Paper Mario: The Origami King officially announced

In a surprise announcement by Nintendo, the next installment to the Paper Mario franchise has officially been revealed with Paper Mario: The Origami King. According to the footage seen from the trailer, the Mushroom Kingdom seems to have been taken over by a mysterious usurper of sorts, causing its inhabitants (including Princess Peach herself) to become beings of origami origin rather than paper. This leaves Mario and his friends to stop this new menace and save the Kingdom once again. The addition of Origami materials being featured in the series’ predominant arts & crafts aesthetic is indeed a welcome one. How it’ll influence the core gameplay or what brand new mechanics it’ll bring still is yet to be revealed.

The Origami King is set to release on Nintendo Switch for the first time, on July 17 this year. You can watch the full trailer on Nintendo’s main YouTube channel here.  

The Wonderful 101: Remastered coming in May and June

Plus Pax East Coverage

Plus Pax East Coverage

With the Wonderful 101: Remastered finally playable at this year’s Pax East, Platinum Games have also started to confirm its release dates for their cult hit action title. The remaster is set to release on May 19 in North America, May 22 in Europe and June 11 in Japan. Release dates for other countries have yet to be announced.

To quickly recap for those who’re unaware, it was announced back in February by Platinum Games, that The Wonderful 101 would be receiving a remaster for current platforms. That being Steam, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. According to the developer’s website, the controls for the remaster are tuned for each platform, so that more players are able to get accustomed to the game easily. Meanwhile, the remaster has also received an upgrade to both its image quality and frame rate. And judging from the latest gameplay footage shown from Pax East, it definitely shows. Compared to its performance on the Wii U, the difference and improvements from the remaster is staggering to say the least.

And let’s not forget the fact that this was all achieved thanks to the Kickstarter that Platinum Games made in order to make this remaster a reality. It just goes to show that if you simply give your target audience what they want, rather than bending the knee to an awful publisher, a vocal minority or to just any asshole who hates fun, then your product’s much more likely to succeed in the long run. The game’s director, Hideki Kamiya, seems to have understood this prospect and the amount of support the game’s Kickstarter page received, has skyrocketed ever since its announcement.  We’ll be covering the rest of Pax soon so stay tuned!

Killer 7: Politics in gaming done RIGHT

Nowadays politics can be considered one of the most important parts of some lives due to the obsessive coverage, obsessive talk about it and overall the spin we give to it due to the obsession to get the most views,

Now, Killer7 First/Third person shooter game with arcade like mechanics with an tint of political drama/Psychological horror/David Lynch film released for PS2/Gamecube and Steam recently and a compelling storytelling technique which leaves some thing vague yet they can be understood once you analyze the game well enough.

Let`s get to the basics of the story shall we.

You play as the Smith Syndicate which is a group of 7 personalities inside one man named Harman Smith who is an wheelchair bound assassin who carries out politics related assassination for the US.

However they are intercepted by the mysterious Heaven Smiles, bizarre zombie like creatures who blow up and are invisible to everyone but the Smiths,

However the game is far deeper and interesting than this non spoiler preview because whatever I mention after the first mission are spoilers which shouldn`t be talked about without experiencing first hand, this game takes alot of inspiration from things like David Lynch film and it`s one of the most insane videogame experiences both plotwise and character wise, it`s not an easy to understand experience but it`s an lovely experience

The basics of the Seven Smiths is also interesting.

The main personalities are Dan, Garcian, Kaede, Coyote,Kevin, Con, MASK

All 7 of them are of course unique in their own way.

Dan is an hotblooded assassin who wouldn`t hesitate to shoot anyone

Kaede is a character who helps open passages with her own blood,

Coyote is an assholish assassin who can do long jumps.

Kevin is an mute albino who can turn invisible,

Con is an young blind chinese kid who has the ability to use Super Speed,

Mask is the embodiment of kindness who has super strength and uses it to help the Smiths at multiple points with his Grenade Launchers.

Garcian is the Cleaner who takes over once the Seven Smith personality are gone, he can be called the last resort in most missions and is curiously one of the personalities that appears the most throughout the game

There are also informants which all of them talk in a different text to speech voice each.

They are your ghostly clue givers which always help you throughout a level and throughout the story while giving you some tips.

How is the gameplay however and well.

The gameplay is Arcade like shooter which means you have a third person view while walking in a railroad corridor with different paths to take usually but to shoot you have to stand still and aim.

You cannot move and aim so you gotta know when to shoot and always check your surroundings as all Heaven smiles have a weak point which gives you Thick Blood which is used to upgrade your characters in restrooms.

Each upgrade is important in itself so don`t go around missing on weak points, some enemies have obvious ones while others have some really hard to find ones and you might need to use some shoots to find them.

The soundtrack.

Now, The soundtrack of Killer7 is done by Suda`s collaborator and Danganronpa composer Masafumi Takada and it can be considered one of it`s most memorable parts with songs such as “Rave on”, “Teck Mecks”, “Scene man”, “Russian roulette” and “Reenact”.

The music feels like part of a movie that each time you are in feels fitting.

You can feel the intensity of a scene through the music, the music is essential to the game for me and many others.

In a way you can consider that the music is probably one of the most beautiful part of the game besides the cel shaded graphics and cutscenes.

You can consider the game to be an insane videogame masterpiece with it`s story.

The game is a trip for the player who ventures into it and it feels like a Mamushka of both conspiracy and drama which spans thru multiple decades an involves the existence of the world itself

I rate Killer7 an 9/10 due to all of the points above and because of course it is a masterpiece but it has a minor flaw in itself.

That flaw being the run times of course but thankfully PC has fixed it for you players who didn`t waited 6 weeks in front of  a TV for a PS2 game to load.

All in all we can say Killer7 is the true political drama everyone would love.

Normies Far Too Entitled. Is GateKeeping our Only Option?

Your favorite ice cream truck has rolled right around the corner, its music blaring as the truck comes to a complete stop right in front of your house. The other children scream in delight as the truck opens up and all the glorious ice cream you can buy rolls around. You get the occasional Dark Souls ice cream cone. It’s very tricky to balance, even with both of your hands holding it. But there’s so much content in it that indulging in it is a very lovely reward in the end. Perfect for a hot summer day! Sooner or later, however, the bullies in the town find the ice cream “offensive” and “segregating” as they order their filthy rich parents. They argue that they want all flavors the same so that they appeal to everyone. The ice cream truck rolls around once more, all with one flavor that’s supposed to appeal to everyone…. it’s cum flavored. Eww, no thanks.

This may seem like a ridiculous example, but it’s not far from the truth of what will happen to videogames or even games in general in the near future. Because it’s so easy to pick up a controller and start playing, it’s become incredibly widespread throughout the globe. Hundreds of tournaments for just about any game you can name are popping up worldwide, just about every convention holds an area for videogames and it’s constantly advertised on TV to this day. With so many people involved though, there has been a consistent growth of very manipulative people, who don’t care at all about videogames or art, that are taking dozens of fans by the hand and recruiting armies to change games how they please. Whether it’d be to dumb everything down so everything is for babies, shoving in their absurd propaganda. Either way, they’re doing everything they can to make the videogames we love into the cum flavored ice cream that they feel entitled to.

 Why is that, though? Is it Money? Power? Clout? Well, according to what they’ve done to infect the gaming communities at hand, it’s a mix of all of that to be perfectly honest. Manipulating the normies of the different game fandoms to poison each one further not only moves these people up the system but it also targets those high in the system to take it down due to Cancel Culture. However, Cancel Culture didn’t start out as much of a thing. There was definitely Outrage Culture but nobody was horribly affected. Those who were called out still had plenty of power. Infact if anyone was the first to weaponize it to such a large degree, it was Keemstar. Before Idubbz neutered Keem, he was a titan in the Youtube industry, taking channels down like Tobuscus, with the help of Toby’s ex girlfriend in this case. After 2016, cancel culture was in full swing. But none of it was used nearly as much as the AltLeft. Obviously cancel culture has its good uses. Take power from the ones willing to abuse it. However, due to incredibly ridiculous double standards and heavy bias, cancel culture continues to be a weapon only used by those who abuse power. Only worse, there’s been a recent movement to “cancel cancel culture” as quickly as possible so that it effects no one on their side. Either that or they pretend that cancel culture doesn’t exist or harm anyone because they heard about Pewdiepie last week. And if you ironically believe that when reading, read this: Just because someone cancelled can afford to recover doesn’t mean that everyone else can. Alec committing suicide over a Twitter mob and Zoe not contacting authorities whatsoever should already be a clear indication on what Cancel Culture can do. Worse, it teaches every man in the industry that women are just walking lawsuits waiting to happen. That creates even more sexism, not vanquishes it. On the opposite spectrum, not allowing women to play videogames or harassing them with dick pics for doing so is even cringier (excuse my language).

The other thing to mention is the return of the Easy Mode arguments. Specifically in the wake of Hideo Kojima announcing that Death Stranding will have a Very Easy Mode. While this does not harm the game and was specifically for movie fans to see more of Mads Mikkelsen, game journalists started popping up announcing that every game should have modes like these for more accessibility. While modes don’t harm the game itself, not every game needs an easy mode. Games like Sekiro, which normies have long raged for to have a gamemode, has a set difficulty as its primary feature. The argument for it is so that people can “see the game”… as if Let’s Plays and streaming don’t exist? The logic falls flat once you realize that normies don’t even want a game, they just want scenery and easy accomplishments. That’s why they spend so much money on live services, because it gives them that with a credit card number. Any videogame that dares challenge this dogma is sent to shame for not being “accessible.” Of course, Nintendo masters this to a T with genre specific games appealing to everyone and anyone. However, that’s Nintendo’s style, not every company needs to be like Nintendo. From Software has their own style of games. Blizzard has (or had) their own style of gameplay. I use ‘had’ because World of Warcraft has now become a fancy art show due to being as “accessible” as possible and ends up being shallow. If WoW Classic boosting WoW subs nearly 3 times the amount doesn’t show how important gameplay is, I don’t know what does. Gatekeeping didn’t do that, encouragement of the industry to focus on what makes games great did.

The point is, no. We can’t bring back gatekeeping nor is it our only option. We must call out these frauds who oppose our hobbies and seek to censor and destroy what made them special. That is not gatekeeping. Gatekeeping implies that there’s a gate in the first place. There isn’t. Videogames are for everyone, even if not every videogame is for everyone. Are they harming the industry with live services? Well, in a way yes, but we should encourage more single player games. Encouraging this action has lead to the PS4 Spiderman game, God of War 5, Sekiro, Astral Chain, Breath of the Wild and the likes. The more single player non live service games we put on the shelves, the more we can educate normies on what real accomplishment, escape and community feels like. Gatekeeping does not accomplish those things as much as we want it to.

Link’s Awakening: Does the Remake hold a candle to the Classic?

Incase this may break continuity on how I feel on games and specific games, this will be put into the perspective of Demon Tristie.

   The GBA was my only connection to the Nintendo in his early childhood, other than the Wii but that would be years later. I personally haven’t played much of the original DX version at all except for a custom cartridge on the Game Boy Advanced, (yes you can actually get those on Ebay) even then I didn’t play much of it because its battery died soon later. Coming back to this game, with hardly any memory from it or playing the series was a breath of fresh air for me.

   “It was a dark and stormy night” is usually a cliché way of starting a story. In Link’s Awakening, however, that doesn’t matter as its charming gameplay and enticing mystery sucks you into the game. Its gameplay is simple yet fun as ever with its rewarding mechanics and challenging dungeons. It seems rather silly at first to price a remake at $60. But when you look at the features it offers on top of its visual upgrade then it really is worth that price. The gameplay itself is still crisp. Albeit very simplistic, its gameplay is charming enough and still fun as hell. The trading sequence is a blast and the dungeons are insanely fun to figure out. Everything just…. connects and it’s great to get that rush. That’s what gameplay is about. It’s about tight design and building up from previous experiences for newer experiences within the game.

   The graphics in the game are wonderful, though pretty laggy at times. Not only is the visual art direction absolutely wonderful with remastered and new soundtracks, but the ability to build your own dungeons and download others’ gives an even better experience. On top of that, the obvious references to other Nintendo games lends itself surprisingly well to the style. The side-scrolling ones are filled with Mario enemies and you’ll sometimes come across something from the Kirby games. Except, as I mentioned, it gets pretty laggy at times. An undocked Nintendo Switch can prove to be irritating as entering new areas can cause pretty hefty framerate drops of 20-30 fps for a second or two while it’s loading. And once you enter a water area? Oh boy that’ll kill your framerate to 20-30 fps for as long as you’re there, hopefully this works better on the Switch Lite but it’s frankly painful to go through it for longer periods. Regardless it’s 60 fps for the most part and it looks gorgeous.

   The Soundtrack is also something to note more in detail. The Ballad of the Wind Fish is probably one of the best Zelda tracks out there (and I’ve listened to a large majority, but still, take my opinion with a grain of salt). I also love that it puts in some chiptune for the sound design to hark back to the original Gameboy version. It’s a nice touch with its artstyle and cheery attitude.

   Overall, Link’s Awakening is an excellent game. It’s framedrops are nothing compared to its beautiful style, good soundtrack and its simple but elegant gameplay. If you’re a Zelda fan I highly recommend it. If you have a Switch and you’re looking for a nice single player game, I definitely recommend it.

Mortal Kombat’s Guest Character Problem

In 2009 the developers of the beloved Mortal Kombat franchise filed for Bankruptcy after several quarterly losses. Warner Brothers purchased the IP from Midway and the studio was reborn under Netherrealms Studios and their first game was a soft reboot of the franchise. 2011’s Mortal Kombat was a breath of fresh air for the nearly vacant fighting game scene that year and stands as one of the best fighting games of the decade and one of the strongest entries in the series overall. 

…The horrible story not withstanding of course(be honest now). 

Naturally there was a follow-up after they experimented with the engine a bit for Injustice:Gods Among Us. Mortal Kombat X, or MKX for short, was…well…okay if we’re going to be totally honest MKX is a major step down from MK9 and is by far the worst entry in the new timeline. 

From relegating major characters like Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, and Kenshi to the backseat and making their kids the focus of the story there’s your first major problem. The Kombat Kids are some of the most fanfictiony stuff ever put into a video game and I, to this day, do not understand their appeal. Which brings us to Mortal Kombat 11 the, quote-unquote, most controversial entry in the series since they completely removed any sex appeal of the female cast of characters, made SUBTLE jabs at Donald Trump, turned Noob Saibot into a Misogynist for some reason, and decided that this new timeline just wasn’t working out so they hit reset again by the end of the story.  So we’ve had two timeline resets between three games…friendly reminder that the original timeline, for all its flaws, went on from 1992 to 2006(I don’t count MK vs DC Universe). 

Mortal Kombat has a major identity problem going on at the moment but that’s a topic for a different day. I bring up the new Trilogy because in MK9 we got a taste of something that was honestly fairly interesting at the time. Guest characters. 
Mortal Kombat has had DLC characters for the three previous titles. MK9 only had 4 guest characters but I feel that they handled it the best out of all three titles so far. We had two returning classics with Rain and Kenshi, a proper introduction to the long awaited Skarlet who has been rumored since Mortal Kombat 2, and finally Freddy Krueger. A surprising entrant but neat nonetheless. 

50% highly anticipated returns, 25% new character, and 25% guest character. Solid balance, no problems here. 

Let’s take a look at MKX. We have Goro, a preorder bonus, Tanya who is IN the story mode, Tremor a character who hasn’t been seen since the abysmal Special Forces, Bo’ Rai Cho another character who is in the story mode, Triborg a poor attempt at getting Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor all in the game without giving them all variations, and four, count em, four guest characters with Jason Vorhees, Predator, Leatherface, and Alien. 

Oh boy…This is just insulting. Not counting Goro as a preorder bonus who eventually went up for sale, the only returning classic characters are two of the most unpopular characters with Bo, Rai Cho and the underdeveloped Tanya. Both of which are integral to the plot of MKX and already had in game sprites and Tanya had a moveset. Netherrealms literally sold us on disc DLC characters who should have just been playable from the get go. 
At least Triborg is fun to use on his Smoke Variation and it’s not a totally horrendous idea, just cheap execution. 

Then we have the guest characters. Since Freddy was a guest character in MK9 you can kinda get away with Jason Vorhees. But since we have banter before fights why would you want to include a character who never talks? The same goes for Alien and Predator. I mean Predator is the most fitting out of all the guest characters in MKX and it is kinda cool to see him kicking ass. 

But then we have Leatherface and I will maintain that he is without a doubt the worst guest character in Mortal Kombat history. Jason Vorhees is an undead serial killer with superhuman strength and endurance, Freddy Krueger is a demonic master of dreams, Alien is a highly advanced bio weapon that bleeds acid, the Predator is an Alien with high tech weaponry who hunts and kills the strongest warriors for sport and Leatherface is…just some crazy hillbilly with a chainsaw. He just doesn’t fit in Mortal Kombat and his dialog consists of screaming incoherently. So that’s four characters who don’t work with the new banter system since none of them talk. 

There were 8 dlc characters for MKX, 50% guest, 25% debuting, and the remainder are characters who already had movesets either from the previous game or built into the story mode. It’s ridiculously lopsided in favor of crossover appeal and if I wanted Crossover appeal I would play King of Fighters. Which brings me to Mortal Kombat 11…look. I enjoy Mk11 way more than MKX, I’ve put countless hours into mastering Subzero to a point where I even play competitively for the first time in years, so take what I say with a grain of salt but…I think it’s a baby step in the right direction. 

The current confirmed characters are Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Sindel, Terminator, The Joker, and Spawn…maybe Ash Williams as well but that rumor appears to be squashed at the time of writing this though it won’t surprise me if they make a deal later. 

Three Returning iconic characters who are beloved by fans, a super cyborg, the most fitting guest character in Mortal Kombat history with Spawn and…the Joker. Well…he fits better than Leatherface does and he is culturally relevant since The Joker movie is a box office juggernaut and something something Terminator Dark Fate. 
There’s a rumor that more DLC characters are coming down the pipeline and it appears that we’re going to see more classic characters returning and they’re taking a step back from guest characters for the time being. 

But Netherrealms has a good track record of disappointing me to no end. They still have this guest character problem even if they appear to have corrected the course.  When one of the key developers of Mortal Kombat 11 talks about how it doesn’t matter what the fans think about returning characters then there’s a major problem at NRS. From a practical standpoint I get it. Your audience should not dictate the direction of your product but rather you should only do what you feel is necessary to make it a good product and hope that the audience will be there to support it. The issue isn’t with that, the issue is with this major disconnect that NRS has with their fanbase. 

Consider the Following for MK11. Cyrax and Sektor are both plot central but neither one is playable despite having movesets. Chances are they’ll be playable as DLC in the future but that’s ANOTHER example of on disc DLC that we’ll have to buy and if they don’t include those two popular characters later on then it will just disappoint the fans even more. It’s lose/lose when they just should have made them playable from the get go. Also consider how many characters are referenced in MKX and MK11 or even fully seen in the story mode like Li Mei, Sareena,  Fujin, Sheeva, the previously mentioned Cyrax and Sektor, Smoke, Stryker, and even the severed head of Hsu Hao makes an appearance in one of Erron Black’s intros. 

What is the point of having so many iconic characters bopping around the story mode but not be playable? Now I’m not arguing that they pull a Mortal Kombat Armageddon and make every single solitary character playable in one game(as nice as that would be) I’m merely asking them one simple request.

If you go out of your way to make brand new character models, hire voice actors and actresses, and make them plot central in some form or another, then please just make them playable instead of worthless characters like Leatherface. 

Is it so wrong to ask for a Mortal Kombat game to have Mortal Kombat characters and maybe a guest or two? I’m not trying to be a downer here because I do honestly think MK11 righted some of the wrongs in MKX but it still made some of the same mistakes and even added a couple of them that weren’t present before. 

For all it’s faults and foibles I love this franchise. I’ve been in love with this franchise since I was 5 years old and thought that Mortal Kombat was the greatest movie of all time and that Mortal Kombat Annihilation was just as good. Hell, I even watched and enjoyed Defenders of the Realm growing up.

I’m not asking Mortal Kombat to love me back or for Ed Boon to bottle up some sweet gamer boy eyebrow sweat. But I’d love it if Mortal Kombat gave us some more classic characters and Netherrealms stopped jerking us around with guest character slots that could have went to fan favorites who haven’t been playable since 2006. 
13 years since Mavado, Reiko, Havik, Li Mei, Nitara, Ashrah, Onaga, and hell I’d even welcome back Kira and Kobra. They could actually develop them a little better this time around. 

…You can keep Mokap, though. 

Invoker From Dota 2 is Now a Shota

After months of waiting, those who purchased the Dota 2 The International 9 Battle Pass and leveled it up significantly were more than happy to see the announcement of a new Persona item in Dota 2 for Invoker, after months of teasing and a single splash art with very little information. I am no fan of Dota 2 myself, my editor however is a massive fan and has been a part of the community since its early beta, years before its official release.

 The International, if you don’t know, is an annual competition for Dota 2 where Esport organizations from around the world throw their teams at one another to compete. It’s one of the very few e-sports that North America actually has a chance of winning and one where Korea doesn’t get too involved with, so yes, it’s pretty fucking exciting. Every year they have a Compendium or a Battle Pass, though they started moving to a Battle Pass in 2016 and, yes, Valve started the Battle Pass trend even if Fortnite popularized it in 2018. These battle passes, much like Fortnite’s, give exclusive rewards, items and skins through leveling it up. However, unlike Fortnite, it’s pretty damn difficult to earn these levels yourself. Most of it is through purchasing levels, to which 25% goes to funding The International. While these rewards like Invoker as a Shota or an exclusive Arcana for Earthshaker, these items can get pretty damn expensive. 24 Levels are $10, 11 are $5 and 5 levels are $2.50. To give an idea how expensive these items are, Shota Invoker can be unlocked at level 305 and the ES Arcana is at level 365, to get both and more you need to throw in nearly $150 into the game. Which leads to a much bigger problem.

 The International wasn’t always this expensive to get good items. In 2017, IO’s Arcana was around level 230, a whole underwater map reskin at level 170, and an exclusive Kunkka item was unlocked at level 225. Getting your pass to level 300 with the sale cost around $70 with a Steam Summer Sale deal. Even if you didn’t miss the 2019 Summer Sale deal, you still would have to spend $110 this year. This is a problem because Valve needs to make a bigger and better prize pool every single year. They’ve now reached over $31 Million for the prize pool, which is record-breaking. So Valve has no choice but to constantly throw gimmicks and make any permanent cool items go up in level each year to meet that exponential growth that is the prize pool. No only that but since 75% goes to Valve, they’ve earned over $90 million so far in this tournament which is a huge score for investors. If Valve doesn’t break the record each year, they could fuck over investors and their community would be let down. Plus, you have plenty of Dota 2 players that instantly level their passes to the thousands anyway. So only the casual player that wants cool exclusive items will be severely disappointed within the next few years unless Valve does something. But they’re Valve, and Valve does whatever the fuck it likes.