I like Geoff Keighley so I wish him the best of luck with this new show. Previous efforts have been terrible, but I believe having this big show is something always worth trying.
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Region locking never made financial sense to me. There are some cases where importing might be important to the bottom line, but that seems to be usually in industries with smaller audiences and significant differences in pricing across regions (e.g. Japanese anime fans back-importing American Blu-Ray series boxes due to their far cheaper price compared to domestic product).
I think Nintendo region locked the DSi and 3DS because they think it will help in their struggle against piracy, as well as having more control over their product. Given what happened to the DS and PSP, I can't fault them for being extremely serious with the security of the 3DS. However, region locking is a bad way to go about that.
I don't expect a firmware update to make the 3DS and Wii U region free. Heck, I half-expect Nintendo next consoles to still have region locking. I can only hope that someone at Nintendo succeeds in arguing that region locking doesn't make sense any more. Then maybe we'll see a half-assed measure such as a region free Nintendo eShop where "digital imports" cost the highest MSRP across regions.
The tiny bit on the next Zelda has me hopeful. The big field and sky in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword were nice to look at it but devoid of life. Wind Waker sort of falls in to this, but little details such as seagulls and always having an island in view helps you forget.
As for Hyrule Warriors, I'm surprised that I'm becoming more excited for it. I've enjoyed my time with Dynasty Warriors 4 and Samurai Warriors (1) and have always been willing to give the series a fair shake. The video I've seen of Hyrule Warriors has me hopeful that the basic combat and movement is significantly quicker and more fluid.
I have been visiting Gamespot for a long time (back when they had a subscription service and all non-paying users had a "_basic" appended to their names) and this lay off news greatly saddens me. I've come to enjoy Carolyn's writing and Tom's eccentricities. Justin and Ryan are long-timers that ran a tight ship. Everyone worked hard through good times and bad times and brought content that I have enjoyed.
This change is harsh and I wish those laid off the best.
I'm interested in how Nintendo will approach with their NFP figurines.
While it is easy to think the worse, keep in mind Nintendo's approach with DLC and microtransactions. At their worse with Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS), they are offering a $15 season pass for a $30 game that clearly details the additional courses and characters the DLC will give you in exchange for money. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball crafts a narrative around the free-to-play and microtransaction experience that engages the player and offers (pre-programmed) discounts. The Streetpass Plaza DLC has a slimy, humorous sales bunny that contextualizes the transaction. And for New Super Mario Bros 2, Nintendo has made it painfully clear that the DLC they made for that game was made after the main game was finished.
Given the above history, we have good reason to hope that Nintendo will make their NFP figurines a compelling and reasonable addition to their games.
Or they might just fuck it all up.
The beta is winding down and I ground enough Online Co-Op Missions to unlock and purchase the F-15C (~70,000 credits). The core action is the Ace Combat I love, but that didn't stop me from worrying over the amount of grind the full release will have. It took about 5-8 hours to get my F-15C and that's with activating the contracts that boosts research and credit gains.
My biggest concern is the Fuel system, the game's energy/fatigue system that counts down and limits your flight time. I don't like fatigue systems in general, but the current allotment of 2 units (or 2 multiplayer or single player missions) for free is extremely limiting. It makes wish I could just Bandai Namco $60 to have the freedom of play and a more sensible pace to unlocking content.