Wisdom Tree Hands Around Kickstarter Collection Plate
Today in nostalgia news it turns out that Wisdom Tree, makers of Sunday Funday and Super 3D Noah’s Ark, are actually still around – or at least an entity operating under their name is. Anyone who was a kid in the 90s will recall that Wisdom Tree were pioneers of reverse engineering console cartridge technology in order to avoid Nintendo oversight and paying licensing fees; and their odd looking carts happily sit alongside the non-standard offerings from Tengen and EA. Now Wisdom Tree has returned and people can select from three different games by backing their Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter is actually one of the most slipshod efforts seen in recent memory. The pitch video is just footage captured from their games sans any type of commentary, while the text of their Kickstarter pitch comes replete with a good many typos, giving the impression that nobody bothered to proof read it before it was allowed to go live [or in the days subsequent to that]. In this instance the good Lord did not provide.
Given the general crappiness of the Kickstarter pitch, it was surprising to see that the games on offer were not mere reproductions of their back catalogue, but included some new conversions too. For $40 Wisdom Tree Game Collection for GBA! features the developer’s entire NES library, which consists of Sunday Funday, Bible Adventures, Exodus, Joshua, Bible Buffet, Spiritual Warfare, and King of Kings. There is a good chance that these games are running under some kind of emulation [probably pocketnes.gba].
Meanwhile ‘8-bit Apostles’ who pledge $50 will receive a reprint of Noah’s Ark for the NES. This game was not actually a Wisdom Tree production, but rather an officially licensed Bible-themed game that was originally released by Konami throughout Europe, yet never received an American release because of Nintendo of America’s prohibition on religious content. Wisdom Tree have now licensed the game in order to provide it with a much belated NTSC release.
Finally, ’16-bit Apostles’ who pledge $55 will receive a port of Super 3D Noah’s Ark for the Sega Genesis. Readers may recall that this was actually a SNES game, and in fact it was the only commercially released SNES game in the US to not be licensed by Nintendo, so this port to the Genesis is something that has only happened recently. Super 3D Noah’s Ark was a Biblical conversion of Wolfenstein 3D, and so this particular release was likely only made possible by the recent fanmade Wolfenstein port to the Genesis – which would certainly explain why it looks and runs much more smoothly on the Genesis than on the SNES. That being said, this was still more effort than one expected to see from this Kickstarter, given that one had assumed that Wisdom Tree would have disbanded years ago. Everything old really is new again!
Mega Maker Out Now for PC!
Why do fan developers do it, fam? Why do they provide notice ahead of time to company lawyers? Thankfully in this instance Capcom has a lot more chill than Nintendo, but it is still tempting fate. Mega Maker is available right now for PC, you can click here and download that shit right now completely free of charge! The game essentially does for the Mega Man series exactly what Super Mario Maker did for the Mario franchise, and even features the online support to accommodate in-game level sharing!
“The stage builder allows you to select from 46 enemies, 29 level objects, 12 bosses, 24 special weapons, 40 backgrounds, 129 tilesets, 63 music tracks and more!”
Sounds fucking rad! The project initially began with the game’s primary designer WreckingPrograms, who had previously designed a game engine called Mega Engine to assist fandevs to make Mega Man games, and then began the Mega Maker project because he wanted to extend the same ability to normal gamers. WreckingPrograms was then joined by a further five developers working on the game, and a further two people working on the game’s site and promotional material; making eight staff in total. Insofar as Capcom was concerned WreckingPrograms was not particularly worried, as Capcom had always been pretty lenient when it came to fan creations:
“Capcom is very lenient with fan games. They have never taken down a Mega Man fan game unless they tried making a profit or contained NSFW, neither of which applies to Mega Maker (the Patreon is only there to pay for server costs). On top of that, they even officially endorsed a fan game called Street Fighter X Mega Man.
A notable Capcom employee has stated they wouldn’t take down fan works unless they made a profit or contained [not-safe-for-work content] on the Capcom Unity forums, too. I highly doubt Mega Maker would be an exception to all this.”
Amazing how Capcom can show leniency to fan creations whilst also retaining their intellectual property – it is almost as if Nintendo are lying out of their penny-pinching arseholes! At any rate a big thank you must go out to the Mega Maker team for creating a toolbox that will surely provide the community with countless hours of fun.
Kingdom Hearts III Will Release in 2018
Kingdom Hearts III will release in 2018 – a full thirteen years since the last numbered entry in the series [counting the initial Japanese release of Kingdom Hearts II]. It is remarkable that within this time no numbered entry in the series has been released, and yet the Kingdom Hearts series has never suffered more from franchise fatigue. One genuinely feels quite exhausted from all the milking that Square Enix has done to the Kingdom Hearts series through low quality spin-offs. It has also been during this thirteen year time period that the narrative of Kingdom Hearts has devolved from being fairly wonky with Kingdom Hearts II to a full-blown unintelligible disaster with Dream Drop Distance and various canon mobile phone apps. The wait is almost over however, so it will not be long until we are able to see whether Square Enix are able to salvage Kingdom Hearts from the wretched state they have left it in, or whether Kingdom Hearts, like Final Fantasy, is now a dead series.
In other Kingdom Hearts III news for the week, it really is just amazing how Nintendrones can take the typical Square Enix non-committal “we can’t announce anything more at present” and choose to interpret it as “Kingdom Hearts III is definitely possible on the Switch“.
“The Nintendo Switch is definitely a very interesting piece of hardware, but if we lightly say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll be on the Nintendo Switch,’ I’m sure people will come back and say, ‘But what about the PS4 and Xbox One? We want them out first. Don’t focus on other platforms, so for now, we want to focus on what platforms we’ve already announced we’re going to be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 on. And so after, perhaps, maybe we can start thinking about other possibilities.”
Boy, that really sounds like a solid gold guarantee that Kingdom Hearts III is coming to Switch! “Thinking about other possibilities” definitely means the Nintendo Switch, because it is not like the anemic Switch hardware is any kind of impediment to it receiving PS4 ports [just remember that hidden dock GPU]! Time for all Nintendo Fanbabies to become super excited about the Switch version of Kingdom Hearts III just so they can be mega disappointed when it never materialises, because it was never promised in the first place!
In all seriousness, Nomura probably has a dozen plans in his head for Kingdom Hearts III related portable shovelware, and these are likely the the other possibilities to which he was alluding. Any straight port of Kingdom Hearts III to the Nintendo Switch would have to be cut down to the point where it would not be worth even playing it. This is not even a strictly horsepower thing either, as the PS4 and Xbox One have twice the RAM and 20GB more disc space than the Nintendo Switch – making memory management a nightmare on Nintendo’s system. A straight Nintendo Switch port is not even possible unless Nomura deliberately designed his game to underutilise the PS4 and Xbox One. There is no chance that he would have done this, and Kingdom Hearts III is not coming to Switch.