Tag Archives: miiverse

The Wiik That Was: Japanapes and Bear Blowback in the Miiverse

It’s actually been two weeks since I’ve taken a look at the Miiverse here for Caffeine-Fueled but that’s not due to a lack of happenings on Nintendo’s own island of bliss. An island more in common with that made famous by Patrick McGoohan than with Ibiza but an island nonetheless.

Of course, the big news is that the Wii U came out in Japan, hooray! Possibly chomping at the bit, being the last major territory to receive the console, Japanese artists were out in full force.

Drawn by アッチ (Japan)
Drawn by アッチ (Japan)

Bowser’s off to have a fun-tastic day in Nintendo Land. The last time Bowser tried to have a vacation though he was attacked by Mario while sitting in a hot tub on Delfino Island. I hope this works out better for the King of the Koopas.

The wait didn’t make everyone eager to please, however. Some people just have to rub in their fancy new Wii U apps in our faces.

Drawn by kazuki (Japan)
Drawn by kazuki (Japan)

Yes, the Wii U now has Google Maps and allows you to use the Game Pad as a window to explore Google’s vast, privacy-shattering photography of the world. Let’s see how many people throwing up on the streets of the world the Japanese fanbase find before the rest of the world can catch up.

Luckily, the Japanese weren’t allowed to run amok across the Japanese section of Miiverse. One brave user took up the fight.

Drawn by Vidya4chan (United States)
Drawn by Vidya4chan (United States)

Don’t think we forgot about Pearl Harbor! You’d think two nuclear bombs and a horrible Michael Bay movie would redress the balance somewhat but this is one one-sided feud that may continue for quite a while. Of course with the upside down American flag and all, this all may be ironic or trolling or whatever you need to call it to cheer yourself up.

The Miiverse isn’t all happy times and hipster-styled nationalistic frays however. People come together to share and recommend games to each other. Let’s look at the reception Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade has been receiving.

Drawn by Jacob (Denmark)
Drawn by Jacob (Denmark)

Okay, so it’s not very fun according to this scientifically verified graph, complete with helpful X and Y axis markers. Family Party gives hope to those of us who pray that the great Wii shovelware era will continue on into the life cycle of the Wii U, like how Sephiroth infected the Lifestream with Geostigma in Advent Children.

Still, like many games, things aren’t black and white. A lot of great games are surrounded in controversy. E.T.Superman 64, Ninjabread Man. All fine examples of once-loathed games that in hindsight were pinnacles of their craft. Let’s take a look at a more positive post regarding the title.

Drawn by VJ (Finland)
Drawn by VJ (Finland)

Hey, now, let’s calm down a little. This game may be sub-par but chasing Santa? Besides, I’ve never seen Santa actually hang around to open my presents. He usually just empties the liquor cabinet and leaves without dropping off my gifts.

Isn’t this all a bit of an overreaction anyway? I mean, maybe it’s a poor game but it’s not like it’s explicitly evil or anything, right?

Drawn by Epsylon (Spain)
Drawn by Epsylon (Spain)

…moving on.

Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed continues to be a popular game across the Miiverse. What with it being the unnatural child of Sonic Drift, Sonic R and all those wonderful IPs that made the Saturn and Dreamcast such roaring successes how could it not?

Still, not all the characters are equally popular. As you can imagine, everyone loves the Sonic crew, especially Shadow is so cool and bad ass and cool but Danica Patrick, below-mediocre professional driver and at-least-average professional female has about as much to do with Sega as a healthy profit margin so enthusiasm for her inclusion was… lacking.

Drawn by Mumzy (United States)
Drawn by Mumzy (United States)

While some, like above, are merely unimpressed by her presence, others are going so far as to avoid unlocking her completely. I haven’t seen such a denial of reality since the 32X.

But, hey, I don’t write this article just to make a bunch of jokes about Sega while hiding the fact that I love them dearly. So let’s take a look at some other titles. What’s going on over at Disney and their lacklustre Epic Mickey 2?

Drawn by Nadrim (Sweden)
Drawn by Nadrim (Sweden)

scorge plz

While an Epic Ducktales game featuring Scrooge and three Scrappy Doos, just remember the sheer amount of Dolan meme-ry such a concept would unleash on the world. Put the lid back on that box of locusts, Disney, before it’s too late.

Scribblenauts is getting some serious play lately and has even branched out into real world merchandise. You can now buy Maxwell’s hat, for real, at stores. I still have to send about $200 to Japan via syphilitic carrier pigeon to have a 30% chance of getting a Suikoden action figure but kids can now look like Adventure Time 2P costumes? It’s not fair.

Still, how would you describe Scribblenauts to someone who has never played it? You could just say “you write stuff then the stuff done appeareds” but that doesn’t quite get across the fun. One person may have found a way.

Drawn by Luke (United Kingdom)
Drawn by Luke (United Kingdom)

That is exactly how I feel about the game too, mate. Scribblenauts is so much like a train/bus/plane/tampon about to run over someone whose first instinct is to block the vehicle/sanitary product with an open palm. Exactly.

It’s not all AAA titles, or FFF even, on the Wii U. The indie games section is getting off to a good start, even if it features about 6000% less tits than its Xbox counterpart. So before we go, let’s take a look at what people are saying about Mighty Switch Force! HD.

Drawn by Mike (United Kingdom)
Drawn by Mike (United Kingdom)

The Queen’s English has a way of making even simple statements like that seem classy, doesn’t it?

Mighty Switch Force! HD is yummyyy. – IGN

The Week That Was 12/2: On Impostors

Funny story! I was planning on getting another The Week That Was up last week, buuuut then a little game called Persona 4 Golden game out (only $39.99 for the Playstation Vita, available now! *ding!*) and suddenly a good 40 or 50 hours of my life vanished, like so many “missing time” cases on Coast To Coast AM.

On the plus side, a rather lengthy review did happen to appear on this very site, so it wasn’t a total loss, right? …right? And we do have something of a double-header this week to make up the shortfall, as John Layfield has put together his own “Wiik That Was” for your perusal. See? We’re totally professional!

The Weekly Haul

neil gaiman hostess ad
The world of the now-defunct Hostess, as imagined by Neil Gaiman. Naturally.

• Review: Persona 4 Golden – Addition Without Subtraction. Persona 4 was at the top of its class when it was first released in 2008, and this new version for the Playstation Vita is all that and more. With that in mind, my review mainly covers the changes and additions made by Golden, most of which are very positive.

• RAW Rambling 11/26/12: Not Quite The Avengers Initiative I’m fiddling a little bit with the format of these articles on the behest of Mr. Layfield. More context? More weird Tumblr pics? Star ratings for matches like it’s 1999 or something? Let me know what you want in the comments.

• Nicolas Cage Really Is In Everything It’s true, he really is.

• That Charles Barkley RPG Has A Sequel On Kickstarter I wonder if Mr. Barkley himself is aware of these games? He seems to have a pretty solid sense of humour, so I’m sure he’d be down with it.

• Game Of Thrones: The Lost Seinfeld Episode It’s pretty safe to say that Ned Stark wasn’t the “master of his domain”, unfortunately for him.

• The Wiik That Was – 10 Miiverse Images of the Past 7 Days I suppose Mr. Layfield felt the need to get my ass in gear with a “Wiik” of his own. Will this become a running feature? Who knows! You’ll just have to keep your eyes peeled.

News We Missed

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been paying as close an eye to my usual news sources these last couple weeks. Still, here are a couple items for you anyway.

• There was a Walking Dead swimsuit calendar, and it was horrifying. No, it doesn’t feature the show’s female cast. It’s all zombies in bikinis. Really. On the scale of disturbing ideas for calendars, this ranks somewhere between that fireman thing my mother tried to give me once (presumably as a test of my sexuality or something) and that one a bunch of old nude ladies did for some kind of medical research benefit. Brr. (via io9)

• Patrick Stewart pulled a Stephen Colbert impression for PBS. Now here’s fundraising I can get behind! Looks like Stewart’s recent appearances on The Daily Show rubbed off on him. (via TrekMovie)

Community Things!

CF-XCOM has been underway for a while now. Here’s the latest mission report straight from our forums’ own Falcon Critical:

We shot down a medium UFO, it took both our interceptors to do so, and we’re going to have to clear the insides of this thing. Thor takes another break, despite the last time he did so going disastrously.

The team spots high ground to one side and moves to secure it. Estranged sets herself up the elevated position and the team moves forward. Two thin men stroll into line of sight, HunterF and Est both miss their overwatch shots, but Est doesn’t the second time around. Squad sight snipers on high ground are pretty OP.

caffeine-fueled xcom

Estranged drops the thin man and HunterF retreats to better cover… uncovering two sectoids. Pontiff run and guns his way over and shotguns one, the other remains at large along with the thin man in another direction. With a couple of troops on overwatch, a suicidal sectoid charges at Pontiff and DHerder guns it down before it can get close.

Another two sectoids show up and one brazenly sits behind a tree daring us to shoot at him. We do, and we miss. The thin man from earlier has swung around to back up the sectoids as well, but Est puts him down. Pontiff moves in to get a shot at the sectoid, but it is overwatching.

caffeine-fueled xcom

It hits for 4 damage, meaning Pontiff’s going to be in the infirmary for a while. DHerder continues to lead by example, lasering the sectoid through a tree for the kill. Pontiff darts back to DH for a little healing spray, and HunterF finishes off the other little grey immigrant.

No other aliens appear on the way into the ship, and even inside the ship it’s in the control room that we find one Outsider. Everyone misses him and he responds in kind. Again most of the team miss, but HunterF claims the kill.

MISSION SUCCESSFUL
7 Aliens Deceased
—————————————
Lt. “Drifter” Estranged (Sniper) – 12 kills, 8 missions
Sgt. “Prophet” D Herder (Support) – 7 kills, 8 missions PROMOTION
Cpl. “Loco” Pontiff of Zargos (Assault) – 8 kills, 4 missions PROMOTION WOUNDED (5 days)
Cpl. Hunter “Thunder” Friar (Heavy) – 7 kills, 4 missions PROMOTION
Sq. True Perception (Support) – 3 kills, 2 missions

Pontiff earns the nickname “Loco”, probably due to running into battle with a shotgun when facing plasma toting aliens.
HunterF steals some of Thor’s “Thunder” by proving his match as a heavy.

Want to help save the world? Sign up!

Ard, C-F’s artist du jour, may or may not be rendering myself and a few others as Persona characters. So look forward to that, should it really happen. You’ll just have to check out the forums for more!

One More Video!

Another shout-out to Ard for this one. See? Video games are beneficial! Take that, old people!

See you next week!

The Wiik That Was – 10 Miiverse Images of the Past 7 Days

The Wii U has been out about two weeks now and people are getting used to the features of the Miiverse; Nintendo’s social network which is run by a bunch of fascists who enforce fun, just like that one Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who episode, except everything is grey and blue instead of pink.

What’s been going on in the past week or so in the Miiverse? What are the concerns of players and, more importantly, what have they doodled for us to be entertained by?

Some Miis tend to stick to the straight out homage to classic games.

Drawn by Zockrates (Germany)

This drawing ponders what would happen if the irresistible force met the immovable object. The answer? Hilarity! (and concussions). Bowser always get a bad rap, but you’ve got to feel bad for his minions sometimes. All this trouble just to get their boss a date? They must really like the guy. I can’t even get Del to be my wingman because he always takes it literally and turns up dressed like Maverick from Top Gun and singing Take My Breath Away.

All this high-paced Mario action (and Tom Cruise based non-sequitirs) are no match for the power of nostalgia, however and this next image basically summarises 50% of the posts about New Super Mario Brothers U.

Drawn by RupeeClock (United Kingdom)

Hey, remember when the past was the present? Wasn’t everything better back in 1985 for Nintendo? No hour long updates for the NES right out of the box and Duck Hunt never needed any balance patches. Then again, I haven’t had to blow into a console to get it to work since the N64 and neither my Wii U nor any of my games are in danger of rusting any time soon.

Nintendo has been making slightly more of an effort to court third-party developers thus far. Although it’s a bit up in the air whether that attitude will last, it at least allows for one of the favourite hobbies of any fanbase: Nonsensical crossovers!

Drawn by speedpop (Australia)

Of course, if you don’t want to see Luigi throw fire balls at the non-distinct shojo-riffic cast of both Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, starring in their own crossover game, then I don’t know what to tell you.

While a lot of people would like to see Nintendo go all Kingdom Hearts as regards third party interaction, right down to having Bowser voiced by someone from *NSYNC, not everyone envisions these franchise mash-ups as working out for the Nintendo crew.

Drawn by Mikytosh (France)

Stop! Stop! He’s already dead! Mario isn’t even British, Connor, leave him alone. Perhaps it’s a comment on how Nintendo’s attempt at flirtation with third party developers will lead to their ultimate demise. Or maybe we just get a kick out of seeing the happy go lucky characters murdered in the name of realism?

Speaking of crossover appeal, both Nintendo and Sega are fond of their own intra-company franchise crossovers. Nintendo has the Smash Brothers franchise and Sega is making some headway with its SONIC (and some other guys no-one cares about) All-Stars Racing series. However, although many of your unprofitable favourite characters are available for selection not every one is satisfied with the roster.

Drawn by Viral (United States)

Why no Phantasy Star Online racers or tracks? Well, that’s because everyone knows that the only Phantasy Star game worth mentioning is Phantasy Star Universe. Technically, the entire game could be taking a place on a distant planet in one of the Phantasy Star galaxies though. Besides, who needs classic Sega game references when you can race as Danica Patrick, NASCAR driver, right?

So people talk about games a lot on the Miiverse, and rightly so. But what about when you’ve got little to say about the games themselves and just want to relax and pursue intelligent conversations with your fellow gamers? What then? That’s right: add memes!

Drawn by Garrett (Italy)

We tried to contact 2005 for a quote but I couldn’t hear anything over the sound of Bo Bice’s Inside Your Heaven. Of course, the real problem is that “taking the Nabbits to Isengard” works so much better, except of course no one takes Nabbits anywhere in New Super Mario Brothers U.

ZombiU is set in Britain and is, in fact, so British that you end up with a cricket bat in fairly short order. Just the thing for keeping hordes of zombies at bay, along with tea, the queen’s corgis and a lingering longing for the days of empire. Obviously, the memes follow suit.

Drawn by AJ (Panama)

Of course, the real problem with swinging a cricket bat is that no matter how effective it is, most of the world is going to see it as the more boring, sweater clad version of swinging a baseball bat and when someone is comparing you unfavourably with baseball, you know you have problems. Still, they have Doctor Who over there, as well as about half of the PBS line up, so they can’t feel too bad.

So while Britain is getting to grips with the new phenomenon of cricket hooliganism, what’s going on in the former colonies as regards the Wii U? Not much, as a national emergency coincided with the Wii U’s launch, throwing millions of American’s peace of minds in jeopardy.

Drawn by kludge (United States)

Yes, Hostess, makers of Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and other brand names which are not at all sexually suggestive has closed down for the time being, blaming labour strikes amongst other factors for their total bankruptcy and mismanagement for decades. While consumers will have to turn elsewhere for their oily, chemical-infused death treats at least we can take solace in the fact that their wonderful comic advertisments remain.

Although America was left reeling as shares in insulin dropped, the ship was soon righted through the power of anime breasts.

Drawn by guek (United States)

As Ayame (who does not appear in ZombiU, at least to my knowledge) is the teenage boy’s fantasy, she helpfully labels her underwear as she’s always looking for it due to a propensity for taking it off. Of course, dressed like that maybe she turns up in ZombiU thinking it’s the set of Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad. If so, things are going to get very messy in London, very quickly.

That about wraps it up. But before we go, let’s check out what’s happening in Scandinavia.

Drawn by zukans (Finland)

fonland plz

Wii and U and Her and Her and Her Simultaneously: The Wii U Analysis

So, like many people out there, I’ve managed to get my hands on a Wii U, on the condition that I write words about it. This isn’t a game review, so I’m not really going to base my findings on how fun Nintendo Land is or how ZombiU is clearly bullshit, no matter how long I keep playing and starting over.

The Wii U has been out a few days now. It’s purportedly selling well and although it is not a complete sell out like its predecessor, at least as far as “Basic” units are concerned, neither is it a flop. Without sustained hyperbole, such as Sony’s initial bullish reactions to the notion that PS3s were not selling out across the land in 2006, this seems palatable. Even Sega’s much vaunted 9/9/99 Dreamcast launch was touted as the most successful console launch in history at the time, and look how that turned out. From a casual perspective, there’s not much to worry about, unless you were one of those speculators, hoping to sell your console on eBay for a small fortune.

Cosmetically, the Wii U is sleek and smooth, as is the Game Pad which comes packaged with it. They also absorb fingerprints like the damn things were made of half-melted chocolate so if that’s a concern for you, you’d be wise to invest in some sort of covering for your Game Pad at least. Size wise, the console itself rates about 0.25 Xbox 360, which is roughly 0.01 Sega Game Gear or 0.0001 original Xbox for those using older measurements and is smaller than my Hori fight sticks for the PS3 and 360. You’ll be hard pressed not to find space for it whereas my ancient backwards-compatible PS3 is large enough to cause shelving nearby to creak ominously.

wii u princess peach
In lieu of a real caption, have this Mario/The Room crossover script: “Oh hi, Daisy!” “Hi, I’m Daisy!” “Oh hi, Daisy!” “Hi, I’m Daisy!” “Oh hi, Daisy!” etc.

The Game Pad is large, but well designed, which means it never feels too big for your hands. The screen in the middle may space the left and right hand sides from each other but the pad itself is thin, and unless you have wee T-Rex arms that makes all the buttons easy to reach. It syncs well with the Wii U’s menus and has been used at least adequately in the games available so far. I believe there is far more real potential in the notion of the Game Pad screen than in motion controls, but that’s just me.

The Game Pad screen responds much like the DS/3DS screen, for obvious reasons. Nintendo will be missing a trick if they don’t eventually release a Game Pad that can accept DS/3DS carts. Think of it as the old Super Game Boys, except good. I haven’t experienced much problems with responsiveness but then I naturally pound away at the bloody thing like I was playing Donkey Konga. Do note though that I don’t use capacitive touchscreens much myself so I’m sure I’m “missing out” on the feeling of being downgraded to a resistive model. Score one for the Luddites!

The user interface is similar to the Wii. And the Nintendo DS. And the Nintendo 3DS. I think you have to accept that this is the Nintendo look now. The Playstation line goes for black and blue a la the beating the Vita is taking, the Xbox is aping whatever the current Microsoft OS is and Nintendo is grey, white and blue, the washed out American flag you shouldn’t have left out in the sun all the time.

The transfer of original Wii to Wii U data is much the same as it is for the DS to 3DS transfer, down to the adorable Pikmin helpers carting off your data for newer horizons. It’s more difficult, due to the need to have your Wii and Wii U both operational simultaneously with much switching between inputs but once you get going, it’s not the most inconvenience you’ll suffer.

wii u pikmin
Transferring data is bothersome, but worth doing just for the Pikmin stuff alone. In fact, buy a Wii AND a Wii U just to do this! (Note: Don’t do this)

No, that goes to the 10-15 second loading time whenever you select a menu option. We’re not talking the short loading bursts that drive some gamers into an apocalyptic rage in 2012 where one can only imagine their reaction to seeing the original Tomb Raider load times. This is pretty irredeemable by comparison. It stalls your progression and train of thought and, worse, can actively discourage you from exploring aspects of the Wii U.

On another note, the first day (or not by now, I guess) updates right out of the box are apparently an issue right now. Many people seem to be upset as the worlds of console and PC gaming continue to collide like when Gohan and Cell had that awesome Kamehameha duel in Dragonball Z. Updates! Patches! Energy beams exploding the moon! DLC! Really though, the Wii has had system updates for yonks, not to mention those other consoles. Yes, it’s more annoying than not needing a system update but I think we need to accept this burden in the current marketplace.

It’s a big update though. While not the hour plus download times I’ve seen reported elsewhere (again, because I’ve missed the rush due to tardiness), it’s more comparable to one of Sony’s large fireware updates than one of Microsoft’s tetchy 40 second jobs. Calm down, you can wait half an hour to play Nintendo Land, it’s not like you have 1080p New Zelda Adventure in your hands.

Graphically, the Wii U holds up well against the 360 and PS3. I’m not a huge specs guy, but the overdue leap to HD visuals is wonderful.  From what I can tell, there’s nothing to suggest that the graphics won’t improve further with time but, yeah, expect the Wii U to be outclassed graphically by the newest Microsoft and Sony consoles once they come out. If you’re not hung up over graphics too much, just know that the HD output makes things clear and easy to follow.

wii u suikoden
With the Miiverse drawing option, you can spam game boards with references to obscure 90’s RPGs! Bring back Grandstream Saga, you guys!

The Miiverse, Nintendo’s new friendy-friend system thankfully abolishes friend codes to the trashbin of history along with the Virtual Boy, Daikatana and that bit in Suikoden II where it totally looks like Teresa’s betraying you in Muse. It’s counter-intuitive to set up and I admit I needed to look up that I had to open the menu, select the friend icon and set up my already set up account for friends before I could actually accept or reject them but once I got that sorted out, it seemed pretty easy. Right now, I’m a fan of the “boards” for different games, where questions, discussion and stupid pictures can be shared although that could change as the trolls stream in. We’ll see how that develops.

Some people are upset that TVii has been delayed until December. While this is a blow to Nintendo, as they had hyped it as a day one feature, honestly, another attempt at making a console “the entertainment centre of my living room” isn’t what I’m holding out too strongly for, especially when no one games console can claim to be the damn video game centre of my living room. We’ll see if Nintendo can bridge the gap, but I won’t be betting my soon-to-be-defunct Wii points on it.

Any other flaws? 32GB “deluxe” storage is a joke and Nintendo have probably kneecapped their online store from the start by doing this. Asking players to invest in additional external hard drives is a tough sell. The need to boot up what is essentially a Wii emulator worse than Dolphin to play Wii games is staggeringly ignorant and really, shouldn’t the Wii Shop and the new Nintendo eShop be merged? No? Am I the only person who finds it weird that there are no Virtual Console games on the eShop and that I have to boot up a fake Wii on my new Wii U to access a relic of a store to buy games with a (perhaps) soon-to-be-obsolete points currency? No? Okay.

Right now, the Wii U is a flawed machine. Nintendo’s autocratic attitude means that this is unlikely to change very much. Things will be tweaked and improved here and there but for the most part, this is the Wii U people will be playing for either the next few years, or until next year when the latest Sony and Microsoft offering will murder it like it was so much Dreamcast (I’m sorry, Sega. Power Stone was pretty cool!).

The Wii U is a sequel in the truest sense. It’s an update of the original Wii console, rather than the whole new world the Wii proved to be in comparison to the Gamecube. Evolution, not revolution. This isn’t a bad thing, but it seems Nintendo is having a hard time presenting what the Wii U is and isn’t to consumers. Time will tell how that may affect its prospects.

The Deluxe package is the only one worth considering and $350 is a relatively decent price for a new console out of the gate, especially with a free title and 10% back on downloaded titles, but if you don’t desperately need to play any of the admittedly large selection of launch titles (remember that the Nintendo 64 launched with your options being Super Mario 64 or a wet wipe coated in swine flu), I’d hold off for now.