Nintendojo http://www.nintendojo.com nintendo news, analysis & musings since 1996 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:42:39 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.2 Copyright Nintendojo 2011 wpAdmin@nintendojo.com (Nintendojo) wpAdmin@nintendojo.com (Nintendojo) Podcast 1440 http://nintendojo.com/wp-content/uploads/podpress_temp/nd_podcast144.jpg Nintendojo http://www.nintendojo.com 144 144 Nintendojo's Weekly Podcasts, including Dojo-Show-Go! and Airship Travelogues Nintendojo's weekly podcasts! We talk about the latest games, news and other zany items in the World of Nintendo... and beyond. Nintendo, Wii, GameCube, DS, nintendo, 64, NES, SNES Nintendojo Nintendojo wpAdmin@nintendojo.com no no Op-Ed: A Different Take on the Women-in-Gaming Controversy http://www.nintendojo.com/features/editorials/op-ed-a-different-take-on-the-women-in-gaming-controversy http://www.nintendojo.com/features/editorials/op-ed-a-different-take-on-the-women-in-gaming-controversy#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:20 +0000 Angela Marrujo http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132762

The Gamergate insanity. Tropes vs. Women in Video Games and Anita Sarkeesian. The issue of female representation in gaming has become a central topic within the industry lately, to the chagrin of many and the approval of many more. I myself have chosen to shy away from the debate because it’s not only incredibly frustrating for me, but I’ve often been made to feel like I was a bad guy for having strong opinions. But as of late, I’ve been inadvertently faced with a few examples of issues at the core of this debate that have finally been too much for me to ignore.

So far I’ve purposefully refrained from making any mention of the fact that I’m a woman. While many female gamers would jump on the opportunity to let their readers know they’re a “girl gamer/gamer girl” (two labels I despise and will explore later), I’ve felt it served no purpose to identify my gender when (assumedly) no one is reading with concern over whether a man or woman is writing. I have three Nintendo Network IDs– three Wii U’s, three times the usernames– whose names mask my gender or would cause one to assume I’m a man. When I make video game-related posts on my personal Instagram, I refuse to use the hashtags #gamergirl or #girlgamer.

Growing up, I was the youngest of two children, my older brother being my only sibling. Naturally, we shared common interests, and I played with action figures and video games as much as I played with my Barbies and stuffed animals. The first female video game characters I remember gravitating towards were Aska from Tournament Fighters and Peach in Super Mario Bros. 2, but it wasn’t until we got Ocarina of Time for Christmas that I discovered the first video game protagonist I ever truly felt connected with– and his name was Link. I never grew up feeling like I had to only play (or only wanted to play) as the girl characters; I liked them, but I liked their male counterparts just as much, if not more. There was something about Link’s solitude and courage that made me feel like I could connect with feeling small and somewhat separate from the very big world around him.

As I got older, and video games became more inclusive of female characters, I began to see and appreciate more of the women protagonists I was playing as. I didn’t grow up with Metroid, so when Metroid Prime came out on GameCube I was incredibly impressed with how tough Samus Aran is. She’s fearless but incredibly feared, and insanely strong. From her 8-bit beginnings, her gender was a non-factor until the very last moments of the game, when she unveils her pixelated head of green-but-supposed-to-be blonde hair, and late-80s gamers’ minds were totally blown when they realized they just spent hours playing as a woman underneath the orange armor. She shows no emotion, no pardon, and metes out justice as swiftly as any male bounty hunter before her.

When Zero Suit Samus made her appearance in Metroid: Zero Mission, and in her much more frequent subsequent appearances, controversy ensued. Cries of objectification and sexism have followed, claiming that Samus’ suit is too tight, too revealing, and merely eye-candy for male gamers. In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, two of the alternate costumes for Zero Suit Samus are suits based off what she wears in the endings to Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid: Fusion, and were also designed in Smash Bros. by Samus’ female designer. Yet, the moment Masahiro Sakurai announced their inclusion into the game, again came the cries of sexism, claiming that Nintendo was trying to make Samus sexy and cheapening her character. Interestingly, if any of those same people had played either Zero MIssion or Fusion I’m curious to know how many of them came out onto forums claiming sexism back then, or how many of those critics even played either of those games and knew their canonical significance to the Metroid series. Also laughable is the fact that these suits are more akin to sportswear that female athletes wear than anything you’d see a Sports Illustrated model pouting into the camera wearing (or not wearing…). What it boils down to is that if Samus is in anything that isn’t her Power Suit, she’s instantly derided as being a sexualized version of her character simply because she’s attractive, has a nice figure, and is wearing something form-fitting. Her personality, personal history, achievements, no-nonsense demeanor, and historically gender-agnostic treatment, be damned– she’s a beautiful woman in a bodysuit, developed by men, so she’s problematical.

Samus is not problematic. An attractive video game heroine is not problematic. What is problematic are female characters that are treated as nothing but one big boob bouncing across the screen with little-to-no substance that make you a bit embarrassed to play as with other people in the room. Ivy and Taki from the Soul Calibur series, while tough women that can defend themselves against the male fighters, are cheapened by the fact that their breasts are impossibly large and distracting (how do they fight without knocking themselves out with those things?) and their outfits are next to non-existent. Ivy is pretty much fighting in lingerie and Taki’s bodysuit makes Samus’ Zero Suit look like onesie pajamas with feeties. And let’s not get into the jiggle animations– on second thought, let’s. A few moments ago, I read a ridiculous thread in the comments on an article about Samus’ alternate Smash Bros. costumes where someone was seriously chiding Nintendo for being a supposedly family-friendly company that has given all of their female characters “fake boobs” because they don’t feature a jiggle animation. Aside from the argument being almost impossible to take seriously, it’s mind-boggling that Nintendo should be criticized because it’s more focused on making a quality game than creepily focusing on how to make Samus’ lady parts move realistically. Because when a developer makes the effort to include such an animation for their female characters, it only serves to enforce the notion that the woman is merely there to be ogled; the fact that Nintendo has opted to not do that in its treatment of Samus, and its female protagonists in general, is something to be respected.

The treatment of Samus in Metroid: Other M, however, took many steps backwards from Samus’ portrayal in the Metroid Prime series before it; Samus is highly-emotional, diverts to Adam (her former superior) for final word on whether or not to take action, and constantly makes references to “the baby” when talking about the baby Metroid, in this highly maternal, affection manner. She’s, frankly, annoying and meek, and makes one wish for the Samus we’ve always known, rather than what we had to put up with in Other M. Because Samus is such a respectable, and respected, character, the cosplay that infamous cosplayer (or “cosplayer” as many cosplayers seem to refer to her) Jessica Nigri did of Zero Suit Samus was particularly offensive and served to only drag Samus’ character in the mud. Barely qualifying as even a Halloween costume, Nigri took a Playboy bunny suit, made it the same shade of blue as the Zero Suit, slapped on a poor-quality Samus emblem near one of the boobs, and somehow, this was Zero Suit Samus. Samus, the woman who is armed to the teeth even in her least-armored form, was represented as nothing more than a brainless Playboy bunny. The image left a very bad taste in my and many others’ mouths and caused a surge of criticism at the bastardization of such a respected heroine. Some argued that Nigri was being “slut-shamed” for creating a sexy version of Samus, but the argument isn’t about calling her a slut– it’s about calling her an idiot. Because it’s hard to look at that costume and take her seriously as a cosplayer or a gamer, when it mutilates everything Samus Aran stands for.

This brings us around to the “gamer girl/girl gamer” argument I referenced way up there. More often than not, when scrolling through the aforementioned hashtags on Instagram, you’ll find the same tired schtick of selfies by women with cleavage, full makeup, and a headset on claiming they’re a “real gamer” because they don’t just play Call of Duty or Halo. Being a gamer is a way of gaining more followers and attention, and usually goes hand-in-hand with calling themselves a gamer girl or girl gamer. I personally hate these phrases– I’m well aware of the fact that women are the minority within the industry, but I have no desire to separate myself further by letting everyone know I’m a girl that likes games. Great! Do guys now have to label themselves as “guy gamers/gamer guys” so we all know the gender of who’s playing who? Being a girl is inconsequential in this situation and has no bearing on the fact that you’re gaming, and the title “gamer girl” is rapidly being inundated with negative connotations because of the photos and imagery often attached to it.

The slut-shaming argument often comes up when deriding the stereotypical “gamer girl,” with women often jumping to their defense, claiming that it’s the woman’s prerogative to show herself off, and that she shouldn’t be taken any less seriously than a male gamer, nor should she be demonized for how she presents herself. But then we’re met with a conundrum: if the gamer girl can present herself as something to be ogled, what place then do the criticisms of female representation within games have if apparently there’s nothing wrong with a sexy woman in gaming? If “SexyCaliGurl90″ is supposed to be taken seriously as a gamer, why should Cammy from Street Fighter or Quiet from Metal Gear be criticized for being objectified and dressed improbably for battle and for war? The crux of the issue comes down to the fact that, again, the industry is dominated by men, games are predominantly developed by men, and women have a problem with a man creating these characters for the sake of being lusted after. But the problem is that presenting yourself like a medium-rare steak on a platter isn’t empowerment. It’s not furthering respect for women. Playing into a male fantasy strips you of your independence, even if it helps you sleep better at night by telling yourself that because you’re objectifying yourself, everything is okay. Just as long as a man isn’t objectifying you. It’s nonsensical at best.

(But I must clarify before moving on that not all female gamers present themselves this way. We are clearly discussing a faction within the female gaming community and shouldn’t be confused with lumping all female gamers together.)

Objectification of women in gaming is real. From every image of every woman depicted in the art of the Grand Theft Auto series, to Jill’s nonsensical mini skirt outfit to slay zombies, to every female fighter in Mortal Kombat, it’s rife within the industry. But let’s not pretend that strides haven’t been made in the right direction. Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of Lara Croft took a character that was all boob to someone who is not only beautiful but formidable; Zelda’s transformation into Sheik (whose depiction was so masculine in Ocarina of Time Nintendo had to recently affirm she’s female) showed that she wasn’t a helpless princess who always needed to be saved, but a fierce warrior who took care of herself in Link’s absence; and in that vein, every female Zelda character recently featured in Hyrule Warriors, whose cast is mainly female; Amaterasu in Okami may have been represented as a wolf, but she was a goddess that commanded respect and incredible power; Bayonetta’s simultaneous feistiness and fierceness; Chun-Li’s incredible fighting ability without having to be nearly naked to compete– the list is longer than it’s given credit for.

The video game industry has a long way to go before true equality among male and female representation in games is reached. But realizing that not every female character that’s physically attractive is sexist or misogynistic is key here, as is understanding that such equality can’t be reached when we as female gamers have to contend with the stereotype of being the stacked, headset-wearing “gamer girl” borne from the poor misrepresentation by a select group of female gamers. Not every heroine needs to be a Victoria’s Secret model in a loincloth, and not every hero is Conan with a never-ending supply of ammo. But let’s not pretend that that’s what the industry currently is, either– so let’s stop the finger-pointing and work to create characters everyone will want to play as, and everyone can respect.

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Wii U Sales on the Up http://www.nintendojo.com/news/wii-u-sales-on-the-up http://www.nintendojo.com/news/wii-u-sales-on-the-up#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:00:43 +0000 Jon Stevens http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132732

Nintendo’s  financial figures for the period between July and September of this year reveal a number of interesting points.

Sales of Wii U improved during the period, with 610,000 consoles sold– almost  double the amount sold throughout the same period last year. While this is certainly good news, with 1.12 million units sold since April, Nintendo is still some way off its target of 3.6 million for the financial year.

3DS, meanwhile, saw sales fall year-on-year from 2.49 million to 1.27 million units.

Overall, the positive exchange rate meant that Nintendo saw a net profit of ¥14.3 billion ($131.5 million)– a large increase from last year, where it made ¥0.6 billion profit.

Both 3DS and Wii U have had a number of highly anticipated releases in the last few months, with Super Smash Bros. on 3DS and Bayonetta 2 on Wii U leading the charge. Nintendo will surely be hoping that the next big Wii U game, Super Smash Bros., will lead to even higher sales for the home console and help reach its sales targets.

Source: IGN

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Wii U and 3DS to be Able to Pre-Download Games http://www.nintendojo.com/news/wii-u-and-3ds-to-be-able-to-pre-download-games http://www.nintendojo.com/news/wii-u-and-3ds-to-be-able-to-pre-download-games#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:00:15 +0000 Jon Stevens http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132726 News Desk Masthead - Iwata

During an investor talk earlier today, Satoru Iwata confirmed that both Wii U and 3DS will soon be able to pre-download new titles before they are released, reducing the amount of time that players will have to wait on release day. Iwata went on to describe how

“The ‘pre-download’ system will be available with download cards sold at stores as well, by entering the download code at Nintendo eShop in advance. Consumers will not be required to save the download card until the release of the game if they enter the download code on the day of purchase.”

This feature will first come to Wii U at the end of this year, with the release of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It will then be rolled out to 3DS at some time next year.

The “pre-download” system is part of an overall strategy which Nintendo is hoping will make buying games easier for audiences.

Source: IGN

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Nintendo Download: 10.30.2014 http://www.nintendojo.com/news/now-playing/nintendo-download-10-30-2014 http://www.nintendojo.com/news/now-playing/nintendo-download-10-30-2014#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:00:55 +0000 Jon Stevens http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132716

This week sees a wealth of new content, and there definitely seems to be a Halloween theme to it! Read on for the full list:

Releases

Wii U eShop

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones – $14.99
  • Costume Quest 2 – $14.99
  • Cosmophony - £3.99
  • Falling Skies: The Game – $39.99
  • Pixel Paint – £3.99
  • Rock Zombie - $6.99
  • Tetrobot & Co – $9.99
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge
  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spot
  • Wipeout Create & Crash
  • Color Zen demo – FREE

Wii U Virtual Console

  • Demon’s Crest – $7.99
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land - $7.99
  • Gargoyle’s Quest II: The Demon Darkness – $4.99

3DS Retail

  • Duck Dynasty – $29.99
  • Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley - $29.99

3DS eShop

  • Woah Dave! – $4.99
  • Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX – $6.00
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton’s Robotic Revenge
  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spot
  • Wipeout Create & Crash

3DS Virtual Console

  • Gargoyle’s Quest II: The Demon Darkness – $TBC

Discounts

Wii U eShop

  • Blok Drop U – Reduced to $0.99 from $1.99 until 11.27.14

3DS eShop

  • Disney Frozen Olaf’s Quest – Reduced to $19.99 from $29.99 from 10.31.14 until 11.17.14
  • Quell Reflect - Reduced to $2.79 from $3.99 until 11.06.14
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 - Permanently reduced to $4.99 on 10.31.14
  • Hotel Transylvania – Permanently reduced to $4.99 on 10.31.14
  • Legends of OZ: Dorothy’s Return – Permanently reduced to $4.99 on 10.31.14

In addition to the above, the Resident Evil discounts we reported on yesterday are confirmed to last until November 4.

Be sure to let us know in the comments if you plan on picking up any treats this week– they are guaranteed to be sugar free!

Source: Nintendo

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Costume Quest 2 Launching in the Wii U eShop Tomorrow http://www.nintendojo.com/news/costume-quest-2-launching-in-the-wii-u-eshop-tomorrow http://www.nintendojo.com/news/costume-quest-2-launching-in-the-wii-u-eshop-tomorrow#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 02:00:43 +0000 Kevin Knezevic http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132684

Double Fine announced via Twitter today that it’s Halloween-inspired RPG, Costume Quest 2, will be arriving in the Wii U eShop this Thursday, October 30.

Set immediately after the events of the first Costume Quest, the game follows twins Wren and Reynold as they embark on a trick-or-treating adventure through time to stop the nefarious Dentist from outlawing Halloween. Along with new locations to explore, the game features an improved combat system and a range of new costumes to collect and wear.

Costume Quest 2 will retail for $14.99.

Have you played the original Costume Quest? Will you be downloading Costume Quest 2? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Twitter

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Resident Evil Discounts Coming to the eShop http://www.nintendojo.com/news/resident-evil-discounts-coming-to-the-eshop http://www.nintendojo.com/news/resident-evil-discounts-coming-to-the-eshop#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:10 +0000 Marc Deschamps http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132681

Horror fans looking for one last scare before the end of October need look no further. This week, a trio of discounts hits the Nintendo eShop, courtesy of Capcom. Three titles from the Resident Evil franchise are now available at bargain prices! Here’s what you can find on sale:

  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D – $7.99, from $19.99
  • Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS) – $8.99, from $19.99
  • Resident Evil: Revelations (Wii U) – $15.99, from $49.99

While discounts are always a welcome sight, in this case, it’s even more impressive given the quality of the games themselves. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D scored a B- from the Nintendojo staff, while Resident Evil: Revelations received a B+ both on 3DS and Wii U. At this point, we don’t know how long to expect these discounts to last, so franchise fans should grab them before they disappear!

Do you plan on checking out any of Capcom’s Resident Evil discounts? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Nintendo Life

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Poll: Halloween Gaming http://www.nintendojo.com/polls/poll-halloween-gaming http://www.nintendojo.com/polls/poll-halloween-gaming#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:00:12 +0000 Kevin Knezevic http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132668 Triforce Pumpkin masthead

We’re only a few short days away from Halloween, which makes this the perfect week to indulge in some spooky gaming. From traditional survivor horror franchises like Resident Evil to more whimsical titles like Luigi’s Mansion and Costume Quest, there are plenty of games that evoke the spirit of Halloween, making them a great way to celebrate the holiday.

With so many spooky franchises to choose from, we want to know, what game series will you be spending time with on Halloween? Cast your vote in our poll below, and if we happened to miss your favorite, be sure to tell us in the comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. ]]>
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Nintendo Unveils Excitebike-Inspired Course for Mario Kart 8 http://www.nintendojo.com/news/nintendo-unveils-excitebike-inspired-course-for-mario-kart-8 http://www.nintendojo.com/news/nintendo-unveils-excitebike-inspired-course-for-mario-kart-8#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:49 +0000 Kevin Knezevic http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132647 Mario Kart 8!]]>

The first batch of add-on content for Mario Kart 8 is set to debut in a few short weeks, and with it will come a handful of new characters and race courses for players to choose. We already know that Yoshi’s Circuit from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! will be one of the tracks available in the DLC pack, but today Nintendo revealed another, entirely new course coming to the game next month:  Excitebike Arena!

The first DLC pack for Mario Kart 8 will be launching in November and will retail for $7.99.

Have you already purchased the first batch of DLC for Mario Kart 8? Has the reveal of Excitebike Arena convinced you to download it when it releases? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Siliconera

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Pikmin Animated Shorts Debut at Tokyo Film Festival http://www.nintendojo.com/news/pikmin-animated-shorts-debut-at-tokyo-film-festival http://www.nintendojo.com/news/pikmin-animated-shorts-debut-at-tokyo-film-festival#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:00:14 +0000 Kevin Knezevic http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132645

Nintendo’s famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto made his animated debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival with the premiere of three animated short films based on the Pikmin series.

The shorts, titled “The Night Juicer, “Treasure in a Bottle,” and “Occupational Hazards,” began production during the development of Pikmin 3. Despite this new venture, however, Miyamoto insists he hasn’t left video games behind:

“I haven’t moved over, but as computer graphics have gotten better, I started to feel it was something I could get involved with. Making films in the past was something that was made with a completely different skillset but now I feel it’s rather similar.”

Miyamoto revealed that he’s created between 20 and 30 short films, which fans will be able to watch on Nintendo 3DS, though whether this will be through Nintendo Video or a new video app has not been specified.

Source: IGN

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Nintendo Releases Opening Cinematic for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U http://www.nintendojo.com/news/nintendo-releases-opening-cinematic-for-super-smash-bros-for-wii-u http://www.nintendojo.com/news/nintendo-releases-opening-cinematic-for-super-smash-bros-for-wii-u#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 02:00:16 +0000 Marc Deschamps http://www.nintendojo.com/?p=132615

The hype train for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U is now officially in full swing after last week’s Nintendo Direct presentation. And while the promise of Mewtwo and eight player matches definitely whetted our appetites, we now have another small piece to build anticipation: the game’s opening cinematic! Without further ado, here’s the trailer, embedded below!

Our readers that have been keeping a close eye on Sakurai’s updates might find parts of the trailer a bit familiar. It mainly consists of footage we’ve seen from the various character reveals from the last few months. Regardless, it sets a very nice tone for the game, and it’s a step up from the 3DS version, which didn’t feature an opener at all!

Super Smash Bros. on Wii U is available on November 21. Let us know what you thought of the trailer in the comments below!

Source: IGN

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