Disney Interactive’s Epic Mickey video game was pretty popular — it even won an Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Game. Admittedly, some folk complained about the fact it was only available for the Nintendo Wii system, but it sold well enough to be considered a moderate success in the gaming world. The follow up, Epic Mickey 2? Not so much, in spite of the fact that 2 was made available for many game platforms. Now comes the word (according to various articles) that sales of Epic Mickey 2 since its November 2012 launch were poor enough that Disney has decided to shutter Junction Point, the Texas-based game design firm that Disney purchased in 2007 to develop both the Epic Mickey games. From this point forward, Disney Interactive will instead focus their attention on Disney Infinity, the new figurine-based multi-character game (similar in some ways to Skylanders) which will premier in June.
This game is a nostalgia trip. Much like the original Epic Mickey, it highlights a diverse cast of classic Disney characters that don’t always get the spotlight; sure, there’s a matchmaking questline that unites Donald and Daisy Duck as romantic partners, but there’s also one featuring Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar. When was the last time you saw those two characters featured?
Well, probably the last Epic Mickey game; you also get that nostalgic kick just listening to the opening screen music if you’ve already played the first game. The world of the Epic Mickey, Wasteland, is a bizarre world of forgotten and buried cartoons; at one point, I found myself looking at a bizarre new form of sedimentary rock formed of discarded Disney paraphernalia. It’s a nice place to visit; I’m not sure if I want to live there, though. It’s strangely creepy.
And the camera still stinks, too.
SPOILER ALERT: I have tried to hide late game plot revelations as best I can, and believe I did an alright job. However, I totally spoil the ending of the first Saw movie after the break.
Update (Jan 29): Disney shutters Epic Mickey creator Junction Point Studios
This handheld spinoff of the Epic Mickey games features Mickey Mouse as Mario in an old-school side-scroller with cel-animation style visuals. What he’s doing in a 2D game with 2D visuals on a console with “3D” in its name is a mystery.
I’m sorry. That came out a bit grumpy. You see, I really liked this game. Up to a point. Then that point came and I was very disappointed in it. This made me re-examine the game a bit more harshly than I expected, but it all really is sour grapes.
Nintendo spokesmon Pikachu has announced the sixth generation of the popular Pokémon franchise: Pokémon X and Y. The pair of games will be released simultaneously worldwide for the first time ever in the franchise's history, and will feature 3D graphics rather than the traditional 2D sprites of games past. [tip: Lovejoy/Weasel Wordsmith]
Nintendo threw everyone for a loop when the newest Pokémon games were revealed. This is the first time since Pokémon Gold and Silver that a Pokémon game has been a direct sequel. It takes place explicitly two years after the events of Pokémon Black and White.
This is just another Pokémon game. It follows the path set by the series, and does not deviate. It does not take any risks, and if you have played any other game in the series, well, you know how it goes. You pick a starter, fight gyms that do not specialize in Dark type Pokemon, ever, fight off bad guys, and become the Pokémon Champion. Same old, same old.
But, it is still as fun as its ever been.
With The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers hitting theaters this summer and together making approximately all of the money, conversations at work have gotten weird. I mean, I have definite opinions on which superhero would win against which superhero in a fight (for the record, Squirrel Girl always wins, Batman never loses and Rainbow Dash beats Starscream), but these people are not geeks. They could probably beat me up, they have social lives outside of the Internet and I’m pretty sure they’ve all lost their virginity.
Okay, I get it, comic books are cool now, although my coworkers were still so puzzled by Squirrel Girl that I was spared from having to explain who Rainbow Dash is. But when they debated whether Mewtwo or Professor X* was the better psychic, I almost lost it. I am not sure I like this brave new world where even Pokémon are cool.
The good news is, Pokémon Conquest for the Nintendo DS is not cool. How not cool? Well, it came out in June, I am reviewing it in September, and have almost wasted 200 words not talking about it. I guess I should start doing that.
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.
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.
After four generations, Pokémon is a household name. Like the Nintendo DS – hosting five versions of the game, not counting side-trips like the Pokémon Ranger and Mystery Dungeon series – the Pokémon franchise is all but a license to print money.
Add a few critters and upgrades, slap on Pikachu's friendly face and shove it out the door, right?
Wrong. This generation of Pokémon has evolved.
Nintendo's Wii has been pretty good to furries who enjoy "Zelda-esque" 3-D platformers. The console shipped with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, featuring a lupine Link, followed shortly by the generally considered superior port of Ōkami. The console's backwards compatibility also brought the ridiculously furry Star Fox Adventures to the table.
Bringing the total number of Pokémon from 493 to 495, two new Pokémon revealed late last week. Many furry fans enjoy the Pokémon franchise, but the revealed characters are of more than average interest to furry fans, as they would appear to be foxes, and one features a semi-anthropomorphic stance in some of the revealed artwork.
The two Pokémon were originally revealed in Japenese magazine CoroCoro; however, the images were leaked a few days early. The two Pokémon revealed are Zorua and Zoroark, two Dark type Pokémon. Apparently, Zorua "evolves" into Zoroark; the magazine hinted that yet another new type of evolution would be introduced with these characters. Zoroark will make an appearance in the 13th official Pokémon movie; it is speculated as an antagonist, though for all the speculation it may be just a cameo.
Earlier this year, Nintendo revealed that the "fifth generation" Pokémon series will be released sometime this year. Historically, the Pokémon series has released first in Japan, and then gone through a lengthy localization process before coming to North America; it can be assumed that the very tentative release period would only extend to Japan. American gamers will probably have to wait until 2011.