Tag: and

4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

Kirby And The Walk Down Memory Lane: A Series Retrospective

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You wouldn’t guess it from his child-like appearance, but gaming’s much-loved spherical hero turned 30 this year. Kicking off his first adventure in 1992, Kirby has grown into a juggernaut in the game industry, starring in dozens of titles and making appearances in countless others. The long-running franchise is among video games’ best-selling. One of its most successful titles, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, released in March 2022. It’s not only breaking series records but also sucked in a whole new generation of fans. To celebrate the formidable gumball’s third decade in the industry, we’re looking back at the franchise, from how it started to where it’s floating now.

Kirby Creator Connections

“Even when our customers played the games we developed, I think they played them thinking, ‘This game was developed by Nintendo.’ And, well, that wasn’t good.”

This is how Masayoshi Tanimura, current chairman of the board of Kirby-developer HAL Laboratory, explains the company’s unique logo – a dog nestled around three eggs in a nest – on the company’s website. The problem of mistaken developer identity has followed the studio throughout the years. Asking who developed the powerful puffball’s latest title inevitably leads to a few still guessing Nintendo, while others might suppose his origins lie with the Super Smash Bros. series. While these are off the mark, there is good reason players make the associations, as HAL Laboratory – and Kirby – are intimately linked to both.

The image above comes from an official strategy guide for the pink powerhouse’s second title, Kirby’s Adventure. It shows three crucial figures in the game’s creation attempting to draw the protagonist by hand. Look closely. If you recognize them, you may begin to understand how Kirby connects some of gaming’s giants.

On the left is Masahiro Sakurai. Some fans might recognize Sakurai as the face behind the Super Smash Bros. series, featured in numerous presentations for Ultimate’s various character reveals. However, nearly ten years before the original Super Smash Bros. launched on the Nintendo 64, the former HAL Laboratory game director and designer created Kirby.

The figures in the middle and right are Nintendo legends Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata, respectively. Miyamoto, famously the designer behind Mario, Zelda, and more, is now one of Nintendo’s most familiar faces and directors, but he also played a role in Kirby’s development. Speaking to Game Informer in 2011, Miyamoto discussed the character’s early years, confirming Kirby’s name was partially a nod to John Kirby, a lawyer who represented Nintendo.

Satoru Iwata served as Nintendo president before his death in 2015. But before he ascended to that lofty rank, Iwata was a programmer (and later president) at HAL Laboratory working on the formative Kirby titles, among other projects. He had many talents, but free-hand drawing was not among them, judging from the above picture.

Beginning The Dream

Kirby did not have his now-iconic copy powers when he first flew onto the 8-bit scene, but the character nonetheless spent the early games transforming. When Sakurai began work on what would eventually become Kirby’s Dream Land, he created a quick, spherical model for the main character. It was meant as a placeholder until the team could mock up a more intricate design. Fans will never know what that more sophisticated character might have looked like because the developers grew attached to the simplistic and cute figure. With a few tweaks, Kirby’s round form was born.

The name of the protagonist, as well as the game, was in flux throughout development. Kirby was originally dubbed Popopo, and thus the various titles the studio entertained for the game included this nomenclature. The continuous alterations led to the franchise’s first title getting a few interesting marketing variations. For example, it’s possible to find published references to Twinkle Popo, an early game title, and Kirby’s Dream Land’s official North American cover art famously features a pale protagonist rather than the pink one Sakurai envisioned.

Throughout the ’90s, the franchise’s lore grew along with Kirby’s powers. The initial title introduced his home – Dream Land on Planet Popstar – series antagonist King Dedede, and Kirby’s all-consuming talents. The next installment debuted the pastel puffball’s unique gift of taking on the abilities and appearance of those he gobbled up. The success was almost immediate, encouraging the creators to make direct follow-ups to the mainline titles and branch out into spinoffs. Kirby invaded pinball machines, took up golf, and tried his hand at puzzles. However, with a new generation of Nintendo hardware on the horizon, Sakurai’s creation was about to step into the next level.

Another Dimension

The franchise’s first game starring Kirby in all his puffy, 3D glory was Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Despite the new frontier, the gameplay didn’t alter radically. This title was, at heart, a 2D side-scroller with a cool, new look. While this was the first Kirby game with 3D graphics, it certainly wasn’t the first time the character had been in a HAL Laboratory game flirting with 3D.

The year before Kirby 64 was released, Sakurai debuted a Nintendo-centric fighting game pitting the publisher’s biggest icons against each other, called Super Smash Bros. Kirby earned a place on the initial roster, attracting a new audience. Sakurai became increasingly less involved with the development of Kirby’s 3D titles and soon after left HAL Laboratory. Despite the creator’s absence, the franchise continued floating along into the new era with a mostly warm reception from fans and critics alike.


Looking Back, Moving Forward

Throughout the later 2000s, the franchise’s major titles stayed firmly rooted in the past. Even more than a decade after Kirby leaped into 3D, games like Kirby’s Return to Dreamland stuck to the signature side-scrolling formula. In 2012, HAL Laboratory marked the character’s 20th anniversary with a Wii collection that included six early entries.

Though Kirby made his way onto a dozen different platforms with steady game releases over many years, his most recent adventure proved the pink hero can still pull out some surprises. Kirby and the Forgotten Land was the franchise’s first foray into an open-world-like structure, and the new direction is paying off.

According to a report by GamesIndustry.biz, the title broke the series’ launch records in the U.K., outselling the previous first-week record-holder nearly three times over. Interestingly, its predecessor was fellow Switch title Kirby Star Allies. It seems the mascot is gaining momentum on the latest-gen Nintendo console, and fans are more excited than ever to see where Kirby goes next. 

4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

Review: Cuphead – The Delicious Last Course – Short, Sweet, And Utterly Essential

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You’d be a mug to ignore it.

There’s a section near the end of one of the new stages in Cuphead’s DLC that made us shout a four-letter word at the screen extremely loudly, and that word wasn’t ‘cups’. Being the level-headed types we are, it’s very rare for a game to make us resort to such outbursts, but there we were, bellowing the sort of language that would turn the air bluer than Mugman’s nose. And yet, despite this, we weren’t gnawing our fists in rage or spiking the controller off the wall. We were laughing.

We can’t go into much more detail because it’s the sort of thing you should discover for yourself, but it’s the sort of cheap trick that will likely guarantee you’ll die the first time, which in any other case would be thoroughly infuriating given how many lives will likely be lost to reach that point. And yet, something about Cuphead makes its cheeky trick endearing rather than enraging.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

Mint PSA Pokemon card put to the test with bullets, fire, and more… for science

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Just how safe are your Pokemon trading cards? Well, Dicebreaker put a Mint PSA Charizard through its paces for one video to see just how indestructible the card might be. This includes simply dropping it, shooting it with various armaments, and even trying to roast it; what’s the final straw for this card, or will it pass these extreme tests?

The specifics of the card are as follows: it’s a PSA Mint 9 holographic Charizard GX Pokemon card from the 2019 Hidden Fates set. This means the card is worth approximately £20 GBP, unlike Logan Paul’s Charizard card from the original base set, which is currently worth over £400,000 GBP approximately. Although, Paul argues it’s worth a lot more.

The card at hand arrived in a protective case, and is encased in a second protective case for a little added survivability. The team tested the card (and cases) by putting them through seven different trials, and you can watch exactly how it all went down via the YouTube embed below.

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4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

The Fortune’s Keep wall glitch is plaguing an otherwise brilliant Warzone map, and there’s no fix in sight.

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There’s a nasty wall glitch in Fortune’s Keep, the latest map added to Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific as as part of the season 4 update released last month. First discovered at the tail end of June, this bug allows players to hide out of sight from other players within one of the small buildings on the map’s outskirts and shoot outward at unsuspecting enemies.

While thankfully limited to a specific corner of the island, it nonetheless turned an otherwise regular spot into a treacherous location for anyone not in the know. While we won’t explain how to wiggle inside the walls here, it’s tragically easy to do, and requires not even five minutes of googling to discover.

This is by no means the first major glitch that has popped up in Warzone. Only recently, bugs that allowed players to unlock a variety of weapon camos have been widely used, making it difficult to determine which players have earned certain skins legitimately in genuine matches.

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4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

BioWare snagging Guardians of the Galaxy and Deus Ex writer is the best news the company has had in years

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You’ve almost certainly heard of Mary DeMarle – even if you don’t know the name directly. DeMarle, with credits in the Myst, Homeworld, Deus Ex, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, has been head of narrative and writing at Eidos Montreal since 2011. She lead the way with the modern Deus Ex titles (that’s Mankind Divided and Human Revolution) before building a crack team of writers to work on the latter Marvel tie-in.

DeMarle knows story. Inside out. Just look at the critical reception to Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – pretty much every outlet you care to mention went off about the writing (even if the gameplay came with some caveats). You don’t need me to tell you how highly regarded the Deus Ex games are, either – Human Revolution, in particular, is notorious amongst narrative games fans for its player-driven plot, ludicrously good characterisation, and freedom of choice when it comes to how things play out.

It was music to my ears, then, to hear DeMarle is joining BioWare. Via Resetera, we learned that DeMarle has joined BioWare as a Senior Narrative Director. Now, we know that the studio is working on both Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and a new Mass Effect. So which could DeMarle’s attentions be focused on?

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4 lipca, 2022 Wyłączone

Hot Five: layoffs at Unity, Niantic, and Adjust and AppLovin, 505 acquires D3, and Google’s $90mil developer fund

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Hot Five: layoffs at Unity, Niantic, and Adjust and AppLovin, 505 acquires D3, and Google's $90mil developer fund To keep you up to date on the biggest news in mobile gaming, we round up the five most-read stories on PocketGamer.biz each week. Read on and digest… 1. Adjust and Applovin Lay off 12 per cent of workforce Unity lays off 4% of workforce following „resourcing levels against our company priorities” Niantic lays off 8% of its workforce, as it cancels four projects Let’s not beat around the bush. L…