Monday, November 28, 2011

Reggie’s shiny chin, Japanese monetary policy may fall victim to Nintendo’s desperate measures to cut costs

(Note: The original version of this article appeared at Kuribo's Shoes, so if you like it be sure to check them out. Like everything at Kuribo's Shoes, this article is completely fictional. Which is too bad, because if somebody actually made Kirby’s Feast of Souls I'd probably watch it.
Faced with devastating financial losses approaching $1 billion over the past six months, Nintendo is now reportedly planning drastic measures to cut costs. According to sources inside the company, the massive success of the Nintendo DS and Ninttendo Wii has bred what one source called a “culture of excess” among many of Nintendo’s high-level employees that, combined with other factors such as international exchange rates and costs associated with the Nintendo 3DS and forthcoming Wii U systems, was a major contributor to Nintendo’s recent losses.
“Building a 30 foot tall sapphire-encrusted platinum statue of yourself can seem like a perfectly reasonable executive perk when you’re moving tens of millions of Wiis and DSs every year,” said a Nintendo employee speaking on condition of anonymity. “But now, that sort of thing just isn’t sustainable.” Other sources at Nintendo have also indicated other areas where the company is exploring possible money-saving measures, such as the production costs of Nintendo hardware.
According to the most recent reports, new measures to cut costs currently being considered by Nintendo include: 

  • Significantly reducing the volume of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata’s office money-swimming pool, which has been described as currently being of “Scrooge McDuckian proportions,” to a more manageable Olympic-standard 2.5 million liters.
  • Simply ignoring the pleas of American gamers for an American release of RPGs like Xenoblade and Last Story, instead of Nintendo of America’s current policy of finding the addresses of disappointed RPG-loving Wii owners and sending mocking singing telegrams to their homes just to rub it in.
  • Phasing out production of the current version of the Nintendo 3DS and introducing a new version, tentatively called the “Nintendo Ultra 3DS,” which replaces the current version’s autostereoscopic 3D upper screen and PICA200 graphics processing unit with more cost-effective View-Master technology licensed from Mattel subsidiary Fisher-Price.
Just one of the many exciting titles that will be available at launch for the Nintendo Ultra 3DS.
  • A 50% reduction in NoA President Reggie Fils-Aime’s chin polish budget.
  • Addressing the current high strength of the yen against other currencies, which has severely cut into the profitability of foreign sales because revenue from those sales now yields fewer yen when converted from foreign currencies. The precise details of how Nintendo intends to affect the exchange rate are unclear, though a recently leaked set of internal documents containing floor plans and security schedules for the Bank of Japan’s headquarters in Tokyo, a report from Nintendo’s legal department about extradition treaties, and dossiers and contact information for several private military contractors operating out of the former Soviet Union has raised concerns among some industry analysts.
In addition to cost-cutting measures, Nintendo is a;lso exploring new sources of revenue, such as licensing Nintendo characters and other intellectual properties for use by other companies. Licensing deals currently being negotiated include the use of Mario’s dinosaur friend Yoshi as the official mascot of the Creation Museum in Peterburg, Kentucky and a crossover fighting game to be produced by NetherRealm Studios entitled Earthbound vs. Mortal Kombat. Nintendo has also sold the film rights for several Nintendo IPs to American low-budget direct-to-video horror/sci-fi film company The Asylum, which plans to release its first Nintendo-themed films, Donkey Kong vs. Mega Shark, Kirby’s Feast of Souls, and Donkey Kong vs. Crocosaurus, in late 2012.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

One day I would know what my special purpose was for: New releases for the week of 11-9-11

Power Rangers Samurai

(Nintendo Wii) I hadn't realized Power Rangers was still an ongoing thing, but I suppose that as long as there is special effects footage from Japanese action shows that can be grafted together with completely unrelated new American footage so that episodes of the resulting hybrid can be churned out like so many hot dogs there will always be Power Rangers. Mhis is the tie-in game for a new iteration of the Power Ranger series that started this year, Power Rangers Samurai.

I was exposed to far too much of the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers show as a kid, despite thinking that it was silly even then, because 1. it was on right before Batman: The Animated Series, which I always made sure to catch after school because a cartoon that wasn't written by people who thought their audience consisted of utter cretins was such a novelty back then, and 2. I was in 5th or 6th grade at the time, and I found the girl who played the Pink Ranger oddly fascinating for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on.

(And still can't. Hi-yo!)

In any case, I just hope for the sake of kids who like Power Rangers that this is better than the typical kids show tie-in games of the 80s and 90s. I've generally thought motion controls were an annoying gimmick, but in this case I can see it actually adding to the game; a lot of the kids I knew growing up probably would've given their right arm for a motion-controlled Power Ranger game. Which would have rendered the game itself useless to the very person who made such a bargain, sort of like the ending of O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" if Henry had been a morbid child-hating psychopath, but it's not as if elementary schoolers are typically known for their foresight.

The Black-Eyed Peas Experience

(Xbox 360 Kinect, Nintendo Wii) Remember the time I said that I consciously try to avoid being the sort of person who complains about how he doesn't like something that he was obviously never part of the intended audience for anyway, because it's unreasonable to treat something as if it were objectively bad because it failed to fulfill a set of standards and expectations that aren't relevant to it?

That policy is hereby rescinded.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mega Man finally speaks out about his troubled career: “Tron Bonne? Seriously?”

(Note: The original version of this article appeared at Kuribo's Shoes, the wordl's greatest gaming-related fake news site, so if you like it be sure to check them out. ) 

In the aftermath of Capcom’s cancellation of  the long-awaited third game in the Mega Man Legends series, the reclusive star of the long-running franchise has finally emerged to give his side of the story.

“I knew they were getting ready to fuck me,” Mega Man said in an interview conducted at his home in Santa Clarita, California. “I knew after Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I mean, they decided to have two playable characters from my games in it. They included Zero for the first time. And hey, he deserves it. He’s a good kid. And then for the second slot, they decided to use Tron Bonne? Seriously?

“I’m the most iconic character in the company’s history. They’ve got Viewtiful Joe in the game. They’ve got three Resident Evil characters in there. They’ve got Akuma, because Lord knows Capcom won’t be satisfied unless they've shoehorned that glorified palette-swap into every fighting game they ever make. They’ve got some one-armed has-been, they’ve got a Japanese dog that doesn’t even talk, they’ve got Zero and  freakin’ Tron Bonne, and I hear that for the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom expansion they apparently have some damn lawyer fighting in it. How the hell did that happen? Did he win a contest, or something? Was Capcom running some sort of  ‘Send in five hundred cereal box tops for a chance to appear in Marvel vs. Capcom 3′ promotional bullshit that I never heard about?”

Inside sources at Capcom say the decision was motivated by Mega Man’s increasingly erratic and unprofessional behavior, which had started making him a liability to the developer. Mega Man has been involved in several high-profile conflicts with other characters in the Mega Man series over the years. Well-known examples including his tumultuous marriage, divorce, remarriage, and second divorce with co-star Roll, an acrimonious offscreen relationship with Dr. Light that reportedly culminated in a drunken, cocaine-fueled fistfight in Light’s dressing room on the set of Mega Man 10, and a long-running media feud with Proto Man for allegations made against Mega Man in Proto Man’s controversial tell-all book Sex, Drugs, and Steel: A Shocking Look Behind the Scenes of Capcom’s Most Beloved Series.

In 2009, Capcom reached an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by Splash Woman, the Mega Man series’ first- and to date, only- female Robot Master, due to what Splash Woman’s attorneys described as Mega Man’s “lewd, offensive, and unprofessional conduct” on the set of Mega Man 9.

The last straw was apparently during the production of Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version, a prologue for Mega Man Legends three proper. Planned for a release on the 3DS eShop as a teaser for the main game, MML3: Prototype Version suffered repeated production delays while Mega Man attended a series of court-ordered rehabilitation sessions after being arrested for driving while intoxicated and misdemeanor narcotics possession in April 2011, which violated the terms of his probation for several similar previous offenses during the previous year. This ultimately led to Capcom’s decision to pull the plug on the beleaguered project.

Mega Man says he is considering a number of offers from other companies, which are rumored to include roles such as ED-209 in the video game adaptation of a possible reboot of the Robocop franchise, one of the Reapers in Mass Effect 3, and the title role in future Bomberman games. He is also in negotiations to star in a planned remake of 1994 fighting game Rise of the Robots, tentatively entitled  Rise of the Robots: Not the Most Godawful Game Ever Crapped Out Edition.

Though he insists that he has already put his acrimonious split with Capcom behind him, it’s clear that some resentment still lingers. “The first time I even heard there was going to be a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was when Zero called to give me the news that he was in it,” he said. “They never even asked me if I wanted to be involved! You’d think they’d want Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to include the man who made Capcom what it is, but apparently they couldn’t be bothered with me because they had to make sure that there was enough space for TRON FUCKING BONNE to be included.”

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