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September 2010

Nintendo Correcting Game-breaking Metroid: Other M Bug

Samus AranLike The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess before it, it turns out that Nintendo's recent Metroid: Other M for the Wii contains a terrible bug that will cut your progress short prematurely with nothing you can do to repair the situation.  It all has to do with a certain boss encounter in Sector 3 that blocks the path through a door needed to continue through the Bottle Ship.  If you happen to defeat the boss and then double-back to save your progress, that door will never open.  Ever.  Since you must go through that door to proceed deeper into the game, this is a problem.  This wouldn't be an issue if it were possible to patch Wii games via the Internet, but since that's not an option, Nintendo has come up with a more old fashioned solution to the problem.  Kotaku has the story.

In Japan, Nintendo is offering to rectify the problem. The Kyoto-based company is asking players to either send a SD card with their save files or their Wii console (with its 512MB of internal Flash memory) to its service center in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture.

It is not necessary for players to send a copy of their game. Nintendo says it will take a week to fix the game and will cover the cost of shipping.

In an official release, Nintendo humbly apologizes for any trouble this bug has caused.

I'm glad that the company is going out of its way to fix the bug, but maybe the next time Nintendo prepares a new console, that console should be able to receive online patches.  I realize that opens the door to shoddy quality control and rushing games to market, but I trust Nintendo enough to squash just about all of the bugs before one of their titles makes it to stores.  They don't always solve all of the problems (Other M is a prime example), but I just don't see them releasing half-finished games with plans to fix them later just because they can.

Nintendo Readies New Wii Remote

FlingSmash Y'know, I just bought a second Wii Remote and Wii MotionPlus add-on not two weeks ago and this morning I see over at Kotaku that Nintendo is preparing a new Wii Remote Plus that apparently has the MotionPlus technology built into the basic remote.  Time and technology march on.  Here's some of the Kotaku story:

The box art for upcoming Wii title FlingSmash seems to be bundled with a new Wii-Remote. The box notes, "Bonus Wii Remote Plus Inside!"  The game is compatible with Wii MotionPlus, the motion add-on peripheral for the Wii Remote. The Wii MotionPlus was released in 2009 and offers more precise motion control.  If this box art is correct, then Nintendo is releasing a Wii Remote that features an on-board integrated Wii MotionPlus. The game and the remote are bundled together and priced at US$49.99.

I seem to recall reading that Nintendo had not only a Wii MotionPlus add-on developed back when the Wii itself launched in 2006, but also had early prototypes of a Wii remote with that technology already inside it.  They chose not to launch it originally since the Wii was such a risky gambit in an uncertain marketplace.  Now that we're about to see the Wii Remote Plus, I guess we can finally declare that the Wii has been a success.

The True History Of Super Mario Bros.

MarioNintendo and fans worldwide are celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System this month, but leave it to The Onion to crack the secret true history of the character and his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto.  The satirical publication has put together a timeline of important milestones in Mario's career and explained the relevance of each.  Here's a sample:

  • 1974—In a bizarre incident that will come to shape his development of Mario years later, Miyamoto accidentally smacks his head against a brick outcropping and some gold coins fall out
  • 1981—Kept up all night by a leaky flush toilet mechanism, Miyamoto fantasizes about having a giant ape pelt his shiftless plumber with barrels
  • 1986-1993—In the so-called 'Mario mania' years, Sega fails time and time again to score a hit with its goateed Croatian electrician character, Milorad
  • 1991Super Mario World introduces Yoshi, a complicated allegory for the state of Japanese politics
  • 1994—Following the box-office failure of the Super Mario Bros. movie the previous year, the script for a Mario Kart–based sequel is hastily rewritten into the film Speed, with Dennis Hopper reprising his role as the villain

And now you know the rest of the story.  I have to feel sorry for Sega though.  Their series of Fantastic Milorad titles just never really took off.  I must also add that a reinterpretation of Speed as a Mario Kart movie is genius.  Assuming Keanu Reeves takes the Mario role, does that make Jeff Daniels into Luigi?  Sandra Bullock is the princess, obviously.  It's frightening how well that all works.  And, of course, Alan Ruck is Yoshi.

LittleBigPlanet 2 Delayed To 2011

LittleBigPlanet 2If you were hoping to get your hands on new adventures and stage building tools for Sackboy and his friends this holiday season, you're in for some disappointment.  Developer Media Molecule has announced that it must delay LittleBigPlanet 2 for the Sony PlayStation 3 until January 2011 in order to get everything just right.  Here's some of the company's statement in which it explains the reasons for the delay:

We’ve all been working like powered-up space ninjas and we’re almost there, but because we love what we’ve made, and we love our little sack-friends, and most of all we love all our fans out there, we couldn’t let you all get together until we knew we were giving you the best experience imaginable. Which is why we’ve taken the hard decision to delay the worldwide release of LittleBigPlanet 2, originally slated for later this year to January 2011.

We know this will come as disappointing news for all you LittleBigPlanet fans, and believe us, we are disappointed too. We are a tight-knit team and we take enormous pride in our work, so to raise the bar we’ve set with the original LittleBigPlanet, a game that has been so embraced by all, we’ve agreed to allow ourselves a bit more time to deliver the experience that our great fans and community deserve. We are truly sorry, but hope you understand that we have to build the best possible game, as it is the foundation of our community.

Considering how ambitious this game is shaping up to be (the E3 demo I played seemed like more of the same, but there's so much that was not on display at the time), I say they can take all the time they need to get this sequel right (especially considering that many people don't believe the original LittleBigPlanet needs a sequel thanks to the glut of user-created content available for it).  Personally, my holiday gaming season is looking a bit crowded as it is, so I appreciate the schedule change.

Power Button - Episode 24: We're Not Playing Halo: Reach

Power ButtonBrad Hilderbrand and I are tired of hearing about Microsoft's new Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360.  Chances are that you are as well.  Nothing against Halo, but it's just not for us.  With that in mind, this week on Power Button we decided to go over several non-Halo games for both home consoles and handhelds that you should (or should not) be playing right now.  Spend a little quality time with us as we discuss games such as Mafia II, TerRover, Valkyria Chronicles 2, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, and more. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, or subscribe via iTunes, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach all three of us via  and you can even follow on Twitter at @PressTheButtons or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 24: We're Not Playing Halo: Reach

No More Street Fighter IV For PC

Super Street Fighter IV If you were holding out hope for a PC version of Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV, you'll be waiting for a long time.  As it turns out, the original PC release of Street Fighter IV was pirated to Hell and back, so naturally Capcom isn't eager to offer up a sequel that would undoubtedly meet the same fate.  Should sufficient DRM locks land on the developer's doorstep, however, they might reconsider.  Andriasang has the news (and images of new characters coming to the arcade version of the game).

[S]eries producer Yoshinori Ono said that, due to high piracy with the PC version of the original Street Fighter IV, there are currently no plans for a PC version of Super. The PC version of the original was actually a strong seller worldwide, said Ono. However, it was also "number one in piracy."  Ono actually managed to look on the bright side of the piracy issue, saying that at least the game saw wider spread because of it. However, for the sake of protecting the Street Fighter IV IP, they cannot make it so that Street Fighter is considered "free" in certain areas.

This is why we can't have nice things!  Or, more diplomatically, it only makes sense not to fuel the infringement fires by throwing resources away on a product that will not make back its investment.  On the bright side, at least we're spared from a version of the game crippled by lackluster DRM that negatively impacts the gameplay experience.  Capcom could easily have gone for something along the lines of what Ubisoft did to the PC version of Assassin's Creed II, for instance, and nobody wants that.

Game Over For Kombo

KomboIt's the end of an era as is shutting down at the end of the month.  I've been with the company since 2004 and worked my way up to Assistant Director of Reviews earlier this year, so I'm sad to see it go, but ultimately things just weren't working out.  Long story short, a proposed new editorial direction and revised compensation plan did not go over well with the senior staff, leading all of us to resign, and it's very difficult to run a company without management, so the owner decided to close the doors.  I've had some fantastic times at Kombo, met a lot of wonderful people, befriended some of the best writers in the business, and covered a lot of memorable events, and while I will miss it, rest assured that I am not going anywhere.  Press The Buttons goes on, of course, and you just might see me pop up here and there elsewhere in the industry as time goes on.  Thanks to everyone at Kombo for a fantastic six and a half years, and last one out please turn the lights off when you leave.

Big PS3 Sale At Today Only

Buy somethin' will ya!Who's ready for another day of Sony PlayStation 3 deals and sales over at  Today's Gold Box spotlight features PS3 games such as the new Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Heavy Rain, 3D Dot Game HeroesMadden NFL 11, a headset of some sort, and much more for discounted prices all day long for one day only, so head on over and get the special prices while they last.  Every purchase you make through the green link here goes to help support PTB, so don't be afraid to do a little shopping and help support the site.

Mini-Review: Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse - Episode 5: "The City That Dares Not Sleep"

The Narrator The penultimate episode of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse ended on a shocking cliffhanger as Max was corrupted by otherworldly forces and transformed into a city-squashing, dream-consuming beast.  Telltale Games has pulled out all the stops and readied a few surprises for the final installment of this season of the series as old characters return, the devil appears at last, and at least one beloved member of Sam and Max's world dies a terrible, terrible death in "The City That Dares Not Sleep" for the Sony PlayStation 3, PC, and Apple iPad.  The only way to save Max is for Sam to physically enter the beast's body and perform a little impromptu brain surgery, but nothing is ever that easy.  Sam will have to explore key areas of Max's innards to solve the problem.  Beware the extensive spoilers ahead!

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