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April 2011

Mega Man X5 Translator Speaks

Spiral PegasusCapcom's Mega Man X series fell apart in its later years, but the cracks first started to show in 2001's Mega Man X5 for the Sony PlayStation and PC.  For reasons that have baffled most everyone in the gaming community, the people responsible for translating the Japanese game into English chose to replace the names of the boss Mavericks with allusions to members of the band Guns N' Roses.  The usual Maverick naming convention that gave us such memorable names as Flame Mammoth and Bubble Crab was dropped and instead turned characters such as Burn Dinorex and Spiral Pegasus into the localized Mattrex and The Skiver respectively.  How did this happen?  You'll have to ask Alyson Court, as she's the one that thought it would be fun to mix things up for this sequel.  She's come clean recently about where the new names originated.

"Apparently the localization (text editing) I did for a Capcom game is *famous*. Er, make that infamous. Who knew?  My then-husband was responsible for text localization. He asked me to do it, and since he was a Guns N' Roses fan, I changed the names to be Guns N' Roses references. I didn't know the game nor did I know how mad fans would be that I'd changed the characters' names. But years later people now like it!  My ex-husband had his own company, GenAzea, which did localization for many Capcom games. I did a lot of that work.  At first my hubby laughed & liked it [the Guns N' Roses names]. Then when fans started complaining, he got mad at me. I meant well."

Personally, I'd always hoped that a re-release of the game would fix the Maverick names.  I'll be bluntly honest here: I think the Guns N' Roses names are stupid.  I don't usually slap such a loaded word on an opinion without explaining it, but I can't think of a better way to describe my feelings on this matter.  Names like "The Skiver" don't fit anywhere into what one expects of a Mega Man X title.  It's a small issue in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to Mega Man characters, one shouldn't mess with the naming convention behind the bosses.  Imagine if someone had decided to be cute when making Mega Man 3 and localize Snake Man and Shadow Man into Commander Cobra and Shadow Storm because he or she was a G.I. Joe fan.  I can hear the hypothetical angry letters hitting mailboxes already.  I don't think harshly of Court for her role in this, but I do believe that it's important not to muck around with a franchise's traditional style.

Here Comes Assassin's Creed: Revelations

AssassinscreedrevelationsWe weren't supposed to know this just yet, but the title of the next Assassin's Creed title from Ubisoft has leaked a little early.  Internet sleuths have dug up assets sitting on Ubisoft servers that crow about the previously unannounced Assassin's Creed: Revelations.  Here's GameLife with a summary of happenings:

Ubisoft posted a Flash file containing the game’s logo and the name Altaïr, in Arabic script, to the official Assassin’s Creed Facebook page.  The Facebook post is gone for now, but the evidence remains in the form of an image and a Flash file, both still sitting on Ubi’s servers, that reference an upcoming reveal of the game. The original poster also claims to have found a logo inside the Flash file, shown above, naming the game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

I imagine we'll see more at E3 about this, but in the meantime I'm curious about the Altaïr connection.  Is the narrative jumping back to the Crusade-era again?  Does this mean that I need to get around to finishing the first game in the series to understand what's going on?  I'd much rather we jump forward to a new era with a new Animus protagonist rather than retread familiar territory with Altaïr.  Still, it's all rumor and conjecture until a press release goes out.

GLaDOS For Hire

Portal's GLaDOS is one of the most memorable computer intelligences to come along in years, and her unique vocal cadence (brought to life by Ellen McLain and some post-processing) is darn near impossible to remove from your brain once you're exposed to it for long enough.  Eventually, other AIs from films and televisions no longer get the job done as they once did.  Enter GamesRadar with a solution: replace the AIs from properties such as Star Trek, Knight Rider, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many more with the first artificial lady of Aperture Science.  The result is strangely hilarious (even if she is uncharacteristically nice in these clips).  Even if the main story of the Portal series if over, I hope that we see GLaDOS again somewhere down the line.  If Valve's titles won't have her, then I know about a dozen other franchises that would.

First Look At New Mega Man Comic Book

Mega Man

Archie Comics (yes, the Riverdale people) picked up the license to create comic books based on Capcom's popular Mega Man property a while ago, and now it's nearly time for the first issue to hit stores.  While #1 doesn't debut until next week, The Mega Man Network has scored some early preview pages which reveal a story that looks to follow the script and setting from the original Nintendo Entertainment System title pretty closely.  The opening of the first story begins with Mega Man's assault on Dr. Wily's fortress complete with an attack by multiple Big Eyes and the lack of a door at the entrance to the complex.  Visually, the characters have never looked better in print and I have a feeling based on Mega Man's dialog and internal monologue that the writers plan to present an authentic version of the character.  Basically, I have a good feeling about this and look forward to seeing where it goes.

Portals In The Mushroom Kingdom

It's amazing how much a prepositional phrase can enhance a classic video game title.  For instance, consider Super Mario Bros. With A Portal Gun in which Nintendo's famous Nintendo Entertainment System adventure is enhanced with a standard Aperture Science portal device from Valve's Portal.  Watch as Mario breaks all the laws of science while journeying through the Mushroom Kingdom.  This could be the beginning of a fantastic series of parody videos.  I'd love to see The Legend of Zelda With A Portal Gun, Mega Man With A Portal Gun, and Portal With A Portal Gun.  Well, maybe not that last one.

Power Button - Episode 47: A Combination Of Anger, Disappointment, And Disgust

Power ButtonPsst!  Hey!  Hey you!  Wanna buy tens of millions of user data profiles?  Today on a special instant episode of Power Button, Brad Hilderbrand and I rage against the hacked machine regarding the theft of personal information that Sony was supposed to be safeguarding over at the PlayStation Network.  We vent a bit about having our data stolen by shady sources, but we also assign blame to those responsible, debate the appropriate outcome of this breach, and wonder what it will take for Sony to regain our trust.  Spoiler: it's going to take more than a free PlayStation Network game.  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 all of us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons,@aubradley84, and @JoeyDavidson or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.

Power Button - Episode 47: A Combination Of Anger, Disappointment, And Disgust

Sony Admits That User Personal Data And Perhaps Credit Card Information Has Been Stolen In PSN Hack

PlayStation Network

UPDATE: Credit card data "may have" been taken, they say.  Not a guarantee.  Still, I ordered a new card.  Why take a chance?

OK, kids, here's where it gets complicated.  The week-long (and counting) outage of the Sony PlayStation Network has taken a really sour turn today as the company has admitted that the hacker(s) who broke into the network have absconded with the name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password, login, password security answers, handle/PSN online ID, purchase history, credit card number, and expiration date of every PSN account.  All seventy-five million of them.  Good lord; where to even begin with all of that?  Sony has provided a long document that you really should read if you have a PSN account.  Here's a piece:

For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, postal mail or other scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking.  Additionally, if you use the same user name or password for your PlayStation Network or Qriocity service account for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them.  When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are back on line, we also strongly recommend that you log on to change your password.  To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports.

This is such a major... well, I suppose clusterfuck is the only word for it, and long-time PTB readers know that I don't drop words like that very often.  We're trying to enjoy a civilized society here, but there will always be those who want to break that down for whatever reasons, and we don't have the complete picture on just who is to blame here: organized crime ring / identity thieves, greedy pirates, indignant hackers who want to attempt to "teach Sony a lesson"... the company certain has made its share of enemies this generation and painted a tempting target on its back.  In the end, it's the PSN users who are caught in the crossfire and used as pawns, victims, or something in between. All PSN users want is to enjoy the PlayStation services in peace.  Those who would illegally interfere with that can go straight to hell.  Strong words?  You bet.  This is what you get when my personal and financial information is stolen. 

Free 3D Excitebike For All!

Excitebike 3D

Nintendo feels the need to give its upcoming eShop on the Nintendo 3DS a little kickstart, as it's been announced that the company will offer a 3D conversion of the Nintendo Entertainment System title Excitebike when the digital marketplace opens later next month.  Here's Game Informer with the scant details:

Excitebike is part of Nintendo's 3D Classics line of downloadable NES and SNES games that have had 3D effects built into them. Nintendo has yet to show off any of these revamped classics in action so it's unclear exactly how they'll look.  Of course, Iwata didn't necessarily say this would be a worldwide deal, so there's a chance it could only happen in Japan.

Hopefully this will be an international deal.  I doubt that there are many people clamoring to carry the original Excitebike around for a fee, 3D or not.  Let's be realistic here; Nintendo isn't going to give away one of its crown jewels like Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of ZeldaExcitebike is just fun enough to be worth a few plays, yet not entirely fun enough to be worth the cost of admission for most people.  That makes it the perfect title to offer as a promotion, as I'm sure plenty of 3DS owners will check it out just for the 3D curiosity factor.  I have a difficult time imagining the game rising to the top of the sales charts otherwise.  As for me, I plan to play it until my 3DS's battery goes dead (which, unfortunately, won't take all that long).

Browse The Aperture Science Poster Collection

Aperture Science sign

Valve's Portal 2 for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, PC, and Mac is loaded with hilarious and unusual warning signs, information guides, and motivational posters from different eras across the history of Aperture Science.  Now you can browse the entire collection of signage and print out your favorites to display in your home and/or office.  Yes, I think we can all have a lot of fun with these great warnings and notices.  For instance, I've tacked this sign on the bulletin board used by the Environmental Health & Safety department in my office.  Let's see how long it takes before somebody notices.  Of course, the references are probably lost on most people if you work in an average office staffed with non-gamers, but like so much else in life, the right people will get the joke.

Talking Plush Portal Turret Is Adorable

What happens if you equip a homemade plush Portal turret with a motion sensor, tilt sensor, pressure sensor, and other electronics?  You end up with this talking plush Portal turret created by Leigh Nunan and Jonathan Guberman that responds to movement with the appropriate sound clips.  It's the most adorable death machine you'll see all day (bullets and firing mechanism not included).  Valve offered actual Weighted Companion Cubes for sale after popular demand called for it, so why not pick up this idea and sell talking turrets?  For science!

(via Fantaman)