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  1. Are they though, or is this one of those things that people have repeated for so long it's been taken for granted? Certainly the old comics contain copyright info for both Sega and Egmont publishing, and you hear stories about creators even saying they own the characters. But has anyone with legal expertise at Sega or elsewhere ever pushed the issue to find out how much Sega could legally claim? I doubt it. I'm not saying that Egmont (or the creators) don't own things, but I can't imagine anyone in a position to do anything about it ever checked to see what Sega would be allowed do regarding reprints, printing outside the UK, or using the characters. Archie certainly wouldn't have bothered, and I can't picture Sega investing the time to double-check old paperwork regarding long-out-of-print comics. IDW appears to be more tenacious in figuring out what can and can't be done with the IPs it gains access to. Might be worth at least asking them to try to look into things.
  2. Yeah, I can see that reaction. Keep in mind though, they're promising this to everyone that pledged at least $49 until now. They were going to announce it possibly even a week ago, but decided to hold off so that they'd net a larger number of people that would find out that they were getting the proverbial "early bird bargain". But I can certainly see how it could be seen as blood in the water. From the sounds of things though, they've got more announcements lined up for next week to let people know they haven't been sitting on their hands just hoping things will go better for the campaign. I think some might even be ready to go, but I can't say for certain.
  3. Not a huge one, but they have a few things planned. The overall idea is to have this kickstarter fund the smaller "prologue" game (sort of like the demo that Legends 3 had lined up), with the intention of using that to shop around to publishers and get the bigger Red Ash game they have in mind planned. At first they didn't want to offer a pledge tier for the "expanded" game that they hope a publisher will let them make, because it could make negotiations tricky ("hey want to back a game that we've already sold copies of? You won't be getting money from those copies") but then they decided that if they pay up the difference themselves it wouldn't get in the way of negotiations. So they're offering the expanded game as a tier. And everyone who already pledged at least $49 (or pledges that much today, before the price goes up) gets it. There's some other things in the works apparently, but I figure people should hear about this one-day "sale," especially since they can always pull out their backing later if they change their minds.
  4. Not a hope in hell I'm afraid. If it was just comcept working on this, that might be doable, although they'd be taking a big risk since if they shut everything down, retooled, relaunched and still didn't meet their goals it would be a massive blow to the company. But it's not just comcept working on this, they have partners like Studio4C and HYDE. There's too many things to juggle to just pull the plug and ask for a do-over. Not really. You can acknowledge that it's a bad time to have a kickstarter while also saying the company had reasons for doing it now. Development on MN9 is basically over at least as far as comcept is concerned. They have to start something new. They had to start setting this up a while ago, contacting partners, scheduling when and where they'd make their announcements, getting everything ready for the pitch. They knew about Bloodstained in advance (and even helped it out a little), but Shenmue III? That completely blindsided them. But they were stuck with announcing their kickstarter now, they couldn't juggle things much. And then Legendary Digital Media picked the worst possible time to announce the Mighty No. 9 movie (which some people don't seem to realize is basically a made-for-tv movie), creating the false impression that comcept has plenty of money (or SPENT backer money making the movie, which is completely wrong), and also making people say Inafune is "moving too fast" when he really just did what any reasonable person would've done. The people running the kickstarter made some big mistakes, that's absolutely true. But some of what happened here was just bad luck. Same thing happened with Shantae to some extent; they figured they'd have no problem raising tons of funds, and then they got blindsided by MN9 the same way Red Ash got blindsided by Shenmue. All of that said, if MN9 did indeed actually suck, why would that make you assume Red Ash would too? It's a completely different team. They work for the same company, true, but the actual people that would be making the game are different. And, quite frankly, are arguably a better match to this project that the MN9 team were to that project. While I've enjoyed what I've played and seen of MN9, there's no denying that MN9 had an odd choice for it's director. Koji Imaeda is young and relatively inexperienced. He was a designer on Mega Man: Star Force 2 and 3 on DS, and was design lead for "EXE Operate Shooting Star" (which was only released in Japan, as you can probably tell from the name), and as far as I was able to determine that's his whole resume. It was definitely a conscious choice to let some younger talent have a crack at things, he had some more experienced people supporting him, and I think it turned out well from what I've seen, but it's still not the ideal resume for someone directing a 2D platformer. Red Ash is directed by Masahiro Yasuma, who, to be blunt, DOES have the ideal resume for someone directing a game in the mold of Legends. He was the one who did the lion's share of the work on MML1 making the "open world" feel interactive and real by putting in all those events. He was in charge of The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, the second game in the Legends series. He has an extremely long resume just as a director, compared to Imaeda's extremely short resume. And the rest of the team on this is also a better match,with people that worked on Legends in many of the main art/design positions. It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to say that you can guess how Red Ash will turn out based on MN9. It's different people making the game. There's no one person in charge, to my knowledge - the work is spread between people. That said, Joshua Weatherford worked on the Nightcry kickstarter. Nightcry is a "spiritual successor" that was following up on Clocktower, which is a game I've never even heard of that apparently never got a release outside of Japan. That campaign was dead in the water and Joshua helped turn it around and get the game funded. This campaign's doing better than that one but not as well as comcept had hoped, so I think everyone's starting to defer to the guy that helped turn around a kickstarter that was going badly and somehow managed to get funding for a spiritual sequel to a game never even released in America. I could be wrong though.
  5. I'd prefer a Pac-Man stage if you're going to do "loops around". I mean they've GOT Namco RIGHT THERE.
  6. Ah, my bad. Haven't played in ages (gosh, almost like I was avoiding it like the plague) and my memory... not so good (almost like I was repressing it). Someone brought up the scene again on another site and I misunderstood which part of her anatomy the camera pointlessly focused on while he was making his tough call. You can't see his face, you can't see her face, but you can see... wow, she must work out. Now THAT'S dramatic tension! No, just A. And not the A I was talking about before. The A from T&A.
  7. You could argue that she's not as sexualized as Ivy, but a skintight suit, high heels, and a beauty mark? Considering she started out as a character that passed for male for the entire time playing the game, that's an extreme shift. Even Lara Croft knows not to wear high heels (there's a scene in Tomb Raider Legend specifically addressing that she has to take off a pair because they limit her mobility, so we've now reached the point where, R.O.B. help us, Lara Craft is more sensible than Samus). I'm not a big fan of "things could be worse" defenses. Imagine a scene where a central character is faced with an agonizing choice: will he leave his brother to die, or will he let someone else risk their lives to save him? You have control of the camera. Where would you point it? A. At the face of the guy deciding whether or not to leave his brother to die B. At the face of the person volunteering to go do risky riscue work C. Samus' breasts ...Other M was not a good game. I was talking about the current game, and Jigglypuff's unconfirmed. As for the idea that Jigglypuff has to be female... Nermal. That's all I'm going to say. It's a pity Rare was taken over by Microsoft. It's unlikely we'll ever see Joanna Dark again. I know Perfect Dark Zero was a bit of a stinker, but she deserved another chance.
  8. Well, like I said here. I strongly disagree with you that this is better. In the early games if you were insanely good you got maybe 10 seconds of Samus in a bikini, and that was something she chose to wear after she was done fighting. After the world's been saved, you can take off your armor and lounge around in your underwear. It's a bit crass to let the player see it, sure, but in terms of what it says about Samus there was a very different message. In the early games she was all business and serious on the job, and just knew how to relax afterward. Now she's being presented in a very sexualized way during the gameplay proper. And the thing with incremental changes is that anyone who says "I don't like this" at one step along the way is dismissed by people going "oh it's just a small thing". And then one day the badass armored bounty hunter Amazon is shrunk down, slender, running around in a skintight suit, with big breasts, a beauty mark, and high heels. And if you say you don't like it, you're told "it's been like this for a while". You can't win. As for there being other things about women in gaming that are more important... How many women are there in Smash? 5. How many are there that are JUST women? No "play as the male version" mode? Well that's the Wii Trainer out, so 4. Of those 4, Samus, Rosalina, Zelda, and Peach, which ones are the star of their own games? Just Samus. She's a pretty important figure in gaming history, and Metroid is the longest running and most respected series of games with a female star. How she's treated is a good way to get the pulse for the video game industry in general.
  9. I hate to be a wet blanket, but as someone working in medical health sciences I really can't let this one slide. High heels are a major public health problem. There's bigger problems, yes, but high heels are a unique problem since they manage to be something we've known are genuinely really unhealthy for a couple hundred years, and yet they still get treated as "no big deal". Well they are a big deal, and we've got plenty of research to back that up. We've known for a long time. It's bad for your muscles, it's bad for your tendons, it's bad for your circulation, it's bad for your spine, it increases the odds of osteoporosis, and it greatly decreases your mobility. Wearing high heels is bad for you, and that's just a scientific fact. Now if someone wants to wear a pair while drinking a cheeseburger-and-beer smoothie and smoking a pack of cigarettes, fine. Their decision. We all do unhealthy things sometimes. But the way people ignore centuries of medical science to pretend there's nothing unhealthy about high heels is pretty terrible. And the latest studies indicate people are playing a few billion hours worth of video games every week, so anyone claiming that video games have no impact on our culture is talking nonsense. There are important things out there than Samus' heels, sure. But sexualizing one of the most important and iconic female characters, in a major video game, by encumbering her with something that's a public health hazard, and having her act like they're not a problem for her in the game? That's about as big a deal as it gets from video games. I don't think anyone's going to go out and start shooting over a shooter, because we know that's bad. I do think that constantly showing high heels as sexy and safe in all forms of media is going to have a negative effect, because people don't seem willing to accept that there's a downside there. The argument that games don't have to be realistic has worn really thin for me. No, games don't have to be realistic, but that shouldn't be a blank check, and it really shouldn't be used as a way to try and shoot down every argument that something in a game sends a bad message. When Roger Ebert said that games can never be art, I wanted designers working harder to prove him wrong, not to shrug and go "yeah he's right, they're just stupid games, who cares?" Look up the struts Chell wore in Portal. She was barefoot and basically had weird braces attached just below her knee. In Portal 2 they added some spaceagey plasticy crap so she wouldn't be barefoot, and if you squint and bang yourself on the head a few times I guess they'd look like high heels, even though the strut's still nowhere near her actual heel... but like I said, in the first game there was no way on Earth you'd mistake them for high heels. And they were added with a clear in-game purpose from the start. Valve wanted to explain why Chell could fall without taking damage, and do insane jumps too. They came up with springs. Is that the case with Samus? Nope. The high heels were introduced in Other M, where they served no purpose at all. We probably would've said more about how stupid they looked, but we were too busy hating that whole game in general. When a whole forest is ugly, you're not going to focus on one tree. Smash tried to give them an explanation by putting rockets in them. One small problem though. Zero Mission (and the manga, and the old Nintendo Power comic, and the later guide material) had already established that Samus was a superhuman. In Zero Mission she was able to jump well over a story high at any given moment. Throw in the roll-jumps and she could scale skyscrapers while yawning. Did Nintendo come up with the high heels because they needed a way to explain Samus jumping high? No. In fact they ignored that they'd already given her the ability to jump high. They basically made her weaker, removing her superpowers so they could put rockets in the heels and pretend the darn things were being useful. So no, it's not like Chell, where a tool was designed to fill a need. They didn't need the heels, but they wanted the heels anyway. So they weakened Samus so that she would need a tool, and put one in the heels. Being so hellbent on sexualizing an iconic female character that you make her weaker? That's a new low. It's been incremental. In the first few games, you beat the game and maybe for a few seconds, if you worked your butt off, you'd see Samus take off her armor like any soldier in history would when they're done fighting. Something that didn't really sexualize her, at the end, taking up less than 1% of the game. Then the Zero Suit came along, but that was just for a brief in-game segment. And hey, the Prime games might've used the suit, but they didn't really push the T&A angle. Although Smash Bros sorta did. And then Other M gave her high heels, and the "camera" was absolutely so concerned with sexualizing Samus that you can find "serious" scenes where we're getting gratuitous shots of Samus' curves instead of focussing on what the scene was meant to be about. And now SB had given her bigger breasts, and the Other M beauty mark and high heels, while making skintight-suit Samus something so prominent that it's a playable character in its own right. She's been sexualized bigtime. If you don't see high heels as sexualizing her, that's fine. And it would definitely be fair to say there's more to high heels than just being sexual things. But research has absolutely shown that high heels are one of the most common paraphilias. They sexualize. There's a reason that the women on the covers of dirty magazines wear high heels more than half the time. "High heels sexualize women" isn't much up for debate, we've moved on to trying to explain the why of it. From the most recent research it looks like it's because high heels put women off balance, forcing them to use smaller steps and greatly exaggerated hip-swinging, which is seen as extremely feminine and sexy. That might not be physically possible, sorry. It looks like the brain is hardwired to see a "high heel walk" as more sexually arousing, and to thus see high heels as sexual in general. Depends on how it's done. Like I said, the early games managed to do it in a way that still portrayed her as an intelligent and capable person. She killed every last Space Pirate she could find, clocked out for the day, took her armor off and relaxed. It was fanservice, sure, but it was well-done. And the fact that they did it tastefully for so long, without making the character look any less badass, is one of the reasons why I'd probably put this down as the worst implementation of fanservice in video games. This was just stupidly clumsy, and doing it right after Other M sends the message that they listened to no criticisms about Other M. Which is a bit worrying, honestly. If they don't see a downside to making Samus more a sex object and less a badass, and they're continuing to ignore her background (Chozo weren't mentioned in Other M, and her Chozo upgrades are ignored here because they'd make the rockets redundant) then I've no idea what they think was the reason why Other M sold less than half the units that Prime did. This x 1000 1. There's no widespread fashion trend of men wearing high heels, so honestly portraying him doing it without breaking his neck isn't going to start one. 2. It's not a shift to his characterization. He was portrayed with them from the start, and honestly they're better integrated to his design. He's got bits of funky metal jutting out all over the place. Samus had a sleek wetsuit thing going on and then BAM clunky high heels. They don't fit. 3. Why are you acting like nobody called his high heels stupid? They did. I saw it happened. He had all sorts of slurs thrown at him for wearing high heels. 4. "Raiden who?" Compared to Samus, he's not even a footnote in video game history.Seriously, there's exponentially more male characters than female characters in video games (I think of the games that give the main char a gender, women are only 4% or something like that? I'd have to check, but it's pathetically low), and you're able to find one male character in heels? Not to be rude, but what on Earth do you think that proves? I keep seeing people go "aha, but Raiden!" like he's a "Gotcha" and for the life of me I can't figure out why they think they're proving.
  10. Sure. I'm the first to say that Alan drips with hostility toward Marvel and DC to the point where it blinds him and clouds his judgement. (I tend to think the hostility is well deserved, and am happy that there's at least one writer with enough "star power" to say things about them and get away with it. But the blindness resulting from it is definitely a bad thing.) But if you look at his comments, it wasn't "how dare they use my things!" It was him saying he thought it was a bit depressing that a major comics event was being crafted based around a short backup he wrote in Green Lanterns Corp Quarterly. He thought that showed a lack of creativity. I disagree. The lack of creativity was displayed elsewhere in DC's output at the time, and his old backup was a decent setup for another writer's story. But his point was never "get your hands off that, it's mine". He just had a very low opinion of DC in general, and suspected that DC wasn't giving writers enough breathing room if old backups in obscure titles were being turned into big events. Sure. I'm the first to say that Alan drips with hostility toward Marvel and DC to the point where it blinds him and clouds his judgement. (I tend to think the hostility is well deserved, and am happy that there's at least one writer with enough "star power" to say things about them and get away with it. But the blindness resulting from it is definitely a bad thing.) But if you look at his comments, it wasn't "how dare they use my things!" It was him saying he thought it was a bit depressing that a major comics event was being crafted based around a short backup he wrote in Green Lanterns Corp Quarterly. He thought that showed a lack of creativity. I disagree. The lack of creativity was found elsewhere in DC's lineup at the time... I disagree. Like I said, the stories felt like a mix of playing it safe and thus adding nothing, or taking chances and thus adding things that didn't work well with the original story. Cooke's output was particularly disasteful. Well obviously you know that. And he didn't try to claim they were. DC absolutely pushed Before Watchmen as an official followup. And since Moore wrote the twist ending deliberately in opposition to the traditional superhero story, where things can keep going on and on and on, he felt that making more "official" Watchmen stories was a particularly bad idea. The original was intended to be a self-contained anti-Superhero story. In his mind, anyone wanting to write more with the characters needed something more in mind than just continuing on with the characters a bit more. That's provably false. His Supreme was written without an ending so he could hand the book off to another writer, and that was the plan for his Glory too (although that book never happened). After Alan set up some essentials, he handed off Terra Obscure to Peter Hogan, and Greyshirt to Rick Veitch. Steve Moore did Tom Strong's Terrific Tales. Art Adams and Steve Moore had free reign to do whatever they wanted with the Johnny Future setup (resulting in Jonni Future). And as long as I'm mentioning Steve Moore, it's worth noting that there's a whole ugly history between DC, Alan, and other creators that are friends of Alan's, and that history definitely influenced his comments about Before Watchmen. Alan suspects DC was using dirty tricks and trying to get at him through his friends. And maybe he's right, and maybe it's just paranoia, but when it comes to DC and Alan there's more bad blood than you'd get if all the Red Cross' refrigerators broke down. Outside of dealings with DC, things are different. And yes, the Holy Terror comparison is... apt.
  11. I think you're looking at it wrong. When Moore uses someone else's character like Mister Hyde, he makes no bones about it: No, this is not an "official sequel". Don't be absurd. If anyone asked him if he considered LOEG to be an official sequel to any old stories, he'd raise his eyebrows and call them a very silly person. So yes, he did have a problem with Before Watchmen being presented as an official continuation of Watchmen, given that Watchmen was a self-contained story and he was highly skeptical about the quality of any follow-ups. Supreme, on the other hand, was not intended to be self-contained, and he ha no problem handing the book off to "whoever came next" (which ended up taking a very long time...) His secondary point was a (largely correct) prediction that nobody approaching the project would be doing so because they had a story they really wanted to tell. For the most part the prequels added essentially nothing. They were largely filler (unsurprising since their origin wasn't a writer pitching ideas to DC. DC wanted stories and found people willing to think some up). They came in two categories, the ones that dared to do something new (and didn't gel well with the original work as a result), and the ones that strove to fit in with Watchmen seamlessly (and as a result ended up pretty pointless). All involved parties would have been better off working on their own stuff. And that was Moore's biggest point in objecting to DC making more Watchmen. It was never "oy you, get off of my stuff, that's MINE!" it was always "oh for pity's sake, isn't there something better you could be doing?" Comparing him to Penders is extremely unfair.
  12. It's not that simple. He's being enabled by people making a dime off him. "Patrick" (aka "The Patman") who apparently has "a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design" working on an App. Mike Philpot, costume designer, who's creating "items" like "The Praetorians hat". CGI artists he's apparently hired to create 3D CGI models of Ken's designs. And of course there's always lawyers. A lot of it is him being in serious denial, but to be completely fair you need to look at the people that quite frankly seem to be exploiting him, giving him a thumbs up and telling him his ideas are great in the hopes of getting money from him.
  13. I think Sally Hogan most likely hit the nail on the head in that giant summary she did. Archie must've lost a lot of contracts years ago, and now Archie can't use anything old, and probably not anything spun off of old ideas. We're not going to get straight answers because they don't want to admit that's what happened. Conquering Storm and her clan? Arguably spun off Lightning Lynx, so probably not usable. Same with the Bride of Endless Reach, spun off Uma Arachnis. Matilda came from a line Ken threw in about Mighty having a kid sister, so she's a no-go, and Uncle Beauregard was from a Gallagher line, so he's probably gone. The Foreman was based on the Nerbs, so he's gone, all the Zone cops Ian came up with are gone, along with all the other Moebians. And that's just the characters Flynn created that are off-limits - everyone created for the book by other writers is gone. At this point, asking if the characters are returning is the wrong question. We'd be better off asking Archie to do something to get characters back. It's especially unlikely with Ken's creations, but we may as well keep pestering Archie about the characters (particularly the non-Penders ones). Considering Archie want to keep reprinting old material, they may be thinking about getting some new contracts signed by other old creators anyway.
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