It's been a long time since Sonic has had a console game that wasn't bogged down by experiments gone awry, usually withholding polish on what should have been core gameplay.
The Sonic fan-base has debated the exact point at which this downhill spiral began – whether it’s the over-fifteen years since Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, or the ten since Sonic Adventure 2. However, both classic and modern Sonic fans tended to agree that the games were not improving.
Sonic Colors could be seen as the comeback for those who played it, but I was not one who did. A Sonic fan in my youth, after Unleashed I was done. After playing the last werehog level just to get to the next Sonic one and spending fifteen minutes on clunky platforming – the longest level I ever played in the franchise – I’d had enough. I don’t get paid to put myself through such torture; I certainly shouldn’t have to pay for it with time or money.
Replaying the levels of the "free" old games, I wondered pessimistically whether these gifts would symbolize the game itself: a solid, flowing platformer (Sonic 3 and Knuckles) with injections of clunky, awkward and nearly game-killing 3D elements (Sonic 3D Blast).
Thankfully, this was not the case.
As foretold by ancient lore, a race of anthropomorphic pandas – and their homeland – are to feature in World of Warcraft's new expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
The game also raises the level cap and adds a monk class, combat methods, and pet battles.
I wasn’t as proactive as I thought I would be, and I’m pretty sure I missed a couple posted during the first of September, so apologies there. Otherwise, here was last month’s Newsbytes.
One thing I’ve noticed about Nintendo products is that they last a long time. I’m not talking about the timeless aspect of the games, though there is that, too. I’m talking about the products. My old Nintendo 64 still works. So does my copy of Star Fox 64.
In a nutshell, if you have a working Nintendo 64 with a working Star Fox 64 cartridge, no, actually. If you don’t, though, it might be worth it.
This fall appears to be setting itself up for a string of new blockbuster video game titles, ranging from Star Fox 64: 3D, to Sly Cooper : Thieves in Time, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, a pair of Tekken games, and even the little-heard-of 3DS title, The Rolling Western.
Do you enjoy Homestuck, but find one therianthropic feline troll and a fan of anthropomorphic fauna insufficient to sate your furry desires? Consider Prequel, an interactive comic using characters, species and settings from the Elder Scrolls video games Morrowind and Oblivion.
Although the popularity of the comic caused it to be moved to its own site after two threads, suggested actions and fan-art for the comic's protagonist are still taken on the MSPA forums (which also feature the topic 'shit. let's be furries', now on its second thread).
This week a user on gamer website MMO-Champion noticed that Blizzard Entertainment (creator of popular MMORPG World of Warcraft) had, on July 28, applied to register the phrase "Mists of Pandaria" as a trademark.
This lead to speculation that the next WoW expansion will centre around Pandaria, the home of the Pandaren, a race of anthropomorphic beer-loving pandas who first appeared as an April Fool's joke in the leadup to Warcraft 3.
At this point it is not clear if the application is a genuine clue to Blizzard's future plans, or a piece of misdirection. Nor can anyone, at this point, say if WoW players might get "a chance to play furry alcoholic martial arts masters".
At the center of the debate is French woman Alix Henriol, obsessed with Sonic since 2000:
I could have given anything to have become a robot or a character in a game.
The piece, posted on the newspaper's website, described Alix's desire to become cryogenically frozen until scientists can transfer her consciousness to a console, while referencing cosplay, erotic fan fiction and fantasy sex toy manufacturer Bad Dragon.
Earth Eternal, which was billed by some as a furry MMORPG, and which went offline in September 2010, is about to be relaunched in North America under its new ownership. Formerly run by SparkPlay, the new version, described as revived and revamped, will be operated by Outblaze and TurnOut Ventures. Although rumors have abounded for months that a relaunch might be forthcoming, it was only recently that there has been a more definitive announcement that a beta would be launching shortly.
The new game will have some differences from the old. Only twelve of the twenty-two character races from the original will be available. There will no longer be a browser version, and a Facebook account will be required. The changes to the game made it impossible to preserve characters from the original, so all players will need to start over (and according to their website, characters created for the beta release will be deleted at the end of the beta period).
Some have already been playing the Japanese version, and report that the character models have been somewhat altered to a more Japanese styling. Despite some differences, the overall look and feel and the gameplay are much like the earlier incarnation of the game.
(Vikie Foxfang assisted in writing this article.)
Let me explain.
This year's E3 presentation was one that many will not forget, as it contained the unveiling of the new "Wii U" video game console. It also had a rather interesting Question and Answer session where series creator Shigeru Miyamoto warned developers (hopefully jokingly) that if Star Fox 64 3D (home) and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (home) were not the best video games in their respective series, both series would be cancelled — permanently.
Certainly, such a severe warning would be meant to push the developers to make the best games they can. However, gaming website IGN interviewed Katsuya Eguchi, a Nintendo software producer and director, who revealed that Nintendo may already be considering a new Star Fox game for the Wii U, to make up for the flying fox's no-show on the Wii.
Only time will tell if Fox McCloud and his friends return in a game of their own.
After a nine-month hiatus, the Inherit the Earth webcomic has returned — in full-color, featuring a new story and new artist (Falkurneeze).
Video game-based furry community and news site Gaming Furever has launched, offering a furry game database, reviews, forums, personal blogs and a flash arcade.
The site is intended to help furry groups worldwide plan gaming nights, talk about furry gaming experiences, and find like-minded hobbyists, while providing information about game releases – past and present – featuring anthro characters. Its founder, JoJo Vixamour, also wants the site to represent the furry gaming community and news network at E3 2012.
Surprising no one, Nintendo announced at this year’s E3 that it will release a new Super Smash Bros. for its forthcoming Wii U console. The fighting series includes furry Nintendo characters such as Fox McCloud and Lucario, plus guest character Sonic the Hedgehog.
The game or games, though definitely coming to at least the Wii U, are not yet in production. Sakurai’s studio, Sora, is currently working on the 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising, and may defer Super Smash Bros. until its completion, giving furry gamers plenty of time to petition for inclusion of their favorite characters.