jump to navigation

Universal Studios Japan Announces Launch Date for Super Nintendo World November 30, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
add a comment

Super Nintendo World was officially announced almost one year ago, with a release date of this past summer. It looked incredible, a way for tourists to step inside the screen of their video game system and really interact with the world of Super Mario. However, due to the current world events, that opening was postponed, and other than some food and merchandise information, we only had a vague idea of what would be coming when Universal Japan finally gave the okay to open.

Today, we have our first real, tangible, official look (no CGI) at what is coming at Super Nintendo World, AND we have it’s official opening date. Buckle your seat belt, we will be racing Mario Kart, and this time it is for reals.

Super Nintendo World is planning to open at Universal Studios Japan on February 4th, 2021.

Gaming History You Should Know – History of Halo 2’s I Love Bees Campaign November 28, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Hope you guys enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday and welcome back to today’s featured article of Gaming History You Should Know. As we head into the weekend, I wanted to bring your attention to one of the most well-known and fondly remembered pieces of gaming marketing in the history of the entire video game industry. It all started with a strange website.

In 2004, Halo 2 was gearing up for a November release. A sequel to the Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 was one of the most anticipated games of all time. In fact, I remembered being blown out of my seat when I watched the game’s live demo at E3 2003. I had played the original game on the PC when it rereleased in 2003, but with no indication it’s sequel would ever see a PC release, I decided to buy the Xbox console just so I could play it when it first launched.

A few months before the game launched, a commercial for the game began to be shown at movie theaters across the US. While this would be considered no big deal nowadays, it was a huge deal at the time. When the video was finally put online, viewers worldwide noticed something weird in its last second. A strange site, ilovebees dot com, was superimposed over the official Xbox website for about a second at the end of the video. People who visited the site found a odd blog about beekeeping which looked like its HTML code was badly in need of maintenance.

What was the ilovebees site? It was actually a new type of game, dubbed the ARG, for Alternate Reality Game. But what was the game’s purpose and how did it tie into Halo 2’s marketing campaign? YouTube Channel Rocket Sloth is a Halo archivist and historian. A lot of his videos have either proven, debunked or exclusively solved some of the biggest mysteries in the history of the Halo franchise. Today, we’re going to be highlighting his incredible documentary on Halo 2’s I Love Bees event. Bees, my god.

Halo 2 is out now for the Xbox and PC. It is part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X/S.

Gaming History You Should Know – The McDonalds DS Training Cartridge November 27, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the biggest independently produced content about the history of gaming. I told you guys that our article on Wednesday would not be the only burger-themed article we would be talking about this holiday weekend, and today’s featured article should not disappoint.

Everyone should be familiar with the fast-food restaurant McDonalds. Love it or hate it, it is one of the biggest companies worldwide, with billions of dollars in sales from burgers, fries, sodas and chicken. I’m sure everyone reading this article has eaten food from them at least once, or at least fondly remembers the fact they offered free Nintendo Zone WiFi service for Nintendo 3DS units at around the same time they improved their coffee. After I got my very first Nintendo 3DS XL, I remember actually making many trips there to download the latest exclusive Nintendo content, and swap StreetPass data with the location’s previous users. It was a great time to be a Nintendo handheld gamer.

McDonalds employs thousands of people, and as such has to create new ways to keep employees refreshed on working procedures. But what is the best way to train employees in today’s day and age? Most companies use textbooks and training videos, McDonalds Japan decided to create a video game. The platform? The Nintendo DS, the biggest selling handheld console of all time. The method? An exclusive McDonalds training cart that was distributed to a very select group of employees.

Many people believe this exclusive DS game did not exist, despite the fact a major news organization did a piece about it. However, given the recent dissolution of the Nintendo DS platform, many believed if a training cart ever existed the copies would’ve likely been lost or destroyed by now. Now is the time for me to introduce our hero.

Nick Robinson created an incredible documentary that is being talked about non stop all over the internet. It details his search for the elusive McDonalds Japan training cartridge. This is no easy feat, due to the global pandemic, international travel, as well as importing/exporting international goods, have almost entirely ceased. Join him as he tries to obtain this elusive game and his quest to unlock the game’s data. I believe this video is so well made it is worth being shown as an episode of NOVA on PBS.

Next time, we will be highlighting another special marketing event. You could say, this was Microsoft’s first attempt at something on the scale of Quantum Burger. The only difference is, MANY people fondly remember this event, and there is a feature-length documentary about it. We will talk about that tomorrow.

Gaming History You Should Know – The History of Pikachu in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade November 26, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know! I know I promised you guys a burger themed history video yesterday, but I happened to find this incredible video earlier today and had to share it with you all.

The Pokémon franchise has endured for nearly twenty-five years. It has had ups and downs over the years but is currently seeing a second Renaissance of popularity thanks to the incredible success of games like Pokémon Go and Pokémon Sword and Shield. You already know its most popular mascot, the adorable Pokémon Pikachu, has appeared in spin-off games, toys of all sorts, and even feature films but did you know Pikachu has appeared in homes every Thanksgiving for the past twenty years?

Department store Macy’s is one of the biggest retail conglomerates in the United States, and for as long as I can remember, they’ve held a yearly parade every Thanksgiving Day featuring floats, balloons, and musical performances by Broadway cast and marching bands from all over the country. Many of these balloons and floats feature the biggest franchises of the time, and as of today the biggest franchise of the past twenty years, Pokémon and its mascot Pikachu, has made an appearance at the parade every year for the past twenty years.

Today, we will be featuring YouTube Channel PatMac, which did a fantastic history video on the history of Pikachu’s appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can’t imagine a better video to watch in anticipation for Turkey dinner than this.

As someone who has been watching the Thanksgiving Parade this morning I can assure you Pikachu was in attendance, marking his twentieth year of appearance. I can’t find video of the appearance online just yet, but from the looks of it, his Thanksgiving reveal just may be the kick off of Pokémon’s 25th anniversary celebration! Stay tuned here if more details are coming!

Pokémon games are available on many platforms including the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, DS, 3DS, Switch and smart devices.

Gaming History You Should Know – Quantum Break’s Quantum Burger Event November 25, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
add a comment

Welcome back to Gaming History You Should Know, where we highlight some of the greatest independently produced documentaries about the history of gaming. I know it isn’t Sunday, but my fellow countrymen will be enjoying a feast during a national holiday tomorrow and we decided to spend this extended weekend that otherwise wouldn’t see too much gaming news spreading the word about gaming history.

Today, we will be doing something a little different. The event we will be discussing was in fact so little known, up until this time no documentaries have been produced about it. That means I’ll be talking about it myself, which would be a lot easier if I had actually attended and participated in it myself…but I didn’t, despite the fact I wish I had. With that all out of the way, let’s get started. No pressure, right?

Quantum Break was the first video game announced for the Xbox One. It was not a launch title, in fact I don’t believe it was released until about three years after the console came out, but it was a big reason why I picked up the Xbox One console at launch. Developed by Remedy and published by Microsoft, Quantum Break was a third-person action game which had an in-depth story sprinkled with a four-episode television show.

As Quantum Break prepared to launch in early-2016, Microsoft planned their major marketing push. In the US, we got a live-action trailer that occasionally aired on television (of a scene that doesn’t take place in the game). As far as I know, that is pretty much all we got. However, North of the border, in the land of Canada, Microsoft Canada started a major marketing push.

Microsoft Canada’s plan was to bring a piece of the game into the real world. A burger venue in Toronto would be used as a facade, and people who stepped inside of it would literally step inside the world of Quantum Break. The venue was called Quantum Burger, and from afar to the unknowing eye it probably looked like a regular burger joint. However, we gamers knew better. The venue would appear to be trapped in a stutter of time, what the game referred to as a “Zero State” event, and from the way the venue was arranged it appeared the stutter took place during a robbery. Links to websites and even Xbox Live codes were strewn all over the location, rewarding people for checking it out in person.

Unfortunately, an independent documentary about the event was never produced. Maybe it’s too early for something like that to happen, very few people talk about the greatness that is Quantum Break on Xbox One and even most die hard fans of the game I’ve talked to are completely unaware this event ever happened. CG Magazine did a fantastic write up about the event and you can read it here. As far as I know, only two independently produced videos which photographed the venue actually exist, and neither one of them has drawn a lot of traffic up to this point. The first was done by CG Magazine and I recommend checking it out first.

The second appears to have been done by a fan who visited the location, Keotaro. It is without a doubt my favorite video of the event, the music used fits the clips really well, and the editing was interesting. If there’s just one video you would watch of this whole event, this is the one you would watch.

Unfortunately, since the event was held in real life in only one location, in a country I didn’t even live in, I was unable to visit the venue myself or participate in the event personally. To their credit, Xbox Canada did their own official post-event video, and you can watch it here.

Ironically enough, this is not the only burger themed history article I could write about. Stay tuned for tomorrow when we bring even more gaming history you should know! Until then, stay safe.

Quantum Break is out now for the Xbox One and PC.

Cyberpunk 2077 PlayStation 4 Gameplay November 24, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
add a comment

The majority of footage we’ve seen from Cyberpunk 2077 up until this point has been from either the PC version of the game or the older and newer Xbox platforms. That changes today. Today, they uploaded the first footage I’ve seen from the game’s PS4 version. One part is sourced from the PS4 Pro, the other is from the PS5, running the game in backwards compatibility mode.

Cyberpunk 2077 is coming December 10th, 2020 to PC, Xbox One and PS4. It’s coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S next year.

Memories of Maniac – The Time I Stumbled Into a Hollywood Movie’s Cast Screening November 24, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Mind of Maniac, Site Videos.
add a comment

Welcome back to Memories of Maniac, where our host tells some of his favorite life stories.

In 2007, I became interested in a movie called Fanboys. Set in the film 1998, it followed several die-hard Star Wars fans, who wished to provide a dying friend of theirs the chance to see Star Wars Episode I. Fanboys would not get theatrically released until 2009, and its release was so limited very few theaters in the US actually ran it. What was I to do? I packed up a friend and spent three hours traveling to NYC to visit the closest theater showing the film. As luck would have it, I wasn’t the only person interested in seeing the film that would be in attendance in the theater that day, a big portion of the film’s cast was also there. Here’s how it happened!

Marvel’s Avengers Shares a Lot of Similarity to Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Cruise Lines, and That’s Awesome November 23, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
add a comment

On December 8th, the first expansion character for Marvel’s Avengers, Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop, will be added to the game for free. With her addition, a new expansion is coming to the game which promises to continue the game’s story past the events of the game’s conclusion. More new heroes, including Clint “Hawkeye” Barton and Peter “Spider-Man” Parker, are also coming to the game over the next few months. That’s going to be a lot of waiting, especially if you really liked the game’s story and haven’t had much of a reason to play the game since initially beating it. So why don’t we spend the next few days that would otherwise be spent waiting, to do a little bit more discussion of the game’s story and try to determine what could’ve inspired it?

Since Disney acquired Marvel, everyone’s first desire was to see the roster of Marvel’s superheroes brought into Disney’s parks, particularly Walt Disney World. Unfortunatly, that isn’t possible. Prior to Disney’s purchase of the entire Marvel company, Marvel sold the theme park rights to many of their most popular characters and teams (as well as the use of the “Marvel” name) to Disney’s main theme park competitor, Universal Studios. Universal’s theme park rights for the Eastern US includes all of the characters from the Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic 4, and Avengers roster and they are able to use the Marvel name in all promotional material for their parks throughout the entire US. Internationally, Universal licensed the Spider-Man theme park rights for their theme park in Japan. Oddly enough, the rights to Guardians of the Galaxy were not sold to any park, and Disney has the right to use them in any of their parks worldwide.

But don’t be sad, everyone. Universal’s theme park rights to Marvel’s characters do not extend to worldwide use (except for Spider-Man in Japan), and Disney is in the process of putting Marvel characters wherever they legally can. While the highly anticipated Avengers Campus initiative has not finished completion in California’s Disneyland, American tourists who want to see Marvel characters on Disney property would do well to get their sea legs on. That’s right, Disney has a fleet of cruise ships at their disposal and since they sail international waters, Disney can bring Marvel’s entire roster of superheroes and villains to their cruise ships. Let me introduce you to the Marvel Day at Sea.

Author’s Note: Disney’s Cruise Lines are currently grounded due to the recent pandemic. It is unknown when their fleet will resume sailing, or if Marvel Day at Sea will be a part of their activities when they resume.

Marvel’s Day at Sea was a special limited time themed event which brought exclusive Marvel events onto the cruise ships. Disney will occasionally host limited time events like this throughout the year, either at their parks or cruise ships, either to bring in new guests who might be interested in the event, or to bring back former guests interested in a new and different experience from their old one. I’ve never been fortunate enough to go on a Disney Cruise myself (due to cost) but I’ve been following many travel enthusiasts over the past few years who have been lucky enough to go. On a normal ship, a themed event might mean some decorations and maybe a limited-time stage show. On a Disney Cruise, they go all out.

What’s a Marvel Day at Sea like? Well, if what I’ve seen can be believed, it is the ultimate Marvel fan experience. It goes without saying you’ll get the opportunity to have meet and greets with plenty of Marvel’s superheroes in their costumes, but that’s not all you’ll be able to do. For the first few days of the event, there are exclusive in-universe Marvel-themed stage shows (with different shows geared towards different ages), free access to a digital lending library of Marvel’s comics, and the ability to watch movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the ship’s top of the line movie theater. It all culminates in an incredible stunt show on the ship’s main deck on the final night where the Avengers must team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop the legion of Hydra from stealing Tony Stark’s newest invention, the Core Reactor.

If you’re looking for a full video log of the entire multi-day experience, I recomend checking out the videos of YouTube travel vlogger Michael Kay. He and his sister did a fantastic multi-part video of the Marvel Day at Sea experience, and it really is something that has to be seen to be believed.

When I first saw how the story of Marvel’s Avengers kicked off, I immediately thought back to the storyline of the cruise ship’s main show. If you’d like to watch a high quality version of the complete show, known officially as “Heroes United”, here’s a look at it in glorious 4K. You might want to be sitting down while you watch it, as it will make your inner fanboy scream.

Great show, huh? I certainly thought so, and I wasn’t even there to watch it in person. On the other hand, I did play Marvel’s Avengers when it launched back in September, and as I played through its opening hour of gameplay…I started to feel like I was playing something…familiar. In the game’s first hour, you are put into the shoes of a young Kamala Khan, an Avengers fangirl who’s FanFiction won her the chance to witness the maiden voyage of SHIELD’s newest Helicarrier, the Chimera. What’s so special about this new Flying Fortress? It’s powered by Tony Stark’s new power source, the Terrigen reactor. Fans of Marvel’s Inhumans might recognize that item. Here’s a uncut version of my first hour playing the game. Be aware, there’s some quality loss in the last fifteen minutes of the video, but you’ll still be able to make out what is happening in the video.

After playing this opening from Marvel’s Avengers I can’t get over how striking the storyline matches up with Disney Cruise’s stage show. While it is likely their similarity is just a coincidence (Tony Stark releases new stuff that bad guys want to steal all the time, it’s a running trope throughout the Iron Man comics) I can’t think of a better opportunity to feel like I lived the experience from the game than to take a cruise on Marvel’s Day at Sea. Hopefully, after the world begins the post-pandemic healing process, Disney will resume sailing their fleet, and the Marvel Day at Sea will become an option once again. Hopefully by that time, I will be able to set sail with my heroes.

Marvel’s Avengers is out now for PC, Xbox One, Stadia and PS4. It is coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S next year.

Miles Morales – Family: Behind the Scenes November 23, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
add a comment

Earlier today, PlayStation released this rare look behind the scenes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales. This video focuses on Miles and his family, who (if you’ve seen my let’s play of the early portions of the game) are an important part of this new game. Take a look:

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out now for the PS4 and PS5.

NEO: The World Ends With You Announced November 23, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
add a comment

If there is a game from the DS era that has a larger following than The World Ends With You, I have not seen it. Now, we all will be seeing a new game in The World Ends With You franchise, and I have the trailer for it right here!

NEO: The World Ends With You is coming Summer 2021 to Nintendo Switch and PS4.