Nintendo wants to “change movies” with an interactive Zelda film

Nintendo wants to “change what a movie is” before it attempts a Legend of Zelda film adaptation.


Nintendo has been pretty conservative when it comes to spreading its properties out to other media. Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma told Kotaku that a possible Zelda adaptation would have to give audiences something completely different from their normal film experience.

“This is something that me and Mr. Miyamoto talked about,” Aonuma said. “If we were to make a Zelda title, if we had interest in doing that, I think really what would be most important to us is to be able to play with the format of a movie, make it more interactive, like you’re able to take your 3DS into the theater and that leads you into participating in it somehow. We wouldn’t want to make it the same as any other movie. We want to somehow change what a movie is.”

Disney’s been toying with second screen film experiences, with the release of the Little Mermaid: Second Screen Live in September. The experience uses an iPad app that syncs up with the film using the built-in microphone. Mashable tried out the app at a screening and found the film almost unwatchable due to the app.

“The games are distracting. Some moviegoers meeting Ariel and friends for the first time will find it hard to focus on the movie, with a new game every minute or two,” wrote Mashable’s Taylor Casti. Many games require an individual’s full attention, for instance, when players quickly pop bubbles or tilt the iPad to catch Ariel’s treasures in a chest. In fact, the games were so distracting, on multiple occasions key information was lost to gameplay.”

“Not to mention the voiceover and inter-theater competition, where up to four characters talk over the dialogue in the film to encourage players to compete with other audience members. As someone who grew up with Ariel, sure, the games were fun. But children seeing the movie for the first time missed seeing Triton destroy Ariel’s treasures; Ariel meet Eric for the first time; Ariel’s visit with Scuttle.”

Perhaps Nintendo could work around this with a film built specifically for interactivity? It is a way for Nintendo to continue to be unique, but Rovio and others seem perfectly fine making simple animated features. Is the company trying to reinvent the wheel for no good reason?



DuckTales: Remastered Review (PSN)


DuckTales: Remastered is nostalgia made into a videogame. Nostalgia’s etymology is something close to “the ache to return home”, and fulfills an apt description for DuckTales: Remastered. The core of the game is a good 8-bit platformer, returning to the roots or “home” of that particular genre. However, the game delivers just enough “ache” to players as well.

DuckTales: Remastered’s presentation is excellent. All of the characters are sprites that look like they stepped out of the DuckTales cartoon, and the hand-drawn sprites work great against the 3D background of the game. Movement is fluid, there are a lot of background events, stages are beautiful, and the colors are bright and bold. It really feels like the player is guiding Scrooge McDuck through an episode of DuckTales. The plot isn’t anything fancy. The story has been updated with lots of little voiced scenes to reinforce the feeling of participating in an adventure. Overall, the visual package is just short of stunning.

The audio is where the game really brings both the feel of playing through an episode and deep sense of nostalgia. Numerous voice actors from the TV show lend their talents to the game, bringing spot-on performances which can take fans back to their childhoods with a few words. The music – great updated renditions of already remarkable tunes – will most likely beckon fans of the original game back to their younger selves in a few beats. Sound effects are crisp, clear and distinct. Really, the sound team went all out for the title.

Additionally, any money earned in the game can go to towards unlocking a very impressive gallery of game artwork, music, and even TV art. One of the galleries features nothing but the characters and their in-game art with a corner devoted to the original game’s sprite work. It’s all very in-depth and well done, and would probably take around two runs of the game to purchase everything.

Level design is very much like the original as well. The levels are long enough to be a challenge, and thankfully short enough to not be a nuisance to the posterior regions during the inevitable replay after dying. Except the last level. For the most part, players will fly through the varied locations once the levels are memorized. And, as stated above, the levels are beautiful.

Gameplay is very much like the original. Players take Scrooge McDuck through seven levels, five of which can be played in any order. Scrooge is armed with his almighty cane, which he can use like a golf club to hit objects, or as a pogo stick to reach high places and jump on enemies for a takedown. Most of the time, the game plays pretty well and is enjoyable.


But now we’ve run out of pure nostalgia. And while DuckTales: Remastered has excellent presentation targeted at fans of both the TV show and original game, the question remains to be asked what does the game offer people who don’t care about either?

Players who lose all of their lives in a level must redo the entire levels. There are no checkpoints to continue from once all lives have been lost. This is a questionable design since the boss fights have had a major overhaul and are really fun while putting up a decent challenge. So while the levels may fall to rote memorization, a stage boss might wipe out a player and now the whole damn thing has to be tackled again. A continue function – even a limited one – would have been a much better implementation. The final level is especially bad, since after defeating the end boss two more timed and fairly difficult platforming segments await the player. Dying at these segments means the player has to start the last level all over again, and quite frankly this was a frustrating stain on an otherwise enjoyable game. At least all of the cutscenes can be skipped by pausing the game and hitting ‘X’ real quick.

What makes restarting worse is sometimes, Scrooge doesn’t deploy his pogo stick for whatever reason. After a transition from a previous screen, Scrooge occasionally stops for a split second – just enough time to muck up those last platforming bits or a timed jump elsewhere. And hit detection for enemies and environmental dangers is rather awkward and, though uncommon, inconsistent. For instance, pogo stomping a downed bat may cause Scrooge damage because more of the wing was targeted this time than a previous time. However, this most likely will not kill anyone until it happens in a boss fight or during the last two platforming segments; where the problem can become atrocious.

The game is short. An afternoon or evening is more than enough time for experienced players; a day at maximum for anybody new to the genre. And while the game promotes replay value through unlocking the gallery and giving players the ability to replay any stage after beating the game; there really is no need to do so. Once through, any player not hit with nostalgia will probably move on to the next game. And like the nostalgia value, the $15 price tag may seem a little high for what new players may see as a fairly basic game.

So what does DuckTales: Remastered offer players who do not succumb to nostalgia? A fairly solid day of experiencing an above average platformer with awesome presentation. The game will most likely go by too quickly before any of the control problems impact enjoyment too much, and in fact may only become truly noticeable during the game’s final moments. Fans of the cartoon and original game will love all of the improvements and visuals, and will most likely embrace the nostalgia. Everyone else will have fun and then move on.



Lucasfilm Wants to Make “Two or Three” Star Wars Movies a Year.

Star Wars EW

The next Star Wars movie, Episode VII, is just the tip of a money-coloured iceberg Disney plans to harvest in the wake of its takeover of the franchise from George Lucas.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Lucas’ anointed successor, Kathleen Kennedy, says that the company wants to produce “two or three films a year”, which aside from the odd Indiana Jones flick certainly suggests we can expect all kinds ofStar Wars output over the next decade.

Which is exactly what I was hoping for when this deal was announced. Let the main movies come and go, but potentially more interesting would be the other movies that get made, from children’s animated flicks (maybe with a Pixar touch) to darker, more adult content that long-time fans have only been able to get in comics and books.

The full interview with Kennedy will appear in the next issue of EW

source: kotaku


Epic Mickey 2: Behind the Mouse Ears with Warren Spector

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3

As gaming résumés go, few can compare to that of Warren Spector. After starting his career on the fabled Wing Commander series back in 1990, he went on to work on massive franchises such as Ultima and System Shock, before re-inventing the stealth genre with Deus Ex and Thief. In short, he’s a true giant of game development.

And this week sees him return to the fray, with Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two – an ambitious sequel to his epic 2010 platforming adventure, packing in full co-op play and PlayStation Move support. The Junction Point founder was kind enough to lend PlayStation.Blog a few minutes of his valuable time to discuss the game – read on to find out what he had to say.

PlayStation.Blog: There are a lot of PlayStation gamers out there who might not be too familiar with the first game. What did they miss?
Warren Spector: What did they miss? Only the greatest game experience of all time! No, okay, seriously… what they missed was the reintroduction of Mickey Mouse as a game hero the equal of Mario, Sonic, Link or any other platforming or adventure star.

“Each player is the teller of his or her own story.”

They missed the return of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s first cartoon star – a great character who deserves better than to be forgotten. They missed what I hope was and is a unique combination of platforming and adventure game elements – with players getting to decide how the game felt and played.

They missed the “Deus Ex” choice and consequence idea applied to completely different genres – in Disney Epic Mickey games, each player is the teller of his or her own story, just as in Deus Ex and all the other games I’ve worked on.

They missed a cool story, a brand new game world and a trip down Disney Memory Lane. They missed all sorts of stuff!

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3

And for those who did play it, what are the key improvements you’ve made for the sequel?
WS: Camera, camera, camera! The team worked really hard to enhance the camera system. And when I say “really hard” I mean “really hard!”. I think we did a better job of player direction – knowing where to go and what to do. Games should be about how to do stuff, not figuring out what stuff to do!

We’ve added full voice for all characters, some of whom even sing. We’ve taken the idea of choice and consequence to new levels – your play-style really matters this time around and your choices may have consequences that last forever and can’t be undone.

Oh, and we’ve added a little thing called two-player co-op. Now, one player takes the role of Mickey, with Oswald as an AI-controlled character, but at any point, a second player can sit down next to you and play as Oswald. It’s all about the Power of Two!

The camera was indeed one of the issues that came in for criticism last time. How have you refined it?
WS: We’ve worked non-stop on the camera since the day we shipped the first game. We made a ton of code changes – including always allowing manual control of camera, while working to ensure you don’t have to take manual control any more than necessary.

“Everything’s better this time around.”

The level builders – designers and artists – were way more experienced this time around building levels that were less likely to break the camera system. And we just understood the ramifications of changing the world, dynamically, with paint and thinner.

Everything’s better this time around. I’m sure you and your readers will tell us if everything’s better enough!

Developers often struggle introducing simultaneous co-op play – was making it work in Epic Mickey 2 a big challenge for you?
WS: I don’t think so, really. I mean, once the team decided to go with Oswald AI throughout the game, we didn’t have to design maps to work with and without Oswald. He was always going to be with you, even in single player.

And I’m not a fan of special modes of play – I mean, there’s no special co-op mode, or co-op story, or co-op specific missions. There’s just the game. Oswald’s there to help. Sometimes he’s AI controlled and sometimes he’s player controlled.

It wasn’t easy – I’d never say that… the team would kill me! But we have a great team at Junction Point, a team that really wanted to tackle the problem, rather than being told to tackle it. That makes a world of difference.

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3

You’ve included PS Move support. Do you see that as the definitive way to enjoy the game?
WS: Well, there’s certainly a lot to be said for the combination of gestural control and high definition graphics! That’s as close to a “definitive” statement as I’m going to make!

We know you’re a huge Disney fan – have you managed to pack plenty of fan service into the sequel? What new characters can we expect to see?

“The entire team embraced their inner Disney geek.”

WS: The key isn’t that I’m a huge Disney fan; the key is that the entire team embraced their inner Disney geek. On the first game, there was a learning period where people who might not have been huge Disney experts became huge Disney experts. I pushed the team to find Disney inspiration for everything in the game but that battle was won on the first game. No need to fight it again. The whole team went after it, Disney-style, this time.

There’s plenty of “fan service” in Epic Mickey 2! As far as specifics go, especially new characters, let’s move on. I want players to discover that for themselves.

Epic Mickey 2 is a big, colourful title that seems both family-friendly but also deep enough for core gamers to enjoy. How hard is it striking a balance between the two?

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3

WS: Man, making games at all is hard! Making games where “play-style matters” is even harder. Luckily, making games where players really get to decide how to interact with the world and the characters makes reaching a diverse audience a little easier. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.

The thing to remember is that, in most, if not all cases, if a player tries something – fighting or erasing or sneaking or platforming – and it isn’t working, or it’s too hard, or they’re not having enough fun, they can just try something else. When there’s more than one way to solve every game problem – or nearly every one – reaching players of different skill levels, different ages, with different interests, is kind of a given. But don’t underestimate how hard it is to make games that offer choices and real consequences! That’s the tricky bit…

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two for PS3

Do you think younger gamers – or their parents – have enough choice these days? Epic Mickey 2 seems at odds with a number of the other big Christmas blockbuster releases…

“There’s an amazing amount of choice in games these days.”

WS: Honestly, I do think there’s an amazing amount of choice in games these days, if you look at the full range of platforms and distribution methods. I mean, if all you look at is console titles, sold at retail, then, sure, you might see a lot of games falling into a small handful of genres. But include digital distribution systems like PSN into things and the world looks a lot more diverse – in terms of content, gameplay, purchase price, commitment required, etc. Then, roll Facebook and browser-based games and iOS and Android games into your equation and the world of gaming is crazy broad.

Having said all that, I love the fact that Disney Epic Mickey 2 is one of the few truly family-oriented titles I see coming out this holiday season. And by ‘family-oriented’ I mean ‘of interest to everyone and anyone!’.



Fred Dutton // SCEE Blog Manager

Star Wars Ep 7 and the Future of LucasArts

With the recent announcement that Disney has bought out Lucas Film, and is now starting the process to make another installment into Star Wars universe with Episode 7, the Daily Reaction crew of Dan and Seb discuss the future of Lucas Arts, and the Star Wars brand.

Dan: Being a big fan of the original Star Wars movies, it’s hard to know how to feel with the news of the Disney now owning Lucas Film and the rights to the Star Wars IP. Yet, given how the last 3 movies were handled a new owner could actually be the blessing fans needed for the film series to not be systematically ruined by George Lucas himself. Although, the biggest issue is that the new owners are Disney, and Lucas himself is now a significant shareholder in Disney also. So while this could be great news in the realm of possibilities, the reality seems to lean more that we might just see the Star Wars world tailspin out of control even faster.

As both Disney and Lucas have a tendency to market and license their properties to the point where the branding will require it’s own garbage dump, we will be guaranteed to see Star Wars everywhere. For fans and loyalists, this could be a good thing as it has been a few years since we have seen a major Star Wars push, and with the issues LucasArts have been having trying to get a proper Star Wars game to be successful in recent years, a new movie could be a great way to regain the mindshare of the public.

Seb: Ugh, I remember when Star Wars used to be good. Sure, it was always a cash cow, but at least the source material was great. Now it’s rubbish and it’s milked with stuff like Angry Birds Star Wars.

To be fair, however, Disney bought Marvel (they’re really taking over) and they haven’t completely screwed that up. Maybe taking this as far away from Lucas as possible is the best thing they can do, even if he will have some involvement like you said.

But my deeper concern is for the games developers that now take their paychecks from Walt Disney and not George Lucas. Disney isn’t interested in console games, just casual mobile stuff. They had their fingers burned with console titles before, ending up with them firing over 140 people in Brighton and shutting down the great guys at Black Rock Studios. They also shut down Propaganda Games, canceling Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned Action and Turok 2. Meanwhile they’ve bought a lot of casual developers like Tapulous, which works on the Tap Tap series.

That’s not what I want to happen to LucasArts.

Dan:  The question that will really need to be answered will be, just who will be the target audience for this next installment of the Star Wars franchise? This question alone will set the pace for how Disney handles the license across the board, as the tone and feel of the movie will ultimately direct any games or toys released alongside it. The fact that actually gives me a new hope, is that Lucas has said that he is handing Star Wars to a new generation of filmmakers. Hopefully this new blood, who probably have grown up with the original trilogy, will understand the needed direction and become the return of the Jedi we all need, and not another menace.

As far as the Disney empire’s ability to handle games, there is a chance for them to strike back, and regain a footing next gen. As Disney will now also owns LucasArts, they have the ability to push out quality titles from a seasoned development studio, and hopefully they see that and stay out of their way. Even still, much like BioWare’s lost investment on The Old RepublicStar Wars is simply not the giant it used to be, and if Disney doesn’t play their cards right it could turn off a whole new set of fans.

Seb: As much as I’d like to say that I find your lack of faith disturbing, I’ve got a very bad feeling about this. We can hope that someone at Disney suggests a new strategy, but at the moment Disney sees the console market as a piece of junk. They plan to stay on target.

Essentially, if one of LucasArts’ console games underperforms, you can bet your Blue Snaggletooth that that studio will be closed or reassigned to casual pastures. And when that happens, I think millions of voices will suddenly cry out in terror.

Of course, I could be wrong. Someone at Disney could realize how successful LucasArts could be on consoles. 1313 looks promising, a newBattlefront would be incredible, and when Naughty Dog stops makingUncharted, an Indiana Jones game would be perfect to fill that gap.

But this is a boring conversation anyway. Dan, we’re going to have company!

How do you feel Disney will handle the Star Wars brand? Are you looking forward to another entry in the movie franchise? Do you think this will have any effect on 1313? Let us know below, by email, or by sending your best slave Leia cosplay pics to Dan, and your Jabba the Hut pics to Seb


Source. Playstationlifestyle