Most Recent: Etcetera

Learn how The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came to be in a “Making of” Documentary and “Breaking Conventions” GDC Session

Nintendo is giving fans an unprecedented look at how they designed and built The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in a new documentary series.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a three-part documentary that focuses on all aspects of Breath of the Wild including the initial work done in “The Beginning,” the seamless exploration provided by the game’s “Open-Air Concept,” and the epic saga of the “Story and Characters.”

This documentary sets nicely alongside “Breaking Conventions,” a Game Developers Conference session hosted by Game Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Art Director Satoru Takizawa, and Technical Director Takuhiro Dohta. The three developers dive deep into the development process for Breath of the Wild, and provide plenty of new insight into the notoriously secretive inner workings at Nintendo.

I understand that not everyone has two hours to devote to behind-the-scenes stories from Breath of the Wild’s development (that’s time you could be playing the game, after all). But if nothing else, stick around long enough to see the 8-bit prototype the team created, as well as footage of an early game concept that included an alien invasion of Hyrule straight out of Independence Day.

All four videos can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in Etcetera, News, Switch, Wii U | Tagged ,

Nintendo reveals Super Mario Pez Dispensers for MAR10 Day

“World Plumbing Day” is March 11th, but Nintendo has always preferred to celebrate the exploits of their mustachioed pipeslinger a day early.

A few years ago, the consolemaker declared March 10th to be “MAR10 Day,” and the 2017 edition of this special day began with the announcement (via Twitter) of a Super Mario series of Pez Dispensers. Set to be released this May, fans will soon be able to add Mario, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, and Yoshi to their Pez Dispenser collection.

Sadly, the Super Mario Pez Dispensers won’t be ready in time for “National Hug A Plumber Day,” which takes place on April 25th.

Posted in Etcetera, News |

Sleeping Dogs lives on with a film adaptation starring Donnie Yen

Remember Sleeping Dogs?  Sure you do… it’s that game that spent years in development hell. You know, the one that initially started off as the third installment in the short-lived True Crime franchise. It was that game that eventually got picked up by Square Enix and turned out to be one of the most amazing games of 2012. Well, apparently I’m not the only one who loved Sleeping Dogs, because Neil Mortiz of Fast and the Furious fame has opted to produce a movie based on the game.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, or have simply, for whatever reason, chosen to avoid playing Sleeping Dogs, here’s the rundown. Sleeping Dogs was a game released in August 2012 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. And it was later ported to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as one of the first Definitive Editions for the current generation of consoles.

The game centers around protagonist Wei Shen (played by Will Yun Lee), a Chinese-American cop who goes undercover for the Hong Kong Police Department to take down the local Triad organization. Shen finds his loyalties tested as he’s reunited with old friends and finds himself deeper drawn into the Triad underworld.

A free-to-play spinoff known as Triad Wars was scheduled to be release in 2015, however, it was canceled by developer United Front Games, which has since closed down. Square Enix retains the rights to Sleeping Dogs, but as far as the future of the franchise is concerned, the publisher has kept silent since the release of the Definitive Edition.

According to Deadline, the Sleeping Dogs movie will star Donnie Yen, a rather famous actor and martial artist in his native China. If you’re not familiar with Yen’s name, you certainly know some of his recent roles. The actor began to break into Hollywood features this year, and had memorable appearances in both Rogue One: Star Wars Story and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.

Yen is an excellent choice for the lead, especially given the heavy use of hand-to-hand and martial arts combat featured throughout the game. And here’s hoping that an international interest in the upcoming Sleeping Dogs movie will generate a renewed enthusiasm for the game, perhaps compelling Square Enix to start working on a much-desired sequel.

Posted in Etcetera, News, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Video Game History Foundation wants to create a digital record of the industry’s past

Frank Cifaldi is a developer who has worked on Mega Man Legacy Collection and IDARB, but he is also the founder of the Video Game History Foundation, a new non-profit that seeks to preserve and digitize the history of video games.

The Video Game History Foundation launched their first “Digital Collection” yesterday, focusing on The NES Launch in 1985. Cifaldi is also seeking donations to expand the scope of the Foundation, as detailed on their “What We’re Doing” page:

The heart of the Foundation is its digital library, an online repository of artifacts related to the history of video games and video game culture. The ultimate goal is to create a searchable, organized, always-online archive of verified, high-quality material that is accessible to researchers and historians as a public education resource.

All donations to the Video Game History Foundation are tax deductible, and I can’t wait to see what collections they come up with next.

Posted in 3DS, DS, Etcetera, Mobile, News, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Retro, Switch, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One |


First poster from Netflix’s Castlevania series revealed by Producer Adi Shankar

A Castlevania television series will make its way to Netflix this year, and Producer Adi Shankar recently revealed the first poster for the animated adaptation on his Facebook page. We still don’t know when the series will debut, but the gothic vibe that Shankar is going for is certainly evident in this image.

According to Netflix, the first season will be comprised of four half-hour episodes:

Inspired by the classic video game series, Castlevania is a dark medieval fantasy following the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction at the hand of Vlad Dracula Tepe himself.

Based on Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, the Castlevania series will be written by Warren Ellis, and a second season is said to be in production for release in 2018.

Posted in Etcetera, News, Retro |

Weird Al Yankovic recorded a Pac-Man parody in the 80s… and now we can finally hear it

Weird Al Yankovic’s career has spanned more than 40 years, but in all that time, the geeky icon only rarely delves into doing game-themed parodies. Perhaps that’s because of a bad experience he had early in his career with “Pac-Man,” a parody of “Taxman” by The Beatles.

Speaking to Nerdist, Weird Al believes an overzealous lawyer initially rejected the song without ever listening to it: “I’d like to think that none of the Beatles ever actually heard the song back then. It was just some office [clerk] whose whole job is to litigate and prosecute people for copyright infringement.”

However, Weird Al would later become friends with George Harrison’s son Dhani, and he helped work out a deal to include “Pac-Man” on Squeeze Box: The Complete Recordings of “Weird Al” Yankovic, an upcoming retrospective box set. Squeeze Box will be available this Fall on vinyl and CD, and it’ll include every album from Weird Al’s career housed in a replica accordion (of course). A 15th disc, Medium Rarities, will feature several unreleased songs (like “Pac-Man”), as well as alternate takes on more popular parodies.

But if you can’t wait that long, you can listen to “Pac-Man” at Nerdist right now.

Posted in Etcetera, News, Retro | Tagged

No new Skylanders game in 2017, but multiple “Adventure Packs” coming

As part of their quarterly financial report yesterday, Activision executives confirmed that a new game in the Skylanders franchise won’t be released in 2017. However, fans should still expect plenty of new content to appear this year.

First and foremost, Skylanders Imaginators will make its Nintendo Switch debut on March 3. The “toys-to-life” franchise has been one of the few third party bright spots on the Wii U, so it’s good to see Activision continuing the tradition on the Switch. And with Imaginators in the spotlight for another year, COO Thomas Tippl confirmed that Activision plans to launch “multiple Adventure Packs, new characters, and new in-game content” for it throughout the year.

Tippl revealed that Netflix’s Skylanders Academy has also been well-received by fans. A second season will premiere on the streaming service sometime this year, and a third is already in the works.

Finally, Activision is working on a new mobile game set in the Skylanders universe, but that’s all we know at this point.

Posted in Etcetera, Mobile, News, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One | Tagged

Bill Nye is back to talk about video games… and Save the World

Calling all “90s Kids,” Bill Nye the Science Guy is coming back to TV! His upcoming talk show, Bill Nye Saves the World, will makes its Netflix debut on April 21.

Nye’s show will introduce the amazing world of science to a new generation (or rather, the same generation that grew up idolizing him a few decades later), and he’ll be joined by a ragtag team of correspondents including model Karlie Kloss, Xploration Outer Space host Emily Calandrelli, comedian Joanna Hausmann, science reporter Derek Muller, and actor Nazeem Hussain. Celebrity guests such as Zach Braff, Rachel Bloom, Tim Gunn, Wil Wheaton, Joel McHale, and more will also show up to lend their expertise to the show.

Bill Nye Saves the World will cover a wide variety of topics in its first 13-episode run including sex, alternative medicine, global warming, and video games.

Posted in Etcetera, News |