I’m angry. You see, recently a truly fantastic Metroid 2 fan recreation was released: AM2R. I played it for a live stream. It’s truly fantastic, and has an amazing amount of original work put into it, being far and away more than a “fan port” of the game.
But then it got taken down by everyone’s least favorite four letter word, a DMCA, straight from Nintendo. I’m very frustrated with Nintendo for the copyright claim, very frustrated the game was taken down (though torrent sites seem to be ensuring it will not be lost). But that’s not what I’m writing this article about.
I’m writing this because this conversation about copyright and fan projects is…the same as all conversations about fan projects. The conversation is full of ignorance, misunderstanding, and what I can only assume are deliberate bald-faced lies about what companies have to do to protect their copyright.
Companies Don’t Have To Shut Down Projects to Keep Copyright
But the point of this article isn’t to explain why G2A is bad; if you’re not sold on that, click one of the many sources I’ve already provided. Lars Doucet recently did particularly good roundup article on why G2A is literally worse than piracy: “G2A, Piracy, and the Four Currencies”. I strongly recommend you read it before continuing if you are not yet aware of the depth of the problem G2A poses.
Let’s back up. A couple weeks ago an email hit my inbox about Crimson Room Decade, a follow-up to, apparently, the most popular Flash game of all time, Crimson Room, which allegedly had 800,000,000 plays! That’s great! A Room Escape classic, and I play lots of Flash games on my channel, so I decided I’d not only play Crimson Room Decade, but the whole series as a fun flashback!
A Classic, Long Dead
This is the part where things get bad. I noticed while the pitch for Decade refers to the success of the original Crimson Room, the site and PR email I got included no links to the original. So I googled a bit and found http://www.crimson-room.net/, which has links to…a dead website. Not even direct links to the games oddly enough, just the landing page of http://www.fasco-csc.com/, a long-since lapsed domain that now serves only as ad space for unlucky searchers for this, a Flash game that apparently had 800 million views.
Update 2018-03-19: Yes, Kirby Star Allies is out, and I’ll be evaluating how it sits with the existing canon of Kirby once I’ve completed it thoroughly. As I have not finished it yet I would ask that spoilers for Star Allies be refrained from for the time being.
Please note this article contains extreme spoilers for a variety of Kirby games including in-depth spoilers for the recently released Kirby Planet Robobot (and yes, spoilers are important for a Kirby game), so read at your own risk. There’s also a bit of theorycrafting I try to keep to the end.
There’s a bit of a running not-quite-joke with Kirby that it’s a surprisingly dark series, and while true, most mentions of this situation don’t quite dive deep enough. Everyone points to the blood in Dream Land 3 and 64 final boss fights. And who could forget Marx Soul’s scream? And it’s true, these are pretty grim, and Kirby games have a trend of pulling a heel turn towards the end, which is interesting on it’s own. But things go deeper.
This one might be a little familiar since I was using it for an avatar for about two years! It’s by Andrew Stewart, and was my first commissioned artwork related to my avatar! I have a newer, more Yoshi’s Island-esque avatar I tend to use now, but that doesn’t mean I like this one any less.
This is an oldie but still a goodie, an artwork by Bamseper. This is from wayyyy back from Terraria’s 1.0 days or so. Bamseper’s been a fan for years and a pretty chatty one. It may not be new to me, but I’d like to share all the fan art I get and this one still warms my heart to this day.
Hyperdimension Neptunia can be a confusing series to try to keep up with for new players; it’s actually pretty simple, but the titles are definitely weird for sure. So here’s two explanations, one short that tells you all you need to know, and one long that tells you probably way more than you need to know.
Update 2018-03-19: So Cyberdimension Neptunia released and it’s largely in the “non-canon spinoffs” section, though it could potentially be in the main timeline post-Victory 2. Not much of consequence story-wise happens in it so it doesn’t really matter where/whether it’s in the timeline, though it’s inclusion of certain characters makes it clearly post V2 if it is “canon”. But it’s mostly focused on slice-of-life and character development over any plot threads.
Basically we have three mainline games which have a PS3 release and a Vita/PC Remake, a fourth mainline game with a single PS4/PC release, and a bunch of Vita/PC side games with no bearing in canon. The remakes are functionally equivalent to the main games in terms of the canon story, so don’t worry about “which” canon.
VIIR is a new addition, but is largely the same as VII as far as story is concerned.
On May 10th, MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies releases. It’s a multiplayer Neptunia spinoff focusing on Blanc (sigh, and Neptune…) that’s based on Neptunia U’s parts but with a new Multiplayer component, some Monster Hunter inspiration and some general retooling that makes it feel more like it’s own game. This title is from Idea Factory and Tamsoft, developers of Senran Kagura and also Neptunia U.
I’ve played both the Japanese and English releases, so let’s see how this multiplayer action spin on the Neptunia franchise stacks up.