Subscribe to the latest updates from the Features category

Features Archives

Fire Emblem has been the subject of a lot of controversy for its treatment of homosexuality. Fire Emblem Awakening stirred a large public response when it allowed marriage only among heterosexual couples, and Nintendo responded by introducing two bisexual characters in Fire Emblem Fates. Some reacted negatively, however, when learning that each version of Fates includes only one of these characters, and unless you marry them to your player character (which you may not want to do), their marriage options are once again limited to straight relationships.

But if you find yourself upset over these kinds of representations, it's important to remember that Fire Emblem is made within a culture wildly different than our own, and the ways we in the West may hope to see characters represented is likewise wildly different. Former Gamnesia staffer Brian Scheid has taken a break from his new YouTube channel, BriHard, to join us in exploring the cultural differences that gave rise to the treatment of homosexuality in Fire Emblem and "what needs to change." It's a wonderfully informative video as both a refresher on the representation in Fire Emblem and a crash course on the paradigm that bore it.

You can check out the video after the jump to learn all about it. And if you like what you see, you can subscribe to BriHard for more of his excellent videos every week, or subscribe to us at GamnesiaTV for BriHard features every other weekend and tons more gaming content.

One of the most talked about aspects of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U is the addition of DLC. From Mii Fighter costumers to stages and even characters, the internet has been abuzz with rumors and theories for months on end. Yesterday evening saw the release of the final two DLC fighters—the Umbra Witch Bayonetta and the warring noble Corrin—bringing the total number of downloadable characters up to seven. With a number of fun franchises represented, it seems like everybody has a favorite. Who is yours?

The cinematic adventure Great Detective Pikachu came out today in Japan, and now we're all really hoping for a western localization because the game seems just wonderful. It great novelty is, of course, its speaking Pikachu protagonist, and hopefully you've heard already about the fan petition (which has already gotten 40,000 signatures) to get Danny DeVito and his ridiculous voice to play Pikachu in the hypothetical localization. It's basically the dankest meme of 2016, and fans have even put together a hilarious DeVito dub of the game's trailer using voice clips from his previous works.

DeVito would be pretty awesome, but officially sanctioned talking Pikachus don't come around every day, and when they do we have to make the best of it. So, I want to hear your ideas. If it was up to you and you could pick anyone, who would you have voicing Detective Pikachu's absurd protagonist?

Head inside to join the discussion!

I'd been looking forward to The Witness for a long time when it finally came out last week. My hopes and expectations were high, so when I sat down in front of my PlayStation 4 and started the game, I was crushed. It was nothing like I'd hoped. It didn't even seem that good, let alone like something special, worth eight years of development and directed under the wisdom of one of the industry's most renowned indie developers. Hell, it even seemed to have been making a lot of the most common, irritating mistakes every mediocre game does. Your movement was restricted, the world looked sterile, and there seemed to be a distinct lack of any tactile meaning to its features.

My first impressions of The Witness were not good.

Thankfully, my first impressions were also very wrong. Though it would have benefited unquestionably from some map or journal features, The Witness ended up being one of the most beautiful, rich, and fantastic puzzlers I've ever played.

Head inside for a full review and some advice on diving into Jonathan Blow and Thekla Incorporated's The Witness.

When the new King's Quest was first revealed back at The Game Awards' debut in 2014, I was immediately intrigued — captivated, really. King-to-be Graham ran and leapt across rubble. He explored beautiful woods and the luscious countryside. He descended into the cavern of a dragon. "Once upon an astounding time," rang out the rousing narration.

And yet, when I finally got to play it, the game just felt... empty. Dull, vacuous, lifeless — call it whatever you want, but there was something missing from the world of King's Quest, something that kept it from feeling alive. In searching for the cause, I realized I had to look more fundamentally than just video games: what makes the world of any fiction feel alive? What gives each world its unique flavor and atmosphere?

In finding the answer to that fundamental question, we'll be able to discern how King's Quest, a game which seemed at its announcement like it had so much spirit, ended up so oddly soulless. As it turns out, the answer lies in people, in how we relate to the real world and how we use proxies (characters) to relate to fictional worlds.

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

This week featured a ton of news, including new games like Detective Pikachu, some credible rumors about NX, Paper Mario, and more, a controversy over Fire Emblem Fates, and impressions of recent games like Pokémon Picross and Mario & Luigi. After the break, we dig into the rumor that Super Smash Bros. is coming to the NX as a launch game, discussing new content, modes, and more that could come to the title. You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head past the jump if you'd like to learn more about the stories discussed in this week's episode.

One of the things we've consistently heard from Nintendo about their incoming mobile games is that they're designed to put their beloved IP in front of a wide audience that may not have interacted with those brands before. Typically, people have imagined that we'll see adaptations of Nintendo's big character games for mobile devices. However, recently Nintendo's also been experimenting with free-to-start games on their dedicated gaming platforms. One of those games is Pokémon Picross.

Pokémon Picross is a perfect example of how Nintendo could present their IP to a new audience using an experience that's not only excellently suited for mobile devices, but also able to represent their IP in a way that's uniquely Nintendo (and it's actually a pretty fun game, to boot). Jump inside for the full review.

As the years go by and video game technology evolves, many developers find themselves revisiting their old creations, revitalizing them for a new generation. We've certainly seen our fair share of remakes early on in this generation, with advances in graphics and processing capabilities prompting developers to slap a fresh coat of paint on last generation's games or to rebuild classics from the ground up.

Some remakes come off as quick cash-grabs, adding very little to the original experience beyond some graphical improvements, but a great remake brings a fresh new experience to the player while still satisfying that need for nostalgia. Of all the impressive video game remakes over the years, which one did you enjoy most? Click below to join the discussion!

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

Alex, Ben, and Colin talk about recent news from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, ESPN's decision to start covering competitive Smash, Nintendo's plans to expand into making anime, and lots more. The party amps up after the break, when we're joined by Xander Mobus, the voice behind the Super Smash Bros. Announcer. We shoot the breeze about his experience working with Nintendo, his thoughts on Smash, and more. All that is followed by an incredible performance of a whole bunch of hilarious catchphrases form all around the Nintendoverse, and character names the internet desperately needed. You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head past the jump if you'd like to learn more about the stories discussed in this week's episode.

When one thinks of Final Fantasy music, the first name that comes to mind is typically Nobuo Uematsu. While Uematsu certainly played an important part in bringing the music to life, there have been a handful of people who have spent years keeping this music in the spotlight. One such person is Arnie Roth, the music director and conductor for the Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy concert series. Mr. Roth has a storied history with the music of Final Fantasy, reaching back to 2005 when he conducted Dear Friends: music from Final Fantasy—the first Final Fantasy concert to take place outside of Japan. Since then, he has been working closely with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and Square Enix to continue this long heritage of musical performances. In 2007, Distant Worlds made its debut in Stockholm, Sweden and has continued to delight fans to this day, having been performed over 100 times across five different continents.

I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago event on December 26th, where I was able to sit down with Mr. Roth to discuss his career and the development of the Distant Worlds concert series. Head inside for the full interview!

A game's introduction and tutorial segments are crucial to getting a player invested in a game's world and story. Players need a solid understanding of the world they're stepping into, from both a narrative and a mechanical perspective, before they can begin to truly immerse themselves in it. Nail the introduction and players will be solidly immersed and prepared as your story begins and challenges come their way. Ruin the introduction and — best case scenario — players are left disoriented by your mechanics and unconvinced by the beginning of your story. Worst case scenario, they quit before the game's even started.

Unfortunately, upon finally getting around to playing one of last year's biggest releases and critical darlings, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I found that it was squarely in that latter, "messed up" category. Don't believe me? Put down your pitchforks for a second and let's examine how The Witcher 3 so terribly failed its introduction.

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

Alex, Ben, and Colin dig into big plans from Pokémon's 20th anniversary in the news section of this week's show, followed by big stories on Shovel Knight, Mother 3, a new game based around Amiibo, and more. After the break, we're back with another Mystery House segment to answer listener questions—subjects include Nintendo's unsung heroes, characters we'd love to have as Amiibo, and where Smash Bros., Mario Kart, and more can go next. You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head past the jump if you'd like to learn more about the stories discussed in this week's episode.

If you follow our indie coverage here at Gamnesia, chances are you've heard of an upcoming game called YIIK: A Postmodern RPG. Created by Ackk Studios, the team behind action-RPG Two Brothers, YIIK is a mystery RPG set in 1999 that was inspired by the cancelled EarthBound 64.

Ackk Studio's sophomore title is launching in February or March on Steam, PlayStation 4, Vita, and Wii U, and they've supplied us with a demo of the game's "Wind Town" setting before launch. I was intrigued by the game's trailers, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Having thoroughly played the demo, I still have a lot of questions, and that's a good thing. You can check out my impressions by clicking below.

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

Join the Nintendo Week crew's first episode of 2016, as we dig deep into new rumors about the NX, details on cancelled Fire Emblem games, and a ton of recent news from Sakurai about his work on Smash and other future projects. After the break, we revive the Mystery House feature to answer awesome questions from listeners like you, so we dig into their movie deals, future remakes, and indie games we'd like to see on Wii U. You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head past the jump if you'd like to learn more about the stories discussed in this week's episode.

2015 was arguably the best year of gaming since the dawn of our current generation. With releases of many instant classics, we will surely remember this year for a long time to come. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. As we enter into the new year doe-eyed and optimistic, we stand excited for what new games await us in the future months. However, it suddenly becomes apparent that, looming over us like a cloudy shadow on a rainy day, we have a hell of a long time to wait before anything even comes out.

Make the jump to read more!