What's Nintendo playing at?
According to The Escapist today, Nintendo has started flexing its muscle over YouTube videos featuring its game franchises and it seems a bizarre thing to do.
The Escapist reports that YouTuber Zack Scott, who is currently playing Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, claims that "Nintendo has made content claims on several of his videos, meaning ad revenue received from those videos will instead go to Nintendo rather than Scott".
According to the report, other YouTubers have noticed that same thing and Nintendo gave this explanation to GameFront: ""As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos featuring Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips. We continually want our fans to enjoy sharing Nintendo content on YouTube, and that is why, unlike other entertainment companies, we have chosen not to block people using our intellectual property."
I started playing Luigi's Mansion on my 3DS and it's amazingly good - perhaps one of the best handheld games I've played for a very long time - but if this is a case of Nintendo being heavy-handed with YouTubers, I can't see the point.
Post-apocalyptic Moscow is full of depressing sights but that doesn't mean that its survivors, now living in the city's extensive underground metro system, are wallowing in misery.
Forced to make do in the tight underground confines of the metro, Muscovites make the best of a bad situation. There is music, there is laughter. In one metro, a juggler entertains children. In another corner, an old man makes shadow puppets, his creations cast upon a sheet hanging from the roof. The city may have gone to hell but humanity still moves forward.
Pots of stew boil on stoves, men forced to fight for their families try to grab a few minutes' sleep, a man is slumped in the corner of a room, sleeping off too much vodka, a man wearing a sandwich board spouts words I can't understand. Life might not be pleasant but in Metro Last Light, mankind is making the best of it.
Based on the books by Russian novelist Dmitry Glukhovsky, Metro Last Light and its predecessor Metro 2033 are tales of desperation, where mankind now exists underground, and on the surface, well, foul mutated creatures roam.
VG247 reported on Tuesday that Sony has some "intriguing game announcements" to make this week, and while they seem software focused, I really think Sony needs to talk about the PS Vita, its handheld console that has been out barely a year but seems to have almost slipped from the company's attention.
I know several people who own Vitas and though they praise the hardware, its great screen and the two thumb sticks, they admit that they hardly use the handheld these days because there just aren't must-have games for the system. I know another gaming friend who only uses his to play PS One classics from 1997!
I have a Vita and I use it when I get games to review, which isn't that often these days, and that's sad for a modern-day handheld console.
For me, there are probably only a handful of games for the Vita that are must-haves - and that's bad news for Sony. Though it seems that games are starting to filter through for the handheld, and Killzone developer Guerilla is making a Vita-exclusive title based on the Killzone universe, Sony needs to devote some of its considerable resources to getting first-party studios making system-selling games for the Vita that will boost its sales and shift units.
And talking of boosting sales, a price drop would help with that, I'm sure. Currently, a wi-fi PS Vita is around $450 retail, though I noticed you can pick up a COD Declassified bundle for around $385 online (prices will vary depending on specials and online retailers). Dropping the price would surely bolster sales.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to play through about four hours of Remember Me, a game from Capcom that, to be honest, I hadn't really paid much attention to till now. Here's my preview, which ran in The Press this morning.
On a wall (probably several walls) somewhere in Neo Paris - new game Remember Me's futuristic vision of the French capital - is an image of a woman, an arm outstretched, her hand holding a brain.
Stencilled alongside the image are the words: ''Tous les jours. Je lave mon cerveau avec memorize'' which, if Google Translate is correct, means (roughly) ''Every day I wash my brain to memorise''.
It's a little cryptic, and a clumsy translation on my part, but the quote - and the image of the woman holding out her brain - is central to Remember Me's idea: in 2084, in an authoritarian state, memories are a commodity that people can digitise and share with other people.
Remember Me is different to most third-person action games in that it stars a woman lead called Nilin. Not that there haven't been women leads in video games before - Lara Croft from Tomb Raider and Faith from Mirror's Edge spring instantly to mind - but you could comfortably count on one hand the number of games that have a strong female lead that the player controls: Remember Me looks to change that.
I pre-ordered Fez, Polytron's mind-bending 2D game where you can rotate in three dimensions, off Steam the other day. Now there's nothing unusual in that.
But it was just another case of impulsively buying a game that I already own on console and will probably not get around to playing much because I already have too many games to play.
I downloaded Fez last night and it's just as much fun on PC as it was on console (in fact, I think it actually lends itself to a keyboard rather well) but the point is that I already own it on another platform, so I didn't need to buy it: I just, well, did. I call this I-can't-help-buying-video-games-I-already-own-on-other-formats-itis. And I'm sure other people suffer from it.
This affliction also tends to raise its head about the time new Humble Indie Bundle packages appear. I get the email, read it, then can't help but pull out my credit card and buy a bundle. Half the time I've already got two or three of the games but the joy of having another version of a game I own, on another platform, is just too much to fight. I can't help it.
I've got several games that I bought during bouts of I-can't-help-buying-video-games-I-already-own-on-other-formats-itis that I haven't even played yet. And probably won't - Canabalt and Jet Pack Joyride being just two of them. I just seem to buy them and then promptly forget to play them.
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