As you all likely know by now, stories of a Majora’s Mask 3D are a dime a dozen nowadays. Indeed, ever since Ocarina of Time 3D was released all those years ago, Nintendo’s seemingly got nothing but non stop requests for one from Majora’s Mask fans desperate to see their favourite game remade in the same style.
But in a recent interview, it seems we may have got yet another hint to one’s future existence. What is it? Keep reading to find out…
Just a few minutes ago, semi obscure gaming website Pixelvolt posted an interview with Next Level Games online, focusing on Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and its development. But while you might expect such an interview not to share much, it does in fact hint at such interesting things as whether the likes of portrait ghosts were planned for the 3DS game. So here’s some intriguing comments raised in the piece, along with my thoughts:
No Super Mario World ones, but some of the quotes from the article give the distinct impression that we might see remixed music from another unexpected 2D Mario game instead. Namely, the American version of Super Mario Bros 2 with its Subcon setting and distinct story. Read some more interesting quotes from the article in the full post!
Just earlier yesterday, French gaming website ‘GameKult’ posted an interview with Super Mario 3D World developers Shigeru Miyamoto, Yoshiaki Koizumi and Kenta Motokura. So here’s a nice run down of everything said, directly from the translation as provided through Google Translate…
With Minecraft being such a big success on the PC and Xbox 360, many gamers have wondered why exactly the game has never been announced for either the 3DS or Wii U. Indeed, I even got asked about this before myself!
It contains lots of info on cut Bros Attacks as well as other things, so I may as well quote and talk about the best bits here. Let’s begin.
The Mario & Luigi games have plenty of unique characters who don’t appear elsewhere in the Mario universe. What’s the process behind designing these characters? Do Nintendo and AlphaDream collaborate on them, or does one group have more of a say than the other?
Interesting question. And what’s even more intriguing is their answer…
OTANI: Basically, AlphaDream thinks of how to play and whilst doing this, comes up with character designs that would be appropriate for this.
Nintendo also supports by seeing to it that these designs fit the atmosphere of Mario games.
The reason why characters which were not in the original appear is because the story is also very important in this game. However, characters with crazy designs sometimes get sent to Nintendo. Of course most of them were rejected…
Okay then… so, what kind of crazy characters did they reject? I mean, the Mario & Luigi series is filled to the brim with insane lunatics (Fawful, the Massifs, etc), weird boss concepts (Earthwake, Chuckolator, Junker) and other such things, so what could be so nuts that even Nintendo goes ‘nah, not happening’?
And heck, when a volcano turns out to be sentinent and tries to smash the Mario Bros to death, you have to wonder exactly how more crazy it could get…
A lot of the humour in the Mario & Luigi games is dialogue-based, but jokes that may be funny in one country aren’t in another. The English-language localisation of Dream Team is fantastic, with some very clever jokes and references to popular culture. Does anyone from AlphaDream collaborate with the localisation teams or are they given a free reign to translate the script as they see fit?
OTANI: For the entire series, we always ask the Nintendo of America writer Nate Bihldorff to handle localisation. He really loves this series and enjoys making changes to the text so that it would be compatible in other countries.
We give Nate and his team the freedom to change things and we are always impressed by how he makes arrangements to the Japanese humour that is characteristic to this game. However, in a past title there was a Japanese-specific joke where a washbasin (tarai) falls onto the head, and he did have difficulty arranging this, asking us if this could be changed to a bucket.
Not people hadn’t figured this out already, but they basically let each country’s localisation team write their own version of each Mario & Luigi (and Paper Mario) game’s script, complete with localised cultural references and humour. But the interview just confirms it.
Also, want to know something interesting? Both Fawful and Broque Monsieur have a different ‘gimmick’ in every region’s version of the game.
For the former, he talks in Engrish in English versions, adds strings of ‘ru’ to every sentence in Japanese, has a strong accent with strange metaphors in French, stutters in German and speaks with weird invented words in Italian.
For the latter, he speaks in French in English, Dutch and Spanish versions, English in the Japanese version, broken French in the French (European) version and… just plain German in the German version.
Honestly, I’m rather glad they translate the games like this. Makes them much better now that people from every country they’re released in can still find them funny and entertaining.
KUBOTA: There are various attacks that have not been adopted, such as the Bros. Attack and Miracle Attack. Every time we come up with numerous ideas and then choose from these ideas by considering which ones are fun, can realistically be created and fit the concept of the game.
Yep, there are apparently Bros Attacks which haven’t been adopted. Not sure what they mean by Bros Attack and ‘Miracle Attack’ in this sense, I assume they mean they’ve scrapped both Bros Attacks and Luiginary Attacks for different reasons.
For example, there used to be one Luiginary Attack called ‘Miracle Volcano’. In this idea, many Luigis gather together to become a volcano, and by shaking the Nintendo 3DS the volcano erupts, releasing masses of Luigis and hitting the enemies. We created this attack on a trial basis, but because the functionality did not work out so well and Mario had too little a role in the attack, this idea was not adopted.
Sounds interesting, but to be honest… I can see exactly what it was scrapped. Annoying control gimmick? Check. No Mario involvement? Definitely, he didn’t even mention what Mario DID in this whole description… and to be honest, it doesn’t sound like that great an idea anyway. So glad we got the likes of Luiginary Wall and Luiginary Typhoon instead.
but we also prepared a hard mode for core gamers and those who still want to play after clearing the game. This mode has increased difficulty, with the attack powers of the enemies increased and a smaller maximum number of items which Mario and Luigi can carry, so we hope that those who have cleared the first round of the game will make an attempt to play this mode.
Yeah, I know all about Hard Mode… since I’m the one unlucky soul on the planet desperate/insane enough to try and beat it.
To be honest though, I don’t think the RPG gameplay and item limits in Hard Mode are really the bit that’s ‘hard’ in it, since you can still bypass them with level grinding, beans and careful equipment/badge uses. No, the real difficult bit (that they don’t mention) is that the giant Luigi bosses seem to be much more aggressive in Hard Mode and use a hell of a lot more projectiles and things than in the normal version. The hard bit isn’t saying, fighting Wiggler or Grobot or even Antasma, it’s trying to avoid being horribly ripped apart when Earthwake (the giant boss in Dreamy Wakeport) uses its deadly hammer of doom attack ten times in a row to the point where failing to dodge can basically kill you in one hit (or at least before you can move/its attack ends).
In fact, I’d say the Giant Bosses are arguably the most brutal thing in Hard Mode altogether, since they have long cut scenes before each battle, can kill you in about four attacks (they seem to do double/triple damage in Hard Mode) and send you right back to the title screen whenever you die, meaning that you have to sit through the annoying cut scene beforehand three million times.
Indeed, if you were to describe the differences between Normal Mode and Hard Mode in the form of a TV Tropes page title, it’d be:
Normal Mode: Easy Enemies, Moderate Giant Bosses, Hard Bosses
Hard Mode: Annoying Demonic Spiders for Enemies, Easy Bosses, Giant Bosses that will rip you half two million times
So while I agree with his thoughts on Hard Mode being a good mode for pros to play through the game again, I do have to say that the Item restrictions are basically irrelevant in it.
There are points in the game where Luigi turns into a giant. It’s a bit mad, where did that come from?
OTANI: The battles where Luigi grows into a giant are all in 3D, and we had Good-Feel, who worked on Kirby’s Epic Yarn and has expertise in 3D effects, to work on this.
Initially, the voice of giant Luigi was set to be a deep voice as he is big. Charles Martinet, the voice actor, happily took part in the voice recording session and his voice had a fresh feel when it was actually implemented into the game. However, the Luigi-ness had also greatly faded away, so that is why we decided to use the current voice.
If we had kept that other voice, we would have probably seen a completely different new Luigi. The giant battle is the part of the game we were struggling with the most along with the main story, so we hope that players will be able to enjoy it.
Good-Feel came up with the giant battles? That’s pretty cool, Wario Land Shake It and Kirby’s Epic Yarn looked great and so did the giant battles here. The gameplay in all of these things was rock solid too…
I do have to wonder though; did Good-Feel come up with any of the boss designs/gameplay here, or did AlphaDream plan out how each battle was meant to work?
Because Good-Feel do have an annoying tendency to create rather difficult bosses in their otherwise easy video games. Just look at anything you fight in Wario Land The Shake Dimension for example, the likes of Bloomsday/Scumflower and the Shake King were absolutely ridiculous, brutal battles. So yeah, I’d be interested to know if they played any role in the actual boss/gameplay design, since Good-Feel do have a tendency to make their levels too easy and their bosses too difficult…
Above: I’m still not sure what’s less forgiving… Giant Bowser or the Shake King…
Also, I like the comment about the deeper giant Luigi voice thing they tried and rejected. Yeah, it would have been pretty weird to hear a version of Luigi with a ridiculously deep voice. Might have been entertaining and funny in a random way though, should have left the voice clips in for a joke or something.
While the Mario & Luigi series has always been handheld only, would AlphaDream consider a Wii U version?
OTANI: As a developer I am interested, but we currently have no plans for a Wii U version. If we want to convey the amusement and fun of the character animations and reactions using AlphaDream’s pixel art, I think handheld consoles are the best for doing this.
So a home console Mario & Luigi game isn’t out the question, but handhelds are their priority. Fair enough. Although I do have to think certain things in Dream Team would have worked way better on a Wii U, like the motion control stuff.
And those are just some of the interesting points raised in the original interview, which you can read the source link below. Decent read, the stuff they cut out sounds kind of interesting…
What do you think of this Mario & Luigi Dream Team developer interview?
A new interview has been published with Mario Kart 8 producer Konno and director Yabuki on the French gaming website GameKult. This interview gives some interesting new info about the title, including stuff about what features are included and the possibility of fan favourite features being added. Here’s the link:
So in other words, the game was in development since the Wii U was announced, and they merely thought it was too early to show.
The game is being developed purely by EAD Kyoto/Nintendo’s internal studios
Well, that’s not exactly a major surprise, is it?
There’s one game per system, hence why this game is being made and not F-Zero. The team do hope an F-Zero game eventually gets made though.
It’s not a replacement for F-Zero, it’s just being made because Nintendo has a rule of one Mario Kart title per system.
Game Pad is mainly used for off-screen play and menus
They do say they have other ideas, but the GamePad isn’t a major priority with this title.
Tracks will have three laps
This is mentioned in the interview. In their own (badly translated) words:
In the E3 demo, the races are only two rounds, but there will be three in the final game and you wonder if the players really fun to watch the entire race on video. We always think of the fun when you have to make such adjustments.
So the two lap setup really is only a demo thing.
Above: Tracks like this will eventually have three laps.
Two player karts like Double Dash won’t be in this game
Sorry folks. As the interview says:
Mario Kart: Double Dash had introduced a funny idea with two people per vehicle and it could be interesting to reuse in conjunction with the GamePad. Have you considered the return of racing in tandem in an upcoming episode?
HK: When you discuss what you want to integrate the next Mario Kart, this idea sometimes comes up. For Mario Kart Wii, 7 and 8, we decided not to use it. But this is a request that is often heard, so maybe we can meet this desire.
Mario Kart 8 will have narrower tracks
Yep, the wide open track design of Mario Kart Wii won’t be as prevalent in this title, with the tracks being made narrower instead.
Kart customisation returns
So if you like the feature in Mario Kart 7, then you can expect it to return in much the same way in Mario Kart 8. From the original source:
KY: Like Mario Kart 7, we will leave the possibility of changing the tires, the body or the type of glider with a little more choice
Track editor is uncertain
As in, they say not to expect it (so it probably won’t show up), but they don’t directly seem to say yes or no. From the interview:
HK: Yes, quite a simple editor like d ‘ Excitebike would certainly be interesting to implement.
KY: To be honest, at the moment, we focus on how to exploit the system to reverse gravity, which was created almost from scratch and that is fairly different from what we could do with a simple editor.
HK: Yes, we do not want the players eat too great expectations towards an editor either, so I do not think we should talk too much. (Laughs)
So there you have it. Kart customisation returns, the game has been in development about a year or so and a track editor is incredibly unlikely. What do you think of their answers and Mario Kart 8?
Just earlier today, Reggie Fils-Aime from Nintendo stopped by the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon studio to answer various questions about Nintendo that fans had put to him by Twitter. And the official Youtube channel uploaded a video of this, which can be found here:
So what exactly did he say? Let’s find out, with my fan made transcript of the interview:
Question 1: How much third-party support can we expect from the Wii U for the rest of the year?
Third party support for the Wii U. The great news is that we have a ton of great third-party support coming, from Disney, from Activision, from Ubisoft. Great games like Watchdogs, like Infinity, like Skylanders. All of those great games plus first party… it’s a system to have.
So that’s his answer to question 1, the one about third-party support. Are Skylanders and Disney Infinity quite what ‘hardcore’ gamers on message boards ask for when they talk of third-party support? Perhaps not, but they’re definitely examples of third-party support regardless. And hey, I assume that’s only a small sample of what’s coming to the Wii U this year.
Question 2: If you could be any Nintendo character and live their lives in their world, who would it be and why?
If I could live in any Nintendo world and be a Nintendo character, the one I want to be is Link. I wanna save princess Zelda, I want to live in all of those magical environments and, the Legend of Zelda series is my favourite series, so that’s where I would want to be.
An interesting question by Twitter user LastPhotograph this one. And it turns out Reggie’s favourite series is the Zelda series, and hence he’d love to live in Hyrule and save Zelda + the kingdom from evil.
Question 3: What’s the chance we may see you as an unlockable character in Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U?
The big question is, am I going to be a playable character in Smash Bros? Great question, you have to ask that to Mr Sakurai, he’s the producer of the game, it’s his game, but if he wants, my body is ready!
Wow, talk about something! Reggie just admitted he’d be fine with being a playable character in the Super Smash Bros series?
Someone so needs to make that happen. Seriously, someone go message Sakurai about it on Twitter, just for laughs. Here’s his account:
I don’t personally care for real people in Smash Bros, but this opportunity is too rich and too hilarious to miss out on!
So there you have it, Reggie answers your fan questions on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Are his answers satisfactory? Do you want to see him as a playable character in Super Smash Bros 4? Comment below or at the Nintendo 3DS Community forums today!
No, you didn’t read that wrong, the actual Nintendo employees behind the New Super Mario Bros games didn’t know that they’d be as successful as they are. Here’s the quote from an interview with Takashi Tezuka:
M: When you were developing the first New Super Mario Bros, you expected it to have all the immense success it actually had? In a certain way, it has given new life to 2D platform, a genre forgotten by the industry for almost ten years.
TT: Sincerely we didn’t expect a similar success: we thought it would have been a product that would have fascineted only the fans of the old Mario games, that would have reminded them the classics, and their videogaming past. Instead, we were surprised by the enormous amount of new gamers who liked it, and with it they become familiar with action games, thanks to the accessibility of 2D platforms. We are obviously very proud of this result.
In other words, they expected New Super Mario Bros to only be popular with fans of the older Mario games, the people who grew up with Super Mario Bros 1/3/World and the Land games, with the vast majority of people having no real interest in the series. Which is a fair point I guess, albeit one made by someone who completely failed to notice the difference in sales figures between some of the 2D games and the 3D ones…
Regardless, it’s nice to see the New Super Mario Bros series become so successful and revitalise the failing 2D platformer genre. It just needs some more effort put into it to avoid the accusations of becoming ‘stale’ and to move away from the cliches of Super Mario Bros 3.
Just earlier today, a video game site called US Gamer interviewed Kensuke Tanabe and Michael Kelbaugh of Retro Studios about Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. And unlike various other interviews with Nintendo execs in recent days, this one gives away quite a bit about the game and its development, including some clues as far as who the fourth playable character is! So here’s some important stuff from the interview, as well as my thoughts on each comment…
USG: Speaking of legacy, how much involvement have you had with the previous Donkey Kong games, each of you?
MK: Well, I’ve been with Nintendo for 25 years. I worked on DKC, DKC2, DKC3, DK Land… I worked on every DK title. But by “worked on,” I mean that I did a lot of different things. I managed the testing department, the localization department, the evaluation department. Compared to the development side, I was more on the support side for those. I’ve been involved in development for many DK titles at different levels. Working on it here at Retro has been very…sentimental for me. Especially working on it with Tanabe-san and Risa-san, because Tanabe-san worked on it… Not to this degree, but back in the ’80s and ’90s, we worked together on it as well. Being able to bring it back to Retro and work on it again was a real special experience.
So in case you can’t remember the last time this guy discussed his past with the series, he did indeed work on the SNES games in some fashion (seemingly in the testing and localisation departments). As for Tanabe…
KT: For me, my first experience was working on localization of English to Japanese on the Rare titles. I actually went to Rare’s studio and worked there. One thing that surprised me is that their studio is basically a set of refurbished, reconstructed stables. They’re barns. I was thinking, “Out here, this is where they’re making all these games?” I was a little surprised.
He was apparently involved in translating the SNES titles from English to Japanese. Interesting to know. Wonder if he realised King K Rool and Kaptain K Rool were the same person (after that embarassing Smash Bros Brawl goof a while back)?
RT: First of all, as far as the single-player goes, as you mentioned earlier, you have Donkey Kong and then you have his buddy character. We have Diddy here, but we’ve also added Dixie as a partner character. In the multiplayer, player one is Donkey Kong and player two will be able to select between either Dixie or Diddy. Dixie, as far as her characteristics or features, they’re pretty much the same whether it’s single-player or multiplayer.
So Dixie Kong handles much the same in both single player and multiplayer. Interesting to also know that the second player can actually select which of the Kongs they want to play as too, although I’ll be a bit disappointed if it turns out that player 1 is forced to use Donkey Kong throughout the entire single player game.
KT: We’re thinking that we’ll probably add one more character. So we’ll invite you to go ahead and take your best guess as to which Kong you think is going to join us.
Translator: There was Funky, Lanky, Candy… We’re going to find out. We’re Nintendo and we don’t know this? What the heck is wrong with us? Jeremy, you’re a game journalist, what’s going on.
KT: Well, since we can’t think of the name, you know it’s not that one. [more laughs]
So that pretty much counts out Kiddy Kong as the fourth playable character. It is interesting to know that both interviewees knew of Lanky and Candy Kong though, especially given how neither has been particularly common in recent Donkey Kong titles. Guess that this game might feature more Kongs that we first though…
Also, it seems like the character is likely to be a Kong. So that might count out K Rool as player 4, as well as (thankfully) the Checkpoint Pig guy, Eddie the Mean Yeti or whatever other non Kong character you can possibly imagine.
USG: Are you able to say at all who the third character is now, or is that still a secret?
KT: No, we’ll have to wait on that a bit.
Sorry everyone, looks like Nintendo are gonna be keeping the final character’s identity secret for quite a while longer now. Pity, I was curious to who this final individual was/is.
KT: So one of the things that we’ve done is, we’ve taken a feature from the 3DS version of Donkey Kong Country Returns, which is the green balloon. We brought it back in this version. It basically allows the player, as you know, to fall to what is normally a loss of life. The green balloon lifts them up and they can place themselves where they want and let go. It gives the power to use or not use it to the player, though. Basically, we’re just providing a system for players who want to use it if they want to. They can go purchase this item in-game and use it, but of course they don’t have to. It’s just giving those people a chance to get into the game a little easier and make it more accessible. You have the standard Donkey Kong challenge for our veteran players who are really into it, and we’ve got some aids that are available for people who maybe aren’t as used to the series that will allow them to have some of the same experiences as other players.
And so the Green Balloon item from Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D makes a second appearance in Tropical Freeze. When you add the bolded part (about more aids for less experience players) into the mix, that also seems to hint that the general ‘New Mode’ thing from Returns 3D might be here too, the one with the extra hearts, crash guard item and DK barrels you can take into levels.
It’s not much, but that’s some fairly interesting info about Tropical Freeze you’ve got there. Kiddy Kong basically deconfirmed as player 4, the Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D items returning… and quite a bit more besides. So read the full article at US Gamer’s site via the link below, then comment back here and say what you think of this interview!