Tag Archives: Kickstarter

#503 The Mega Man White Whale

This past weekend I did an unprecedented thing, I woke up early on a Saturday morning when I had a no third party obligation to do so. I woke up early to travel to the next city over’s Best Buy to finally capture my current white whale, an Amiibo of the Blue Bomber for my very own.

As I wrote during the last time I talked about Nintendo’s newest wave collectible figurines, I wanted the Mega Man Amiibo only to buy him Ironically. As it is established, Mega Man is a part of the Smash Bros character roster who is a third party Intellectual Properties. From how we have seen Nintendo’s rocky-at-best relationship with other gaming companies and how CAPCOM handle Mega Man’s future games I can almost guarantee that Mega Man will have no Amiibo support for any non-smash game during the Wii U life cycle.

In fact I bought him because of that, same reason when Duck Hunt comes out. because someone has to buy their are so few officially licensed products.

In fact I bought him because of that, same reason when Duck Hunt comes out. because someone has to buy their are so few officially licensed products.

 

With Mega Man in my possession, I can now stop activly hunting Amiibos and constantly thinking about Amiibos at least for a while.

No more weekend Amiibo hunting trips with my younger brother going up and down every toy store in town, no more casual drive by to stores before and after work. No more searching and constantly refreshing the pages of Twitter, Reddit, and Amazon hoping to find an online store that had Mega Man in stock. I  was so close to caving in and buying from a Amazon scalper at twice the price.

Most importantly of all I can stop worrying out the terrible thought of missing my window of opportunity of securing the Amiibo I want before Nintendo stops producing him and the demand, and cost goes through the roof.  I can put all that fret and worry behind me because I have him now. Currently displayed on my makeshift Amiibo shelf, only to be taken out of his box when a New 3DS or Wii U game is released that specially support him.

He has to earn his freedom

He has to earn his freedom



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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#497 Nintendo’s Amiibo Distribution Rant

I finally caved this past weekend and bought my first Amiibo to add to my collection. The newest member to my collection was not Megaman, an Amiibo I am planning to buy ironically (Be MOP #493), but instead the ever wise Princess Zelda.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn't even get the best Nintendo Princess.

Had to settle twice over. Wanted Megaman, but couldn’t even get the best Nintendo Princess.

I have literally searched everywhere, whether online or in the physical stores everyone was sold out of the Blue Bomber, and I refuse to be scalped by third party sellers. But this only shows signs of a bigger problem that Nintendo has with the implication of their newest merchandise, the utter lack of support and communication with North American toy and gaming stores.

The Walmart in my area is one of the worst victims of this, with the worst variety of stock I have ever seen, with an abundance of Luigies, a few Zeldas and Bowsers, and one single Princess Peach to fill up the entire Amiibo display. The gamestop just down the street had almost the same amount of selection with only a few extra Samus and Pikachus but a serious lack of Amiibo Wave II and Wave III representation.

I honestly do not think that Nintendo planned for this level of hype and a culture of fans avidly customizing and hunting down Amiibos to be as big as they originally thought of when they first implemented the Amiibos. It shows with the shipping and receiving support and the overall  poor communication with the stores.

 come on it's simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101

come on it’s simple Supply and Demand. Economics 101.

While the shortage were possibly understandable at launch,but now we are at the third wave of Amiibos, Nintendo now has some idea the demand for these figurines from each region and should modify their supply production accordingly. I should not have to have travel to three different stores, constantly checking online stock as well to find the supposedly common, non-exclusive, Amiibos, like Marth, Villager, and my personal white whale, Mega Man.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario.

I am still mad about all that shenanigans with the exclusive Amiibos at certain retailers are in fact US exclusive, exclusive deals. The rest of the world does not have to shop at a Target or Toys R Us for a Rosalina or Lucario, respectively.

There are rumors of reproducing the more rare Amiibo statues, and confirmation of the production of Amiibo cards with just the computer chip which is a step in the right direction, but does not help the main drive I have for collecting Amiibos. While one of the reasons I buy Amiibos are for the in game unlockables, like the racing suits in Mario Kart 8 or the learning computers in Super Smash bros, the major reason I have become so excited about the ideas of Amiibos is that they are cool little figures of some of my favorite videogame characters that are not only relevantly high detailed but low barrier for entry for collecting in terms of cost and -ideal- accessibility.

Ideally I could stop by a game or toy shop and pick up some videogame character statues with pretty impressive details without having to go online or attend the expo floor of a gaming con to play through the nose for any other kind of statue of Mega Man, Pikachu, or Mario.


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#493 Playing the long con with the Mega Man Amiibo

Very lately I have been feeling the recurring itch to go out and buy more of Nintendo’s Amiibo. 

I have already own five amiibos already but I want more. Despite the fact that I only have two amiibo supported games and out of the five I only got one to level 50 in Smash. 

I was doing well in to not caving into the temptation to buy more plastic dolls inposeable action figures but the third waves of amiibo figures just started arriving on the store shelves and out of all of them one is particular has caught my eye, Mega Man.

3 amiibo

 

I want a Mega Man Amiibo not because I main him in Smash, like I do with Pikachu, or because he is one of my favorite videogame character. No I want the Mega Man Amiibo because he belongs to a set of Amiibos characters that will never, ever get any more Wii U/New 3DS amiibo support. 

Yes Mega Man falls into the unfortunate group of Amiibos, with Pac Man and Sonic, that are videogame characters made by other gaming companies. Looking back on Nintendo’s past history with cooperating with third party companies and the hassle it is licencing other company’s IP, it is safe to say that we will not be getting any further support of these 3rd party characters.

not to mention that the Mega Man game franchise is dead in the water.

not to mention that the Mega Man game franchise is dead in the water.

 

I have lucked out with my own Mario, Link, and D.K because I know that those few will get supported in almost every future Nintendo game. I am going to go out of my way to ensure that I have the blue bomber statue for decoration and possibly for smash if I can be bothered to do so. While you might think I am wasting money, I am instead playing the long con.

 

It is a fact that Might No 9 will be coming out soon and with the HOPEFUL success from this totally-not-mega-man Kickstarter game. My hope is that it will finally shame CAPCOM enough to force their hand and finally make a long over due Mega Man game. If CAPCOM does make a console version of a new Megaman game you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be on the Wii U and if it they will would be foolish NOT to offer Mega Man Amiibo support. Then I will have the last laugh when everyone and their mom will be scrambling to find a Mega Man Amiibo in time for the CAPCOM game’s release when all I have to do is just dust it off from my shelf.

 

Its a bit of big gamble, but if I win the payout will be huge.

Its a bit of big gamble, but if I win the payout will be huge.


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#433 Mighty No 9 crock pot project

On this little blog of mine I tend to talk about either indie or AAA games I either own or planning to own but I also talk about games that have just been released that I have no interest in buying. But on this site I have not talked much about crowd sources games, like one the games I helped fund and is slated to be in my gaming catalog by next year, Mighty No. 9.

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I have not talked too much about Mighty No 9, or as I call it Totally-Not-Mega-Man, since little over a year ago when I pledge the Kickstarter project the required $20 for the backer reward of a digital download code and when I wrote about that game and Black Mensa when I compared it to fan fiction by way of economics (Be MOP #270).

Between that post and now I have not paid much attention to the progress of the project, and for the past few months I completely forgot that the game existed and that I backed them. Even though I receive constant email status updates I have automatically ignored them, a useful talent to have when subscribed to so many political mailing lists. That was unlike Totally-Not-Mega-Man finally got my attention with a special email code about a ‘free’ promotional 3DS game, Mighty Gunvolt.

'free' as is, free to all backers and those who already backed the Kickstarter project or those to bought Azure Striker GUNVOLT.

‘free’ as is in free to all backers and those who already backed the Kickstarter project or those to bought Azure Striker GUNVOLT.

 

Mighty Gunvolt is a indie proper 8 bit game that acts as a holy marriage between Gunvolt and Totally-Not-Mega-Man with both characters in the rooster. I have it downloaded the game and it is currently next on the chopping lists while I am working on my way through Mega Man 2 and Legend of Zelda on my 3DS gaming backlog.

Currently I am using Kickstarter as a crock pot, putting all the ingredients, funding, in at the beginning, turning it on, leaving it alone, and letting it cook for a few months rather than a few hours. The only catch is that the amazing dish that you have been waiting months for runs the chance of not working out as well as planned.

Luckily for Totally-Not-Mega-Man had it’s fundraising campaign go live before I started seriously looking at the rest of the highs and lows of the videogame world after moving away from playing nothing but World of Warcraft. Now I have a bit of reservation on videogame funded kickstarter with the recent news of so many gaming titles that, through improper management of funds or resources, failed to deliver what they have promised in a game or in some cases a game at all.

I am an reasonable man, I do have the ability to change my mind and opinion on the idea of kickstarter, from a placing your preorder money on a roulette wheel and hoping for the best, back to the idea that it is a place where passionate people can make the games they have always wanted with the help of fans and equally passionate players.

That ability is change my mind is riding on how well Mighty No. 9, my only funded Kickstarter project, will succeeds in quality, value and game play. No pressure. So far I have already seen some fruits of the labor from the Mighty No. 9 project with this Mighty Gunvolt game, acting as an  appetizer and to whet our appetite on what we might see from Mighty No. 9 in the future.


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#340 The Double Edge Sword of Crowdsourcing

Last week two major crowd sourcing projects were launched and made the headlines on the major gaming websites, TwitchPlaysPokemon and Valve’s Steam Tags system.

The first project is a real-time ROM hack of Pokemon Blue that allows the chat-room to dictate what button to press (including everything from the directional buttons to start and select). The project is still going strong but it going as well as you expected.

Reminds me of that old question, "can an infinite amount of monkeys are sitting in a room with an infinite amount of typewriters could they type up the complete works of Shakespeare?"

Reminds me of that old question, “can an infinite amount of monkeys typing on an infinite amount of typewriters could they type up the complete works of Shakespeare?” I guess we’ll find out.

 

The other is Steam’s Tags, the new project that allows the players to set, search, and organized their favorite games into personalized tags. As you might have heard or guessed the tagging system was hijacked and trashed in less than 24 hours with people creating tags like “Casual” to describe the Call of Duty series, creating a “horrible” and “rip off” tag for a few specific games and tagging Dota 2 as “causal” and “League of Legends”. I don’t know what the people at  Valve were expecting to happen.

My personal favorite is the tags for the Secret of the Magic Crystals game

My personal favorite is the tags for the Secret of the Magic Crystals game

 

Both shows the double edge sword of crowd-sourcing and crowdfundingCrowd sourcing has been a big trend in gaming with the inventions of game specific wikis, the success of Kickstarter and support of the community mods and multiple other projects but as good this golden goose looks those examples only showed the best of the highlights of the players. 

What people do not regularly except that there are always going to be jerks out there trying to ruin a perfectly good thing just to get a rise out of the fans. For a great example is the Internet poll, ‘Worst Company In America History’ was rigged by a dedicated few to ensure that Entertainment Arts was guaranteed to win the Golden Poo award for two years in a row.

I remember some miffed that  "too big to fail" Bank of America lost to a video game company

I remember some miffed that “too big to fail” Bank of America lost to a video game company

 

Imagine how Kickstarter projects would turn out if on top of donating money you could also take cash away from the cause, like a real life money pit? Almost nothing would get funded.

I am not discrediting crowdsourcing projects but these two examples shows that, a bit like capitalism, there needs to be some regulation or supervision to weed out the terrible few that threaten to jeopardize the experience for the rest of us.

But going back to Valve,  it looks like the tagging filter system is getting things straighten out, they must have know that it would create a few hiccups….unless they knew that and went ahead with it and used it to generate press from people, each retelling their favorite exploit of the system.


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#270 Copyright Infringement and Fanfiction in Videogames

After a corrupted file and three unsuccessful attempts to properly download and re-install the game I finally was able to sit down and play some Black Mesa.

Woot! lets get this party started

Woot! let’s get this party started

 

So far I have really been enjoying it and while from an art and story telling point of view I did appreciate the ominous foreshadowing and steady and slow build up to the first contact with the aliens a part of me really wanted to get to the part where you/Gordon Freeman picked up the famous crowbar and start going to town on the alien headcrabs.

There it is

There it is

 

I do know if it was just the file I downloaded or a necessary feature for the updated engine or a part of the original game but I was running into quite a bit of immersion breaking loading screens. During those moments I could not help but think, “this can not be legal”

Black Mesa is a result of a team of 40 taking the original story from Valve’s half-life game, gutting it and transplanting the vital organs of the original into a new game engine with a graphical enhancement and distributing the result to the public for free. 

I am not a lawyer, and I hope a lawyer can come forward and tell me what they think in the comments, but it feels like this is just on the edge of copyright infringement. What might have saved the team from a major lawsuit was the fact that Black Mesa was distributed for free.

While I am sure the Black Mesa team received permission from Gabe himself I chose to download the free mod rather than paying Valve for the game, netting a financial lost for them.

While I am sure the Black Mesa team received permission from Gabe himself I chose to download the free mod rather than paying Valve for the game, technically a financial lost for them.

 

I was lucky to pick Black Mesa for this for this monthly backlog challenge because it transitions us nicely into the more recent game on Kickstarter that is making news for completing its fundraising goal in just over 24 hours. I am of course, talking about the new intellectual property, Might No. 9 or as everyone on the internet has been calling it ‘Totally-Not-Mega-Man’

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Mighty No. 9 is a project started by Keiji Inafune of Mega Man fame and his team of programmers and artists from other Mega Man games in their quest to create a “classic Japanese side-scrolling action” that stars a blue robot boy fighting through waves of robot minions and bosses and collecting weapon power-ups along the way.

The interesting thing is that while it heavily borrows from other game projects that the team have worked on in the past, once Mighty No 9 Totally-Not-Mega-Man is completed the team is going to bring it to the Steam/Xbox/PS3 market and try to make a profit from it, which Capcom might be interested in stopping if they think had a legal leg to stand on.

Economically speaking the only reason that Totally-not-mega-man is making headlines with its success is because there was a need from the players for a game like this, a need that is not being fulfilled by anyone in the videogame industry.

Currently the need for a new Half life or Mega Man game is all the way on the left.

Currently the need for a new Half life or Mega Man game is all the way on the left.

 

This sort of behavior of Black Mesa and Totally-Not-Mega-Man reminds me a bit of fan fiction. As the PBS’s Idea Channel video points out when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off the beloved Sherlock Holmes in “The Final Problem” officially ending the Sherlock Holmes series but the readers had other things in mind. The fans, who wanted more from the World’s (second) Greatest Detective decided to write their own unofficial Sherlock stories and bring back the fictional British genius back from the grave to solve more impossible puzzles around England.

Those fan of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s saw that they, and others like them, wanted more from the intellectual property and saw that the official producers showed no interest in continuing the story  took matters in their own hands and created more for themselves.

The team at Black Mesa noticed that Valve was not planning on releasing a HD version of the first Half Life so those 40 people took on the challenge themselves and Keiji Inafune saw a lack of proper mega man games in production so he asked the internet and Mega Man fanbase if they wanted to fund his pet project and they responded as one would expect.

As the barrier of entry in making and distributing  a game gets lowered with every software improvement more and more fans will be making more and more fan-made games like Mari0, where Nintendo’s Mario gets a Portal gun.

If you need any more proof just look at Xatoku’s project to bring life into the one thing everyone has been asking Gamefreak and Pokemon to make for the past ten years, a 3D Pokemon MMO simply called Pokemon Generations.

This is only allowed to go forward because the creator promised the Pokemon company that he would not make a profit.

This is only allowed to go forward because the creator promised the Pokemon company that he would not make a profit.

 


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