Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on Amazon

May 29, 2009 -

Is this the next RapeLay controversy?

Although interactive DVDs aren't traditionally thought of as video games, they would appear to fall into something of a gray area between movies and games.

That may be an academic argument, but, in lodging a new protest against online retailer Amazon.com, woman-centric website Feministing treats Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love as a video game:

it looks like another game involving violence against women seems to have"slipped" past [Amazon's] radar. "Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love" is a game that allows the user to experience,

    "...a terrifyingly vivid exploration of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which a captive falls in love with her kidnapper. And you play the part of the kidnapper. With a limited number of options, you must figure out how to make her fall in love with you."

This includes using poison gas on the victim, sexually assaulting her and using psychological abuse against her in efforts to make her "love" you. Unbelievable.

While RapeLay was offered by a third-party reseller on Amazon, Stockholm appears to shipping direct from the online retailer's inventory.


Comments

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

It depends on one question: do you want to win?

If you genuinly want to win, it's usually helpful to pick your battles and stick to the "big fish".

For example, look at animal rights groups like PETA. They rant about trivial matters and as such people tend to dismiss them as nothing more than whiners.

Another example is how gay rights activists (the ones that people take seriously, anyway) focus on equal rights as opposed to doing things like trying to have the word "fag" banned, because that's trivial in comparison to actual equal rights struggles.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I'm curious, Grizzam. Are you gay?

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

-gasp-  Oh, snap, quantum_mechanik.  You totally just pulled a two-fer there: nullifying the validity of his comment AND questioning his sexuality?  IMPRESSIVE.

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Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

No, that wasn't what I was trying to do. I was just pointing out that, while it's easy for members of a certain group to critique the social advancement of that group, criticize their priorities, etc. We really have no idea what's more important or not. We can guess, but we can't really know for sure

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I know/I gathered as much.  However, to the casual observer, one might assume that you're taking potshots at an offensive post.  Be that as it may, I just enjoy conflict, that's all.  ^^

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Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Nope. I do pay attention to the gay rights struggles going on in the country though. The ones that get taken seriously and get media attention are usually the ones who go after big targets like gay marriage rights and coverage of homosexuals under hate crime laws. Media attention is of course useful in any sort of political struggle, since it helps spread the message.

Maybe I'm looking too much at the victory of the struggle as a whole, and not giving proper credit to the signifigance of the detail matters like this. That being said, yeah, the game is pretty fucked up, and I completely understand why they'd be pissed about it.

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

What I don't get is, if you're not gay, how can you tell what's important to gay people and what isn't? Banning gay marriage, that's a result of homophobia. Calling someone a fag in the street because they're holding hands with another guy, that's homophobia. It stems from the same place, and the amount of flak people get from being gay on the street, in the workplace, at school, etc. affects a lot more people than those who are interested in becoming married.


Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Good point. I really can't know for sure what is important to a group that I don't belong to (now you've got me wondering how different I am from gays in terms of the things in life I value. It's been interesting so far...).

Now, in case you were wondering, the reason I figured that gay rights groups were less concerned about slur terms than rights battles is (aside from the fact that I never hear them show the same concern for words as for rights and equal protection) because I reasoned that changing or banning a word doesn't change a situation much. People can still insult you using other slurs and you still don't have rights gained. If you focus most of your vigor on gaining rights and equal protection and succeed in doing so, the situation changes; you have more rights and protection.

And you are very right in saying that people may not understand the feelings of other groups. That's why it seems strategically benificial to save most of your vigor for matters that most people outside of a group can understand to some extent, or even relate to. It might make all the sense in the world to the group itself, but it's hard to gain victory in a civil rights struggle if other groups don't understand your concern.

(I'd also like to appologize for my initial thought that your were just being an asshole when you asked me that question. I'm used to internet dickery...)

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Yeah, I'm sort of beyond the dickery at this point. I think there are real problems, real differences of opinion, and that's fine and dandy and we can all learn, discuss, and think about things without aformentioned dickery.

It's really easy to try and strategize causes we agree with, but aren't affected by. And it's not a bad thing to think. It's not a bad instinct. The problem with it that I see, though, is that, like I said before, we can't know what really is or isn't important. We can imagine, we can think we know, but until we actually have the experience, we're just guessing.

There are a lot of tactics to achieving equality, and some work better than others. I think that, from the current state of, say, race and gender relations in the US, that equal rights don't neccesarily lead to equal treatment, under the law or under the culture. One idea is, yeah, that creating legal equality leads to societal equality. And, in it's way, that's sort of the easiest, because it relates to things written down, things easily measured and confirmed, etc. What's much harder, much more pervasive, is the societal changes that require achieving before real equality occurs. Changes like the destruction of stereotypes, oppressive gender roles, language issues, etc.

Moving back to this, after reading the comments around this game and the protests following it, there's a lot of essentialist pronouncements on feminists, women, etc. The truth is, feminism is an incredibly diverse umbrella of political philosophy and sociological ideas. Some, certainly, have spoken of or even believe in things that, to people who believe in pure equality, are worrying. These statements usually require some framework to make them palatable, but shouldn't result in the dismissal of the movement.

There are two political philosophers that can illustrate this point. Plato and Machiavelli. Plato was an idealist, who described how things should work, in a perfect, happy world. Machiavelli was a realist, who was responding to corruption, to difficulty, and to the takeover of his state by a fairly entrenched family. So when we read both, Plato makes us happy, while Machiavelli sort of scares us because he uses some terrifying language. But as a response to the (then) current situation, his statements make a lot of sense.

Feminism is like that, in some ways. A lot of it is quite high-minded, imagining what a perfect world, devoid of oppression, looks like. And some of it is responsive to the current situation. Those responses can be angry. They can be mean. They can be incredibly scary. Like every other group on the planet.

Anyways, feminism has diversity, but the one issue they all sort of unify around, the one statement that is universally agreed upon, is that Rape is Bad. This is actually a more profound thing than it sounds like, because the definition of rape, and the motivations behind it, get to be explored. There is, or was, an idea that men were simply biologically hard-wired to rape and that society was a curbing mechanism on that. This has been debunked pretty thoroughly, and now it looks a bit like the other way around, where in most cases of sexual assault, the perpetrator was acting out of what he or she felt was some sort of societal right.

it seems to me that sexual assalters come in two forms. There's the crazy ones, the honest-to-G-d poorly wired people that expose themselves on busses, stalk and tie up women, etc. The crazies. But that's not what most sexual assault looks like. MOST sexual assault looks like a guy going too far with a woman who said no, because he thought that she meant yes, or didn't particularly care about the no. And that, the theory goes, is caused by this pervading idea that women are worth less than men, are there to be used by men, and do not, cannot or should not be in control of their own sexual choices. And this sort of game worries people because it creates a fiction that normalizes and confirms that idea.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Oh no you better not disagree with hger again or else she'll call us priviledged.

Can you pelase stop with the ad hominem crap. You have no proof we're even 'priviledged' in the first place.

Anyway look at Peta, they protest and whine about so much crap and say so many stupid things that I've never seen anyone (that's not a member of PETA) who takes them seriously.

If you continue to complain and bitch about insignifcant shit too often you'll be mocked, trivialized and generally ignored. This is not unique to feminists and it's not something only 'priviliged people' (whatever the hell that is) do.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Your entire post is, "I don't want you to bring up valid criticisms of video games because if you bring up too many then the one you like most magically won't count somehow because I don't want it to." That isn't productive in any way. It's a silencing tactic.

It's also worth noting that I have never made any ad hominem arguments here.

I see that quantum_mechanik has said some pretty good stuff up the page, so I suggest you go and read that.

Also, as a last thing: please don't do this "I'm just playing the devil's advocate!!" garbage. You're talking to people who are actually affected by this stuff. It might all be an abstract discussion for fun for you, but it's not for us. Quit it. It's privilege at work that you act that way.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Except these are invalid criticisms. There's ZERO proof that these will cause people to commit violence or wrap their perception of true love (and that idea that they will is pure idiocy). This is also an obscure game aimed at people with a certain fetish so any claim that this will lead our culture to treating women like crap is also very flimsy.

What this is, is stumbling upon to a sick game meant for people who like sick stuff and whining and bitching about it, pretending it's mainstream and demanding it be censored simply because you don't like it.

It's disgusting therefore Amazon should remove it to protect our delicate sensibilities is not a valid argument, period.

And you keep calling me privlidged (with no fucking proof) and are implying that this somehow diminishes my argument. That's the very defintion of ad hominem.

When a mainstream game comes out aimed at everyone that has stockholm then complaints would be valid.

Until then you're complaining about a game that was designed for a specific audience, giving it more attention than it deserves and demanding it be censored because you're offended by it (even though it's not meant for you).

It's not valid criticism no matter how much you want to pretend it is. It's bitching at nothing and if you keep doing it you'll be ignored by the masses (not just by me although I love how you crafted a straw man of me saying I would be the only one to stop listening to you).

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Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

"Your entire post is, "I don't want you to bring up valid criticisms of video games because if you bring up too many then the one you like most magically won't count somehow because I don't want it to." That isn't productive in any way. It's a silencing tactic."

For the umpteenth time, no, that is not my argument.  I have specifically said this is not about "not bringing up valid criticisms of video games"; it's about not bringing up invalid criticisms of video games.  Bring up lots of invalid criticisms in the hope of getting some of the spaghetti to stick to the wall, and you're going to become recognized as just that: a boy who cries wolf.  And then, when you actually do have a wolf to cry about, no one's going to take you seriously.

"You're talking to people who are actually affected by this stuff."

This affects me directly.  I know you weren't speaking to everyone, but keep in mind that most of us (well, at least some of us) aren't doing this as an intellectual exercise, even if we're on the opposite side of the fence from you.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

 "... it's about not bringing up invalid criticisms of video games..."

Then I'm having a really hard time seeing:

a) who made you the final arbiter on what is and is not a valid criticism;

b) how that is relevant in any way to this case.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I never claimed to be the "final arbiter" on what is and is not a valid criticism.  I let history do that job.  Or are you claiming that there has never been a frivolous accusation against games?

The thing is, like any lobby, the groups that target games with these frivolous accusations usually know it's frivolous.  They're doing it to garner PR for themselves, or try to cast negative PR at their target, or because they're trying to curry favor with some other political affiliate. 

Sometimes, they really do have such a warped sense of reality that they do believe it.  Like the idiots claiming that playing GTA will cause more school shootings.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I'm absolutely dying to know what's so damnably horrible about being "privileged" to yllamana.

I mean, seriously, no matter how I interchange her words, it still sounds funny to me. xD

It's like going around yelling, "Curse you well-off people, CURSE YOU ALL!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

There's dictionary privilege, and there's sociological, or oppression-theory privilege. They're different ideas.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I know. I want to confirm which she's talking about though before I start ripping it to bits.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Methinks thou needist to calm the heck down.  ^^

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

so...hold on.

GP calls RapeLay "disgusting" because you grope not even remotely realistic-looking women and rape them, and at the end of it here's a high chance you suffer the karmic repercussions and die.

This lets you torture, psychologically abuse and poison your targets as well as rape them, and you "do" all this to a real woman, who is acting out the effects of your actions, which result in a "happy" ending of her falling in love with you - which is essentially positive reinforcement of your actions - and not a single hyperbolic adjective is included in the commentary?

So where's the line where GP will go from simply reporting something (like here) and commenting on their subject as being "disgusting" (as with Rapelay)?

Can we have an iota of consistency here?

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

As long as it is clear what is comment and what is actual news, i don't care. I also think this dvd is much worse than the more surreal Rapelay, but everyone is free to choose what to like or dislike and make public comments about it. And also, everyone is free to buy and enjoy something that creeps other people out.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Thank you. I too am disappointed by GP's constant underscoring of just how disgusting RapeLay is supposed to be.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Why?  Dennis is as entitled to an opinion as anyone.  I think it's a testament to his integrity as a journalist that, despite the fact that he quite clearly feels it's disgusting, he's not in favor of censoring it.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

um actually he did make comments that he thought amazon 'rightfully' pulled the game from sale.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Which is also his opinion, and is not censoring it.  Amazon didn't say "you're not allowed to make this game" or "nobody is allowed to sell this game".  They said "it's not worth it for us to sell this game".  That is NOT censorship.

Please, let's skip over the self-censorship bullshit here, too.  Amazon is a business; making the business-savvy decision is NOT automatically censorship, so please STFU before trying to apply that drivel (not directing that at you, per se, Novablack, I just know there are some posters around here who are all over that weak argument).

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Of course it's censorship. The fact that it's legal and private doesn't make it any less so. That you call this position "bullshit", "drivel" and "weak" doesn't make it any of that.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Amazon did not censor it. The company behind the game made it clear they do not sell their products outside of Japan. Amazon respected their policy and withdrew the product from their listings.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

No. Amazon removed the game because of its content, or rather because of the silly whining from potential customers about such content. The game was likely not a big seller, and in any case was not being sold by Amazon directly. It was an easy business decision for them to remove it.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

"It was an easy business decision for them to remove it."

Thank you for sinking your own boat.  It was a business decision.  If any action that ever results in something becoming less accessible to the masses is "censorship"...well, then, you need to get the fuck over it.  By that definition, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for censorship.

Which is why such a definition is useless bullshit.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I'm not saying he isn't entitled to have an opinion, or that he isn't free to express it at every possible opportunity. I just find it an annoying tendency in his writeups about RapeLay.

He doesn't like it. I get it... just like I got it the first time he called it disgusting.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Don't make Dennis choke a b****. He might actually get his own game then.

Tasteless humor aside, I kinda agree.  Then again, GamePolitics is more of a semi-official blog than anything else (at least, in my opinion).

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Even when it was a full blown, Live Journal blog he use to generally keep his opinions to himself or at least not have them directly in the story.


Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I was dedicated to the Bungie forums back then.  Didn't know about it, sorry.  ^^;

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

There´s is not enough facepalm gifs for this one. Well, now that interactive DVD will have better sales. Thanks feminists, thank you very much for boost sales of every thing you don´t like.

Coming up next... AMAZON DRAMA...

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

 It sounds like the only option available is to write more feminist critiques of things. Then any extra publicity will be so diluted that it won't matter, and we can get some more great discussion on representation of women in media going!

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

More rape? What the heck, is Pyramid Head from Silent Hill now in charge of GamePolitics' articles?

Good heavens, just look at the time! (linked image, tasteless but SFW)

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I'll admit it, I laughed.

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I don't feel like researching the game right now.  Looks harmless.

"HEY! LISTEN!"

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I love articles like this, they pretty much guarantee that the game will be a huge success do to the publicity.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

That's going way overboard.  But it will get more coverage than it could possibly have gotten otherwise.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

'' "...a terrifyingly vivid exploration of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition in which a captive falls in love with her kidnapper. And you play the part of the kidnapper. With a limited number of options, you must figure out how to make her fall in love with you."

This includes using poison gas on the victim, sexually assaulting her and using psychological abuse against her in efforts to make her "love" you. Unbelievable.''

 

whats that? You dont like it?

umm... well dont buy or play it then. Um and dont go to amazon and spend time researching and  reading about the game. How about you just get on with the rest of your life, which i would hope is more important than obsessing over a niche game that doesnt affect you directly in ANY way and would have no impact on your life except for your voluntary self involvement.

Quite frankly Since it doesnt infact affect anyone other than those people who voluntarily buy it, there isnt anything more to discuss. You dont like it? Well then take the steps ive just laid out for you. For some reason you seem to think that drawing attention to this product, delaying its inevitable fall into utter obscurity,  and drawing attention to it better serves your aims. It doesnt.

Wow problem solved.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

If you find gun violence offensive, it's all over legitimate sites in flash ads. When a boundary is crossed, make your voice known.

These people have the same right to dislike this game that you do to voice your opinion about their opinion. In fact, the five minutes you spent on this article, and the five minutes all the other commentors have spent writing their stuff, is the same amount of time this group is likely spending. They'll get off of their computers after writing their opinions, eat their dinners, watch some TV, and go on with their lives even while protesting this game.

 

Quite effing bluntly, amazon.com does not have adequate age verification for this kind of stuff, either. Teenagers are always just cruising for stuff that'll screw them up later in life.

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

Out of curiousity, do you think there's anything at all, any concievable situation, that SHOULDN'T be allowed in a game or movie?

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

You could also use the same logic about your post:

You don't like that they don't like it umm... well don't read about it and spend time posting a comment about it. How about you just get on with the rest of your life, which i would hope is more important than obsessing over a niche blog post over a niche game that doesnt affect you directly in ANY way and would have no impact on your life except for your voluntary self involvement.

Quite frankly Since it doesnt infact affect anyone other than those people who voluntarily read it, there isnt anything more to discuss. You dont like it? Well then take the steps ive just laid out for you. For some reason you seem to think that drawing attention to this blog post, delaying its inevitable fall into utter obscurity,  and drawing attention to it better serves your aims. It doesnt.

Wow problem solved.

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

lol well dont like my critique?

Dont read it.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

No it could very well lead to games being altered to appease the feminists if they manage to get this game pulled.

Also if you don't see the difference between critizing someone's argument and demanding it not be made you're a fool (and that's putting it lightly).

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

 Fantastic! Games being altered to have less horrible issues with sexism sounds wonderful. :)

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

You haven't seen the feminists too much have you. They complain about the most useless trivial shit. Fat Princess comes to mind.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

 I've been reading Feministing for a while now, so I have a pretty good idea of the things that get posted on there.

You thinking something is trivial does not make it immune to criticism. Institutional *isms are perpetuated by an enormous number of small things working in concert. I don't specifically recall any criticism of Fat Princess, so I can't respond to how much I agreed or disagreed with it. I've never played the game, either, so I can't critique it myself. :)

Sometimes there are posts on there about games that I don't agree with, but that's okay too. I can post on there and try to clear up confusion about them, and hopefully everyone walks away with a better understanding of what's going on at the end.

 

Re: Feminists Outraged by Interactive DVD Available on ...

I don't think it was feministing I think it was another site but irregardless, not everything is geared towards one group so it would seem strange to demand removal of entertainment which relies partly on shock value because it sickens them.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.
 
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