Player customization has been in the Smash Bros. series before. Brawl allowed players to place stickers on fighters to boost various stats in single-player modes. In addition, there was also a limited, but fun, stage builder in the Wii entry. Nintendo could definitely expand the options of player choice in Smash, but Brawl was a great start. A form of customization was confirmed to be coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. We still don't know what that exactly means, but Masahiro Sakurai, the lead developer of the two titles, has talked about the feature and given us a few details.

“We’re planning for a level of customization to some degree and in some form. It’s not completely decided at this point. But it’s very important to point out that we do this in a careful way that doesn’t affect the strength and balance of the characters. One thing we’d like to do is to be able to customize the direction of attacks. But not give characters a stronger jump or a stronger or weaker attack. You can consider customizations like that possible.” — Masahiro Sakurai

I still want to customize a Mii fighter with whatever accessories and moves I so choose, but that may be a bit too hopeful. I'm excited to see where customization takes Smash Bros. in 2014.

What kind of customization do you want to see in Smash Bros.? Sound off in the comments.

There's a new trailer out for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII today that brings a lot more questions than answers. Why is Lightning talking to God and not the Goddess talked about all the time in XIII-2? Why has Hope reverted to his obnoxious XIII likeness instead of the respectable adult from XIII-2? Fang's back, which is nice, but there's still no sign of Vanille (though with Fang around, I think it's safe to assume Vanille's there somewhere). Noel and Lightning are enemies, but we knew that.

Lightning's on a mission from God, and from what I can tell of the plot, it's just gotten way more confusing. I really liked the story in XIII-2 and how it progressed, and I think it's safe to say just about everyone and their grandmothers were ticked at the cliffhanger ending, but now I'm starting to worry that the last game in the series will not satisfactorily conclude that plot. Am I being too hasty? Do you guys think the story will get wrapped up nicely, or remain confusing as hell? Let us know in the comments!

Trailer after the jump!

Celebrate your freedom by free-falling through the sky today as Pilotwings, the original Super Nintendo launch title, has been added to the Wii U Virtual Console. Sadly, the only other thing the Wii U gets this week is a discount on Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition at $6.67 until July 11th. There may only be two Wii U perks this week, but hey, at least they're good ones.

Meanwhile in the land of THREE-DEE we have Deer Hunting King and Fishdom H20: Hidden Odyssey, as well as a few more Game Gear drops: Sonic Drift 2, Vampire: Master of Darkness, and G-LOC: Air Battle. There is also a demo for a game called Crazy Construction, and a few discounts: Mighty Switch Force! ($3.99 until July 11th), Order Up!! ($4.99 from July 8th to July 22nd), and Planet Crashers ($4.99 from July 8th to 22nd).

Anyone interested in this week's offerings? If I had a Wii U, I'd probably snag Pilotwings, just because it's not currently in my collection. Other than that, my plan for the afternoon is to celebrate America the truly American way: I'm going to get a burger and some freedom fries from a [Jackson wouldn't let me complete this joke] and then proceed to play classic NES games until it's time to see some pretty lights. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

According to a recent report, Julie Larson-Green, head of Windows, is likely to fill the role previously held by Don Mattrick, who has gone on to greener pastures. The report detailed where she would be moving, as well as what exactly she would be doing:

Ballmer may also give Windows chief Julie Larson-Green oversight of hardware engineering for the whole company ... Under this scenario, Larson-Green would oversee hardware engineering for all devices, including Xbox gaming consoles and Surface tablets.

It goes on to list the rest of the shuffles, but for the gaming community, this one seems to be the most relevant. In 2008, Larson-Green received the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award. If this is any indication of her competence, Microsoft and the Xbox One could take a turn for the better.

What are your thought on this potential shift? Let us know in the comments.

Meta Knight better watch out! It seems like the newest version of Super Smash Bros. on 3DS and Wii U will be able to receive balancing patches. Don't know what that means? Well, many fighting games have sent out online updates to patch the gameplay. Say a move is very cheap? Or there's a glitch? A quick patch downloaded via the internet can fix that up. Nintendo has only recently ventured into the online gaming atmosphere, so this is the first opportunity their developers have to include ongoing patches.

"We’re not at a stage in development where we’re going through those fine sorts of adjustments. When we get towards the end of development, we will have what we call monitor playtests, where we watch people play the games. We perform thorough analysis based on those observations. There have been cases in the past, admittedly, where we didn’t gather sufficient data for certain characters, and that resulted in certain game imbalances. Patches are something we’d definitely like to be able to do, if possible.” — Masahiro Sakurai

Are you happy about this news? Disappointed? Does Smash need patches? Sound off in the comments.

The next Super Smash Bros. title is coming to both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. The two games are somewhat identical, yet can be considered completely different products. For example, the roster is maintained between both titles with no change. However, the Wii U version features stages based on home console software, while the 3DS version's stages focus on handheld games.

Back in E3 2011, Satoru Iwata confirmed that the two games would interact with each other in some way. Fast-forward two years. We now have our first few screens, trailers, and newcomers. Where, oh where, is that connectivity between the two versions?

"Back when I was working on Kid Icarus Uprising, I was already getting a feel for the 3DS performance and the features in that hardware. Mr. Iwata came to me and asked which platform I would want to put the next Smash Bros. on. Looking at those two platforms and seeing their individual styles and uniquenesses – I saw with the 3DS that it would be good for one flavor of the game, but there was also the other end, getting the grand scale what was possible with the Wii U. So with that in mind, we decided to go ahead and put the game on two platforms." -- Masahiro Sakurai

To see the full quote, you have to clickety click on the jump!

If you have any idea who Michael Pachter is, you know how much of a fuss he's caused lately in the gaming community. He's been very critical of Nintendo, saying things like the Wii U will have no third-party support and that Nintendo won't be able to fight back once the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are released. Here Pachter comes again, questioning why anybody would buy Nintendo's newest home console.

“The publishers are pretty excited to support the Xbox One and the PS4 – they really didn’t say anything about the Wii U. And we know EA has no games in development for Wii U. If Activision pulls support; if you see Ubisoft , you see Take-Two pull support, the Wii U is a Nintendo-only gaming device which is what they were back with the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. They’re not going to sell a lot of consoles if they don’t have games like FIFA and Battlefield and Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Due to that, Pachter asks a simple rhetorical question: “Why would anybody buy a Wii U?”

Third-party publishers are fairly excited to develop games for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, albeit the former more than the latter. EA has no games in development for the Wii U, which pretty much leaves only Activision, Ubisoft, and Take-Two. If they pull their support, the Wii U will be a Nintendo-only console, and therefore sell substantially less consoles. Nintendo hasn't been the only company to develop for one of their consoles since the original NES back in 1985, and this could be a bit of a setback. Because of that, Pachter poses the rhetorical question, "Why would anybody buy a Wii U?"


We here at Gamnesia have talked about the Banjo-Kazooie style 3D platformer collectathon A Hat in Time quite a bit over the past few weeks, and with good reason. This game looks amazing. Several weeks ago, the new studio Gears for Breakfast launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $30,000. They passed that goal by more than just a little bit. By the end of the campaigns allotted time period, A Hat in Time had garnered over $295,000, almost ten times its original objective. Needless to say, all of the game's stretch goals -- ranging from a cooperative mode, to full voice acting, to extra worlds to explore -- were reached, and in fact, they were reached early enough that for the last few days of the campaign, an interminable stretch goal was added for one new song from famed Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope for every $15,000 the game received past the $200,000 mark.

To make a long story short, A Hat in Time's kickstarter campaign was a huge success, and we here at Gamnesia could not be happier about that, so we contacted the team to talk a bit more in depth about the development process, the inspirations behind the game, the team's goals for A Hat in Time, and even just a little bit about video games in general. William Nicholls, the team's lead environment artist and the great guy with whom we had the honor of speaking, has a lot of interesting and insightful stuff to say, so head past the jump to learn all about A Hat in Time and more!

Remember those days of getting bullied? The punches, the throbbing headaches, and the tears you shed? I do, and frankly I don’t care anymore. As of the past few years, there is a good portion of the nerd community - those of us who were raised on anime, video games, and comics - that are no better than the boys and girls who bullied us as kids.

Disclaimer time: I am fully aware that not every person who was bullied becomes a bully themselves, and that includes us self-proclaimed nerds. I am not going to hate and spit on the reputation of the gaming culture, but like most things I adore, I will criticize and explain how it needs to get better. I’m not just criticizing the culture as a whole, but myself as a member of this grand group.

Let’s go ahead and get the obvious out of the way. Many of us, between the ages of 18-40 as of today, were bullied in some way, shape, or form because of what we liked or because of just a cruel school. Our escapes were our fantasy worlds; from DnD to video games and TV shows, which depending on where you were, made the teasing worse, almost to violent extremes.

Take the jump to see where the heck I'm going with this.

Ever heard of a little gem called Mario Kart? We here at Gamnesia recently came across a French interview with Hideki Konno and Kosuke Yabuki of Nintendo. In it, the two discuss anti-gravity in Mario Kart 8, kart customization, and their favorite tracks, among other things. We previously reported on this interview, giving you a break down and highlighting the F-Zero part, as well as discussing the possibility of Double Dash mechanics making a return. However, in an effort to give you the most information possible, we have translated the full interview from the French to English.

Hit the jump to see what the developers had to say!


In a Developer Direct video about Mario Kart 8, producer Hideki Konno gave several details and insights into the inspirations behind some of the changes coming to the new Mario Kart. Among the details described was the new "anti-gravity" mechanic, which will allow players to drive on walls and ceilings at certain points throughout the game's tracks. However, the way Konno talked about it has me oddly worried that Nintendo is sort of becoming "out of touch" with how innovation works. Before I bias this up too much, take a look at what he said:

"In Mario Kart 7, we had underwater racing and flying through the air via glider. This time, we wanted to add something entirely new. We're calling this new feature anti-gravity. The tires will now transform. When they do, Mario and Luigi will race on the walls and ceilings, which is something new, that we haven't tried before." -- Hideki Konno

The part I have an issue with is that he seems to think this anti-gravity idea is going to radically change the game, but I'm not convinced. I'm not sure Mario Kart 8 quite understands the difference between "mechanics" and "dynamics." Head past the jump if you want to know why.

In an interview with 4Gamer, Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki Higuchi talked about the company’s plan for their Asian release of the Xbox One.

“For the launch of Xbox One Japan is a Tier 2 country and not a Tier 1 country, so it’ll come with the second wave, that will be delayed a little bit. It’ll launch after the Tier 1 markets” --Yasuyuki Higuchi

The Xbox brand has always struggled within the Japanese market, so their decision to release later comes as no surprise. Microsoft Asia executive Alan Bowman has confirmed that the Xbox One will release in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India around late 2014.

You can read the translated interview by Dualshockers here.

Nintendo of America released an official statement earlier on region locking systems. Although Sony and Microsoft are now both region-free, Nintendo has yet to change their policies. The company pointed to parental controls as an issue, ensuring compliance with rating boards across the world. Satoru Iwata, global president of the company, has also responded to the hot button issue.

"From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide. There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want. I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it."

This statement was recently released to the public, although the origin of the response traces all the way back to E3. This means Iwata said these words before Microsoft's backtrack and an anti-region lock campaign began online.

What do you think? Are you fine with region locking or are you calling shenanigans? Sound off in the comments.

President of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida recently discussed the past, present, and future of PlayStation, as well as his time spent with Sony, in the official EU PlayStation forum this week. Topics included used games, excitement for PlayStation 4 on par with PlayStation's original reception, and working with Sony giants Kaz Hirai and Mark Cerny.

"We made this decision early in the process of designing PS4. There are still a lot of people who want to have the physical medium and the option to share with their friends. That's part of people's enjoyment of games today and that wouldn't change overnight." — Shuhei Yoshida on used games.

More from Shuhei Yoshida after the break.


When we launched GamnesiaTV, we promised news recaps, and we're here to deliver! The purpose of these videos is to take many of the week's biggest stories and blaze through them at lightning speed to make everything a little bit more digestible. If you want reminders of what's been going on, prefer our video content to text, or simply don't have enough time to read everything we post, these news recaps are just what you need.

What do you think of this format? Any feedback is always much appreciated, but being the first video, we're really looking for it right now.