Another year, another Electronic Entertainment Expo behind us. On this episode of the Power Button podcast, we're joined again by our old friend Ross Polly to discuss the big news and events from E3 2015. We dig into announcements about The Last Guardian, the Final Fantasy VII remake, Star Fox Zero, Microsoft Xbox 360 backward compatibility with the Xbox One, Super Mario Maker, Uncharted 4, and so much more. All this and Pelé, too! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
The gaming community talks a lot about its love for Nintendo's 1995 Super NES RPG EarthBound (I know I certainly do), but while that one game has a rabid cult following in North America, the game is the middle installment of a full-blown trilogy in Japan. Entitled Mother rather than its localized name, the original game was released for the Famicom in 1989 and very nearly came to North America at the tail-end of the Nintendo Entertainment System generation. It was fully localized with marketing and packaging designed, but with the Super NES era running at a healthy pace and the NES rapidly showing its age, the company shelved Mother (retitled to Earth Bound (note the space)) and instead brought the sequel, Mother 2, to North America instead under the familiar EarthBound moniker. The NES Earth Bound went into the vault, sales of EarthBound were underwhelming, and those poor sales kept the later Game Boy Advance sequel Mother 3 in Japan despite international fans begging for a release.
Usually that's where the story would end, but that localized Earth Bound prototype escaped the Nintendo vault in 1998 and made its way to the Internet where anyone with a NES emulator could track it down, download it, and play it. Fulfilling? Sure. Violating all kinds of copyright laws? You bet! But that didn't really stop those interested in trying the first game in the series from digging into it. Retitled by fans as EarthBound Zero to set it apart from the 16-bit sequel, the online community has had plenty of time to explore the game and chronicle it.
And once again, that's usually where the story would end, but Nintendo surprised everyone this week by resurrecting Earth Bound, retitling it EarthBound Beginnings to denote its prequel nature, and releasing it on the Wii U's Virtual Console section of the eShop in both North America and Europe. Now for $6.99 you can buy a legal copy of the game for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. While the EarthBound faithful seem to have dismissed this release as "so what, been there, done that, blah" with that special brand of cynicism that the Internet breeds anymore, I'm overjoyed to see the game made available by Nintendo itself at last. While EarthBound Beginnings is not as polished as its sequels (remember, it is a NES-era RPG and is rough around the edges), it's worth your time if you're a fan of the series who has yet to experience it, and if nothing else I'd hope that throwing some money at this release would show once and for all that Nintendo is leaving money on the table by not localizing and releasing Mother 3 for the Virtual Console. Beginnings is the easier title to release because its localization was completed decades ago, so it's only natural that it would arrive before any thought of the GBA sequel does (not to mention that Mother 3 would greatly overshadow Beginnings if it came first), but I'm more hopeful now than ever that we'll see the whole series available on Wii U before this hardware generation is over.
Every June the video game industry flocks to Los Angeles, California for a week of announcements, reveals, press conferences, demos, and surprises. As we gear up for another Electronic Entertainment Expo, we're joined by our old friend Ross Polly to discuss what we each hope to see at this year's show. Nintendo compilations, Rare's fighting frogs, Capcom loaning out Mega Man, a new PlayStation Vita, and much more are on the list which span from "very likely" to "crazy dream". Also, don't miss Ross's fantastic new name for the upcoming Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
It's no secret that we're big pinball fans here on Power Button and there are never enough tables out there based on our favorite media properties, so on this week's episode we take the opportunity to spitball some ideas on new tables we'd like to see based on our favorite video games, television shows, movies, and sports. The properties you'd expect to hear about from us are represented (Ghostbusters) as well as some surprises (a table based on the streaming service Hulu?). We also sidequest into how best to consume media in a post-cable world and explore the forgotten corners of The Disney Afternoon cartoon block. Get your flippers ready! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
It's a proven fact that the main theme from Nintendo's classic Super Mario 64 (also known as the "Bob-omb Battlefield theme") will make you smile every time you hear it. This also applies to remixes. Joshua Milo has taken the snappy song and reworked it with a kicking drum line and some brass band work to get your feet tapping along to the beat on this hot summer Friday. Slap on your wing cap, grab some red coins, and let's do this!
If you missed out on Nathan Drake's adventures last generation or you just want to relive them on a modern console, then Sony has you covered with today's announcement of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection which packs Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception together for the PlayStation 4. It's coming in October to soothe the pain of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End being delayed into 2016. The PlayStation Blog explains what's included, what isn't, and what's changed.
The team at Bluepoint Games is incomparable regarding their portfolio of ports and remastered releases, and we’ve been working closely with them to bring over our engine to make Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection an exemplary game. That means not only delivering the single-player campaigns of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in 1080p and 60fps with better lighting, textures, and models, but also adding a range of improvements and additions across all three games including Photo Mode and new trophies. We put together the list of these improvements and additions based on countless forum posts, messages, Tweets, and even through personal conversations we’ve had with a number of you over the years. More on these specifics in future updates.
There are no multiplayer modes here which makes me think that Sony/Naughty Dog do not want to have to run online servers for this compilation in the face of a bigger, better selling Uncharted title next year. If you've never played the Uncharted trilogy than I recommend that you fix that, but as someone who has been through all three of these games on the PS3, I can't see myself going for this re-release. I love Uncharted and already have the new sequel ordered, but don't have any interest in replaying the original games. They're special, unique experiences that are never quite the same when repeated. If you're new to Drake though, then you're in for a treat.
It's inevitable that when something easily produced becomes madly popular and wildly profitable that the knock-off versions of that thing will begin to appear in the marketplace. We've seen counterfeit games for years, but now with Nintendo's amiibo generating such high demand we're starting to see the rise of fake versions of those. Amiibo News has a detailed look at the first batch of amiibo that aren't on the level, and surprisingly they're not the rare characters like Marth or Ness which is what I'd expect the counterfeit community to crank out by the crateload. Instead it's commoners like Mario, Link, and Pikachu. Why bother, gray market?
Take Mario, for instance. The counterfeit version of Mario is missing some of the finer details from the original. The bootleg amiibo does not have a textured pattern on his pants, lacks the transparency that the legitimate amiibo has on it’s fireball, and appears to use a different color of red paint for the shirt and hat.
Some fakes are better than others, but it looks like amiibo collectors need to start paying extra attention to which figurines they're buying. Of course, with just common characters turning up as knock-offs right now, it's doubtful that anyone would feel the need to pay scalper prices for a Mario figurine and end up with a fake. Once the really rare characters come into play though, buying from unknown sellers on the other side of the world is going to become even more risky. Watch for figurines that do not meet Nintendo's specifications. Remember that Mario's hat is a specific shade of red, Link isn't commonly seen driving a fire truck, and there's no such character as Murth. On the other hand, if you want to build an amuubo collection of fakes, the sky is the limit!
Buyer beware! Don't fall into the trap of counterfeit amiibo. Something looks off with this Pac-Man, for instance. pic.twitter.com/tYM0TmJnxC— Matthew Green (@PressTheButtons) June 3, 2015
There's been a lot of talk that the recently released Sony PlayStation 4 version of Ultra Street Fighter IV is hideously broken. I've seen the videos that show odd glitches involving repeating audio tracks, invisible projectiles, and characters able to somehow exist in two places at once. Thankfully, I've encountered none of these problems for myself. Check out my Akuma kicking ass in a rival battle against Ryu and a final fight against Seth.