in its sprites. However, such graphics weren't outdated. Titles such as Mega Man 6 actually had high quality graphics, showing the best it could do with NES. Mega Man X4 is also an example of Mega Man with good graphics.

But the graphics of Mighty No. 9 were simply bad -- so bad they became infamous, and the official Twitter account for Sonic the Hedgehog mocked Mighty No. 9’s graphics. 

 Also, the revealed game’s graphics were clearly different from the concept arts that were released before. Mighty No. 9’s graphics were not only bad, but also just outright wrong. Left is the concept art and right is the graphic from trailer.

It has similar structure, but different gameplay.

In Mighty No. 9, you use dash and jump to avoid obstacles, and shoot the enemies with the weapon until you reach the end of the stage, where a boss appears. After beating the boss of the stage, you absorb the boss’ ability. This system highly resembles Mega Man.

Something unique to Mighty No. 9 is its dash system. In many other games, dash is used to pass through some obstacles that cannot be passed without dash, or used to spend less time to move; however, in Mighty No. 9, dash is part of its attack system. You can stun enemies by hitting them several times, and you have to finish the stunned enemies by dashing, which will give you some resources. The amount of resources you earn depends on how quickly you dashed into the enemy after stunning it. By earning resources, the character gets buff for parameters such as damage, speed, or HP for a short time. Therefore, if you move and kill enemies in a fast pace, you will beat the stage with several buffs on your character during most of the playtime.

This new system would work out greatly with smart, well-structured stage design, which was one of Mega Man’s strengths. Unlike Mega Man, however, Mighty No. 9’s stage design is generally dull. The concepts for some stages aren’t so distinct from each other, and stage gimmicks aren’t introduced fluently. The concept of a gimmick should be introduced by a simple puzzle, and it should get complicated about the time when the player starts to get the hang of it. However, the gimmicks in Mighty No. 9 are used unexpectedly, which causes its difficulty to rise in unenjoyable way. By playing Mighty No. 9’s stages, the players will not experience the fantastic level design that they got from playing Mega Man.

If it is not compared to Mega Man, Mighty No. 9 is somewhat enjoyable side-scroller game.

It isn’t that expensive, and it has new systems that weren't in other games. However, comparing Mighty No. 9 with the Mega Man series is inevitable. Many people funded to the development of Mighty No. 9 because they wanted the successor of Mega Man. It could not have shown its face out to the world without relying on Mega Man.

However, it failed in succeeding Mega Man properly because of its its bad graphics and inadequate gameplay. So, unfortunately, Mega Man fans should say bye to Mega Man and let him go, or have their last hope with Capcom, since Mighty No. 9 was not good enough to be the spiritual successor we've all wanted. 

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Why I am looking forward to Mighty No 9 on Vita https://www.gameskinny.com/iwmk0/why-i-am-looking-forward-to-mighty-no-9-on-vita https://www.gameskinny.com/iwmk0/why-i-am-looking-forward-to-mighty-no-9-on-vita Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:41:45 -0400 TheSmartestMoron

To say I’m disappointed with the way Mighty No 9 has turned out is a gigantic understatement. Originally, I was going to go with a Xbox 360 or Wii U version. Instead, I opted for the Vita version. Why? Honestly, I didn’t know at first, but something in my gut warned me about the other two versions. Considering how the Wii U was suffering from bugs, and the Xbox 360 version has now been delayed on release day, I seemed to dodge a bullet. Well, one of the bullets from the hailstorm of artillery raining down on everyone, as the handheld versions have been delayed.

I was patient with all the delays, not even batting an eye. After all, I was confident there would be major improvements to make the game run better. Not to mention I was already looking forward to other Kickstarted games more than Mighty No 9, like Cosmic Star Heroine, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Indivisible. Plus I have a gigantic library of games to complete and review for my YouTube channel. Others complained about the delays, but I thought we just needed to be patient.

Another thing I should mention is that I am not that big of Mega Man games. This is partly due to my lack of skill, but it doesn’t mean I hate the series. My favorite incarnations of the blue-bomber were Battle Network, Legends, and X series. I funded Mighty No 9 out of spite against Capcom. Remember, around the time the Kickstarter for MN9 emerged, Capcom was not doing much of anything with Mega Man, and had made a reboot of Devil May Cry that to this day makes me cringe. I was also warned against supporting this too, as Inafune was the one to actually kinda set Capcom on this path of westernizing some of its games, which resulted in stuff like Bionic Commando (which had the hero’s wife be his robotic arm), and the reboot of DMC. I was willing to give MN9 a chance though, as it seemed like Inafune learned from the experience at Capcom, while Capcom was being sent into a spiral of mediocrity, damn near destroying series I loved.

Then Inafune announced Red Ash, and doubts began to surface.

It was set to be a Mega Man Legends clone, but the thing is, MN9 wasn’t finished yet. Inafune was asking for lightning to strike twice. What he didn’t count was a typhoon to slam the idea into the ground. Even after getting help from a Chinese company, Fuze, he still had the Kickstarter up to promote DLC for the game. They should have started with this idea when Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled. The amount of angry fans back then would have supported that in a heartbeat. Moreover, Inafune should have finished MN9 first, judge what his audience wanted.

Then there was the trailer for MN9...I don’t think I need to comment on this much, but pro-tip: don’t insult the fans of your game when you are planning a goddamn anime for this series too!

And he didn’t learn from this, as we eventually find out some more reasons for the delays. He wanted to make a franchise out of MN9 before it even hit store shelves. An anime, a movie, even a sequel for characters we barely even knew about! It was kinda what Capcom wanted to do, as they wanted to make the DmC reboot to eventually make a movie off of the new series. Judging by what fans thought of the reboot, it’s clear that wasn’t going to happen. On top of that, I had only just found out that MN9 received additional funding, and thus expected a much better product. Then again, at most, here’s what I expected and wanted: a game that worked. No need for patches, no game-breaking bugs, just a satisfying and fun experience.

Judging by the immense negative reception to the game, and the amount of bugs reported, he made the jump into a spiky pit.

There was a similar experience of waiting on a game to be finished, the wait was killing me, but I did want the game to actually work. The game in question was a English-translated version of Summon Night 5, and I had pre-ordered the physical edition. It missed the release window, and the Vita version had some annoying bugs too. I had sold the Vita version to a friend, as I was eager to pull out my PSP again to play the physical copy. Months passed and I was growing more impatient. But I did eventually come to terms that if they messed this release up, and my copy had bugs, I would forever be upset and lose faith in their work, especially because PSP physical games cannot be patched now due to the Vita taking over the main market of handhelds for Sony. I eventually my bug-free copy and am currently loving it. Took some delays, but they delivered on exactly what they promised.

MN9 has not despite its delays.

In short: I want him to learn. I want him to care about delivering a satisfying product. I want him to avoid these same damn mistakes. And the stakes are raised, as a Vita isn’t exactly easy to develop. I follow Zeboyd developers, and they discussed how unexpectedly difficult it was to develop Cosmic Star Heroine on the Vita, yet claimed how they tried so hard to deliver a good product. THAT is what I hope to see Inafune and his team pull off.

I have a Vita TV, and am curious how they are going to handle this. Even if this game is not compatible with the Vita TV, I can just give away the code, or get a PS4 and just listen to news about the Vita port. I’m sure it will take a year, maybe more, maybe less. Either way, I’m just waiting to see if Inafune is willing to make the same damn mistakes he made on this launch, or actually learn from this experience, and make a much better running product. Only time will tell.

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Mighty No. 9 Review https://www.gameskinny.com/uqj5y/mighty-no-9-review https://www.gameskinny.com/uqj5y/mighty-no-9-review Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:52:32 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Mighty No. 9 (MN9) was released earlier this week, and it would be quite the understatement to say there's been a lot of news surrounding it. The game was developed by Inti Creates and Comcept, and has been published by Deep Silver. Now we like to judge games not by the news they're embroiled in but by their own merits and entertainment.

So is Kenji Inafune's MN9 a worthwhile modern platformer? -- Here's our review.

Mighty No. 9's story reads very much like an anime targeted towards children. It tells of a future where advanced robotics are commonplace. Disaster strikes and the little brother of the Mighty Numbers, Beck, is charged with stopping his rampaging siblings. The story may seem familiar, because like Mega Man, the story has been inspired by the manga, Astro Boy. A young robot evolves before the world's eyes as he works for the greater good.

Functions

Considering this is a platformer, we'll address its gameplay first and foremost. You are Beck and your actions are run, jump, shoot, and dash. The primary goal is to navigate through a stage on a 2D plane to fight the boss waiting. Each stage features its own unique set of challenges that will require well-timed jumps, recognizing enemy patterns, and using quirks to your advantage. For example, a fiery theme stage will require you to keep Beck from oil fires and instant death from falling debris. The tension this creates is fun, and you feel thoroughly accomplished at your feats of agility and mastery.

The dashing ability allows you to defeat and absorb weakened robots. Depending on what type of foe you assimilate, you'll receive certain bonuses. You may gain increased speed, armor, and an increased attack rate. These bonuses certainly help with clearing areas and helping your performance.

Features

My favorite feature of MN9 is the stage scoring system. Yes, it's all based on performance, but it's detailed and very elaborate. For example, you'll receive additional points for destroying foes in a room during a certain time line. Performing certain actions flawlessly and clearing areas as fast as possible. The list goes on -- and that's not even mentioning the performances bonuses against bosses. For those that live for getting S rank on all stages, its both addicting and satisfying. 

As you proceed to defeat the Mighty Numbers, you'll unlock extra features and additional challenge stages for Beck. Let me say they are notoriously difficult and will ask for nothing short of perfection. If you're someone that lives for speedrunning, MN9 has certainly been designed for you in mind. Also clearing the game will allow you to unlock hard and very hard mode as well. 

Look & sound

Now that we've discussed the gameplay, we can discuss the game's aesthetics. Visually speaking, the game isn't the best looking, to be honest. Yet, its art design does work well enough from animated stage enemies to menacing bosses. MN9 is a colorful game with its different locales and environmental threats.

The game's soundtrack is a treat, as it was scored by Manami Matsumae, whose previous work includes Mega Man 10 and Shovel Knight. Stage tunes are a mix modern techno that ranges from ambient to upbeat. I also forgot to mention the game also you to switch from the original arrangement or an 8 bit soundtrack.

Now MN9 isn't without it's shortcomings.

Some deaths you'll encounter will seem due to a lack of proper design. A number of challenges feel a bit tacked on rather than fully fleshed out. Also you may feel some bosses are soul crushingly punishing even on normal difficulty. These issues somewhat hold back the experience.

The bigger question is that will the game leave you with some memorable moments of platforming perfection? Yes, definitely -- but it won't leave too many lasting impressions. Fans of the genre will enjoy their time testing themselves and newcomers can easily start here as well. You'd do yourself a disservice if you let its controversies deny you a fun game. 

If you're looking for a game to play for a weekend or for a few hours I would recommend Mighty No. 9. 

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Mighty No. 9 isn't bricking Wii U consoles, stop freaking out https://www.gameskinny.com/h3n92/mighty-no-9-isnt-bricking-wii-u-consoles-stop-freaking-out https://www.gameskinny.com/h3n92/mighty-no-9-isnt-bricking-wii-u-consoles-stop-freaking-out Tue, 21 Jun 2016 11:02:26 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Everyone loves some good drama, but can we please take a step back right quick and think rationally in regards to Mighty No. 9?

Most of the game's reception points to it being a pile of lukewarm mush, but that does not mean helping propagate the rumor the game is bricking Wii U consoles is doing anyone any good -- especially since the rumor is not true.

Mighty No. 9 has its issues on just about every platform right now, but Wii U owners especially are not only dealing with what may just be the most unwieldy version of the game in terms of overall performance, but also a rumor spreading like wildfire that the game bricks the console at specific sections.

What's actually happening

Now let's take a deep breath, because I know you want to find more things about the game to bitch about. It's fun to wallow the misfortune of others sometimes, I know--but you've got to chill and not take rumors at face value.

What is actually happening with the Wii U version of Mighty No. 9 is the game is hardlocking the console and forcing users to unplug it, plug it back in, and turn it back on.

I'm not going to say the game hardlocking your console is okay, because it certainly is not. But I'd be lying if I didn't say my Wii U has a bad habit of hardlocking in the YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix apps a few times a month. This is a process Wii U owners are unfortunately familiar with.

Mighty No. 9 hardlocking consoles is not an excusable issue, but it is a far cry from bricking them.

Comcept would do well to figure out the problem and patch it out ASAP to put out the rumor fire, but the game's launch on every platform has its fair share of problems (with the Xbox 360 version even being delayed again). I guess you could say Mighty No. 9's release hasn't been so mighty.

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UPDATED: Mighty No. 9's launch is "better than nothing," according to Inafune https://www.gameskinny.com/hatbn/updated-mighty-no-9s-launch-is-better-than-nothing-according-to-inafune https://www.gameskinny.com/hatbn/updated-mighty-no-9s-launch-is-better-than-nothing-according-to-inafune Tue, 21 Jun 2016 06:36:42 -0400 TheSmartestMoron

UPDATE 6/22/2016: Recent reports this morning have revealed that the translator, Ben Judd, was the one to say "It's better than nothing," adding in his own commentary, causing this confusion. Other translations as seen on VG247 have stated Inafune said "I own all the problems," and go into more detail.

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"It's better than nothing." These were the words Keiji Inafune had to say about the shaky launch of Mighty No. 9 during a stream of the game. He also went on about how the team did their best without adding any additional microtransactions or DLC, ignoring the extra DLC funded by fans.

Yet he also said "I'm not getting my side-scrolling fill," possibly unknowingly insulting his own game. Some people also think it wasn't Inafune himself that said this, but that maybe the translator, Ben Judd, threw in his own opinion instead.

Either way, it's earning a lot more ire from fans, who have had to deal with tons of delays, questionable quality despite the budget, a horribly received trailer, and Inafune thinking about another sequel already, and even making another Kickstarter for Red Ash before Mighty No. 9 was completed.

Further bad news on launch day includes delays for the Xbox 360, Mac, and Linux versions, which were announced right on the release day. Some backers have also had trouble even playing the game, as the codes either do not work, or are locked to work only after a certain time. 360 users are being offered a Steam code instead.

The critical reception of Mighty No. 9 has not been going well, averaging to a 58 on Metacritic as of this moment -- and doing even worse with user scores. We will give you our thoughts on Mighty No. 9 with a review coming soon!

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Mega Man-ipulation: Mighty No. 9's $4 million budget went.. where? https://www.gameskinny.com/aitqh/mega-man-ipulation-mighty-no-9s-4-million-budget-went-where https://www.gameskinny.com/aitqh/mega-man-ipulation-mighty-no-9s-4-million-budget-went-where Mon, 20 Jun 2016 14:18:19 -0400 Ashley Shankle

After a handful of delays Keiji Inafune's Mega Man successor Mighty No. 9 has finally had its review embargo lifted and the game is only one day from release! Unfortunately the most of the reviews pouring onto Metacritic aren't exactly shining.

With Mighty No. 9 toted as the spiritual successor to Mega Man and the Kickstarter (plus PayPal donations) racking up $4 million, hopes and tensions have been high around the game's release. Repeated delays and the recently released, slightly patronizing trailer haven't helped either.

One can't help but wonder what has gone on with the development of this game when two other titles involving co-developer Inti Creates have also been successfully crowdfunded recently, and both look to be of higher quality titles especially with budget differences in mind.

Mighty No. 9's development has been handled by two studios: Inafune's own studio Comcept and the previously mentioned Inti Creates, the studio behind the Mega Man Zero titles on the Game Boy Advance as well as Mega Man 9 and 10.

In concept the collaboration between Comcept and Inti Creates should have made something really magical as both have veterans developers who have worked with the Mega Man series before. And with $4 million crowdfunded to go towards development.. a Mega Man fan theoretically could not ask for a better setup for a spiritual successor to the Blue Bomber.

But here we are.

With the reviews pouring in and full playthrough videos finding their way to YouTube, two things are fairly obvious: Mighty No. 9 may look like Mega Man but it certainly does not seem to have the spirit, nor does it look like $4 million went into the development.

For a game with such a budget, not only do the graphics look bland, but the environments are dull and immemorable. And the gameplay, well.. it's certainly got the "jumping and shooting" part of Mega Man down but not much else.

For a spiritual successor to a series built around tight platforming, great music, blood-pumping boss fights and valuable powerups, Mighty No. 9 seems to be missing the point. And that point cost over 67,000 backers $4 million combined.

Comparing between two other Inti Creates-related crowdfunded titles

With all this talk about Mighty No. 9 not living up to its promises, wouldn't it be nice to be able to compare between other Kickstarted platformers and see what they look like and how they play?

Well we're in luck since E3 just came around, during which we got looks at two other Kickstarted games Mighty No. 9's co-development studio Inti Creates also had their hands in: Shantae: Half-Genie Hero and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. These games also happen to be 2.5D platformers.

According to the game's Kickstarter page Inti Creates worked on illustrations and character concepts for Shantae: Half Genie Hero, which was funded over $775,000 during its campaign and is being developed by WayForward, the studio behind the previous Shantae games.

Half Genie Hero may have gotten less than a fourth of the crowdfunding Mighty No. 9 did, but somehow its mix of 2D sprites and 3D environments not only looks comparable No. 9, but often looks more lively and colorful. Don't believe me? Check out these nine minutes of gameplay from E3.

Not only does it visually look better, the gameplay itself is even looks to be a marked improvement over previous entries to the Shantae series with fast transformations to keep the gameplay going. There are not a great deal of questions about where the funding went among the community.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a bit different in that its Kickstarter campaign actually raked in more money ($5.5 million) than Mighty No. 9 and its development is actually being led by Inti Creates, as opposed to their co-developer status on No. 9 and illustration work on Shantae. It's also being handled by the producer of several Castlevania titles, Koji Igarashi.

Oh, and it also looks like a much higher quality game than Mighty No. 9, staying true to the series (Castlevania) it's derivative of. Check out the gameplay video below, sans game audio.

Bloodstained looks like it will fit right in with the -vania subgenre, and its Kickstarter stretch goals (which were all met) are mostly gameplay-related. Only two were platform-related, which were the Wii U and Vita because they are not hugely popular platforms. None of Shantae's were platform-related and four of Mighty No. 9's were porting the game to all platforms, including PlayStation 4--which is not only affordable even to small indie devs but would have been suicide for the game if not done in the first place.

The question of where the money went

Now, these three games may be handled by different teams as a whole and they are not necessarily related to one another side from Inti Creates being involved in some way, but it's an eye-opener for Mega Man fans who were hoping Keiji Inafune would do the whole "spiritual successor" thing justice.

It's understandable to want to know where that $4 million in funding went, when there's also a Mighty No. 9 3D animated show and a potential sequel being talked about before the game has even come out, especially when the game's trailer and gameplay videos are so lackluster. Inafune seems confident that somehow the game will do well enough to warrant an animated TV show and a sequel, but it's hard to imagine that actually being the case.

All this time the Mighty No. 9 fanbase has been trying to raise its voice and ask what exactly is going on with development, and here we are a day from release with the results of Comcept and Inti's work knocking on the door and somehow it just does not look appealing. One has to wonder how this even happened with so many Mega Man veterans at the helm.

With the mention of a sequel and the animated series coming the only natural conclusion backers and spectators can come to based off the quality of the game is that the funding was not used as it was laid out on the Kickstarter.

There are so many questions regarding the game's funding, and there have been for some time. It simply does not seem like the money crowdfunded for the game actually went into it, and Inafune's teasing over the show and sequel does nothing but back up that assumption.

Whatever Comcept did with the $4 million in backer funds is a mystery to us as consumers. Whatever was done has solidified Mighty No. 9 as a game that will be forgotten in action but remembered as a big crowdfunded title that somehow missed the mark, no matter the path they take with additional media and sequels now.

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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night to get a demo https://www.gameskinny.com/rzw5p/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night-to-get-a-demo https://www.gameskinny.com/rzw5p/bloodstained-ritual-of-the-night-to-get-a-demo Thu, 09 Jun 2016 10:31:43 -0400 TheSmartestMoron

E3 attendees best be on the lookout for Bloodstained, as it will have a playable demo on the show floor. Luckily, for those unable to attend E3, you don't need to be at the show to play it. In fact, anyone who pledged $60 or higher will be able to get a free demo on PC by June 13 -- provided the survey has been completed as well.

Luckily, you can still make pledges to Bloodstained over on Fangamer. Keep in mind, however, only $60 pledges will gain access to the upcoming demo as well as other exclusive rewards -- a swordwhip, an extra super boss, and a slipcase for your game (physical edition only). Naturally, higher tiers have much more to offer, such as an extra copy of the game, art books, and more.

During a time when Konami was earning ire from gamers regarding Hideo Kojima, the cancellation of P.T., and other such events that earned them the hashtag #FucKonami, Koji Igarashi used Kickstarter to fund a new game similar to his well-known 2D Castlevania games. With a set goal of $500k, backers quickly raised $5.5 million in a single month. The development team has also been providing video updates on how the game is progressing, as seen in the video below:

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is set to release on March 2017 on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Vita, and Wii U. The game is being developed by Inti Creates, and published by Deep Silver.

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Bloodstained adds Amano artwork as stretch goal https://www.gameskinny.com/k98cv/bloodstained-adds-amano-artwork-as-stretch-goal https://www.gameskinny.com/k98cv/bloodstained-adds-amano-artwork-as-stretch-goal Tue, 09 Jun 2015 08:08:57 -0400 K.W. Colyard

The Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Collector's Box will now include a poster created by legendary Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano. Koji Igarashi's Kickstarter announced the inclusion of Amano's artwork less than 24 hours after the campaign had reached the $3.5 million stretch goal set to include a PlayStation Vita port.

Kickstarter backers who donate $250 or more will receive the Collector's Box when Bloodstained launches in 2017. Amano has also agreed to sign prints for ten individuals who give $800 or more.

In addition to the Vita port, the campaign announced that backers have achieved the Orchestrated Tracks stretch goal, which will offer Igarashi's team the opportunity to "use live instrumentation where it makes sense." Bloodstained promises gamers a diverse soundtrack, which will include orchestral, rock, and 8-bit tracks.

The Bloodstained Kickstarter has three days left on the clock. At the time of this writing, Igarashi and crew have made their original $500,000 goal more than seven times over. The remaining stretch goals include an online challenge mode, a third playable character, and a prequel mini-game.

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