first_img Sega Makes PC Version of Sonic Mania Playable Offline After BacklashSonic Mania is the Long-Lost Sonic Game We’ve Always Wanted Stay on target I’m no patriot, especially these days. So I have no problem decrying the increasing influence of Western video game design values over the rest of the industry. So many bad gaming practices, from bland white guy protagonists to an overemphasis on getting shot by racist teenagers online to a very PC-centric unfinished release model, can trace their origins to American video games. And even bad trends from abroad, like free-to-play mechanics originating in Korean MMOs, only got worse once they blew up big in America.Contrast this to Japan. My thoughts on anime should convince you I’m no otaku, but surely anyone can recognize that countless amazing video games have come out of Japan. The country, specifically Nintendo, saved the entire console industry with the NES in 1983 after Western greed collapsed Atari. And ever since the region has produced games bursting with character, style, and intriguing mechanics. As Japan has declined the industry has been poorer for it. It’s no wonder the incredible gaming year we’ve already had so far has been chock full of major Japanese games.However, “Japan=Good, America=Bad” is a dumb, reductive way to look at the medium. Plenty of good and bad games come from both regions. And everyone has their own tastes. We shouldn’t focus on arbitrary borders. Just as we should embrace multiculturalism in life we should also embrace multiculturalism in video game development.There are times when Western developers getting their gritty, rusty, chain-wrapped hands on beloved Japanese franchises have resulted in disasters. Just asks fans of Resident Evil (Operation: Racoon City), Devil May Cry (the reboot), Castlevania (Lords of Shadow), Bomberman (Act Zero), and Bionic Commando (the other reboot). But other times a shot of American influence is just what some waning Japanese franchises needed, delivering the best of both worlds. It’s like how Avatar: The Last Airbender, made in the West, is objectively the best anime. These are some examples of Japanese games improved by Western developers.Sonic ManiaFinally, there’s a great Sonic the Hedgehog game that isn’t a Twitter feed. The classic Genesis Sonic games are fine and important for their time but as platformers they are slippery and imprecise, nowhere near their Super Mario counterparts. Meanwhile, the 3D Sonic “games” fluctuate between frustratingly close to something cool and complete trash heaps.Sonic Mania is the actual great 2D Sonic game you remember the earlier games being. And to bring this vision to life the game needed a team of true fans, not original Sega developers long-since burnt out on the series. After making waves in the Sonic community with his incredible, rebuilt classic Sonic ports, Christian Whitehead and his crack squad of Sonic maniacs have finally crafted the retro revival Sonic game you want.Metroid PrimeAfter perfecting an entire subgenre of nonlinear action-adventure-exploration with Super Metroid on the SNES, the first lady of Nintendo’s premier sci-fi franchise took a bit of a break. But when it was time for the series to return in the new millennium, fans were wary to learn that the team responsible would be Texas newcomers Retro Studios. Furthermore, the game would morph from a 2D sidescroller to a first-person shooter, a genre mostly ignored in Japan but beloved in America.The result was Metroid Prime for the Nintendo GameCube, a masterpiece. This leap to 3D did for Metroid what Ocarina of Time did for Zelda, translating all the core enduring gameplay concepts into a dazzling new form. And the use of 3D graphics isn’t just window dressing. The moody, dense, interconnected spaces you explore make use of 3D level design many games today still can’t approach. A radical new perspective is precisely what Metroid needed, and with Metroid Prime, the Americans at Retro Studios under Nintendo’s guiding hand delivered.Metal Gear SolidThere was a Metal Gear Solid game developed by a Western studio, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes by Silicon Knights. But that GameCube remake of the PS1 original is divisive and Denis Dyack is nuts. Instead, we want to acknowledge how Western influence in general has improved the series. Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima represents an almost perfect synthesis of East and West thanks to his adoration of Western action cinema and his irrepressible anime impulse. But by Metal Gear Solid 3 (an otherwise fantastic game and the best one in the series) the very Japanese control scheme was beginning to feel archaic.Say what you will about Metal Gear Solid 4. It’s the best one in the series. But on a sheer gameplay level the revamped controls for shooting and sneaking were much easier to handle, and part of that was due to Western contributor Ryan Payton. Years later, Metal Gear Solid V, the best one in the series, Westernized itself even further with modern controls and an incredible open-world format. Kojima’s next game, Death Stranding, even stars Western actors Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, so he’s all in on making games inspired by the whole world.Ms. Pac-ManThe original 1980 Pac-Man is an arcade classic, a foundational video game work. But it’s not perfect. If you know what you’re doing, if you sell hot sauce and wear American flag ties while antagonizing family men, you can figure out the ghost patterns and virtually break the game. It kind of robs the kill screen of a lot of its luster.Along with being an early appreciated example of gender balance in gaming, Ms. Pac-Man released two years later in 1982 fixes these issues. It keeps the gameplay consistently fresh with new maps and enemy behavior. It’s a better game, and it began as a hacked mod put together by American developers and publisher Midway. This has caused some internal strife both legally and in terms of pride. At times Namco has held the unauthorized game somewhat at arm’s length. But they do own Ms. Pac-Man now and occasionally include the feminist gem in classic compilations.Contra 4Named after a military boondoggle involving America, sidescrolling run ‘n gun Contra is a Konami classic that isn’t a health spa. Its brutal difficulty is responsible for the world’s most famous cheat code. And it spawned a respectable franchise, with Contra III: The Alien Wars being one of my personal favorite pulls for the upcoming SNES Classic Edition.Perhaps an early sign of Konami’s increasing apathy for making its own games in Japan, Contra 4, the next numbered entry in the series released years later in 2007, got handed to the American developers at WayForward. Fortunately, WayForward are masters at delivering gorgeous, pixelated sidescrollers, especially on Nintendo hardware. Using the DS’s two screens as one huge vertical canvas, Contra 4 provides a new kind of Contra spectacle. And honestly, we shouldn’t be surprised Western devs were good at making a game starring gun-toting 1980s beefcakes.Punch-Out!!Nintendo’s Punch-Out!! series has always had a strong Western appeal. It stars a scrappy fictional boxer from New York beating up global stereotypes. And the final boss is real-life American boxer Mike Tyson. Plus, boxing is just the type of blood sport that Americans are into. At least with wrestling I understand why Japan responds to the potential for bizarre melodrama.The latest and arguably greatest Punch-Out!! game was developed for the Wii by Canadian studio Next Level Games in 2009. Instead of totally rebuilding the original they just smartly enhanced it with smoother controls, more expressive polygonal characters, and remixed modes. It’s no wonder Nintendo tapped them for the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS sequel.I considered putting Rare on this list for the British team’s reimagining of Nintendo classics like Donkey Kong and Star Fox. But despite how beloved as those games are, at this point Retro Studios and Next Level Games have just delivered more consistent work as Western studios tackling Nintendo’s very very very Japanese games.View as: One Page Slides1/61. Finally, there’s a good Sonic the Hedgehog game. It’s called Sonic Mania, and it was made by Western fans led by Christian Whitehead.2. Who would’ve guessed the unproven Texans at Retro Studios could successfully reinvent Metroid into a first-person shooter with Metroid Prime?3. The Metal Gear series became much more playable after embracing some Western gameplay and control standards.4. Ms. Pac-Man is a Western hack of the original, and a better game.5. In Contra 4, WayForward’s take on Konami’s seminal shooter, the second screen sky’s the limit.6. The Canadian developers at Next Level Games revitalized Nintendo’s boxing classic Punch-Out!! on the Wii.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img

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Tagged with: Digital Events About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Advertisement Game of two halves online QXL.com and the Auction Channel have teamed up to auction online sporting memorabilia and the right to use the FA Cup for 24 hours in aid of the Cancer Research Campaign.  35 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 29 November 1999 | News

first_img‘Responsible investments’ refers to financial investments that align with a charity’s mission and purpose. The regulator announced the review earlier this year, after an informal listening exercise found that the way responsible investment is outlined in its existing guidance does not give all trustees sufficient confidence that they can consider, or that the Commission supports, this approach to investment. Melanie May | 12 April 2021 | News Tagged with: Charity Commission investment About Melanie May Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com. The Charity Commission is asking for views on newly published draft guidance for making responsible investments. It has now published a draft of updated guidance and is asking charities and others to feed back on whether the changes are clear, and make the guidance easier to use. The consultation runs for six weeks until 20 May. Advertisement “We have worked hard to ensure our draft guidance is easy to understand and empowers trustees to make decisions that are right for their charity. Paul Latham, Director of Communications and Policy at the Charity Commission said: “I encourage trustees, charity staff, those involved in investment management, and anyone with an interest in how charities are run to take part in our consultation, to help ensure our final guidance is as clear and empowering as possible.” AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Charity Commission consults on draft guidance for responsible investments “During the listening exercise we held last year, we learnt that many charities are interested in considering responsible investments but need more clarity around the regulatory position. Under the draft guidance trustees of all charities can decide whether or not to adopt a responsible investment approach that reflects the charity’s purposes and values, and not just focus on the financial return. The new draft explains that the rules applying to responsible investments are those that apply to all financial investments, including that trustees’ decisions must always be made in the best interests of the charity, and in line with its governing document. The guidance also highlights the slightly different rules that apply when charities invest permanent endowments.  783 total views,  1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis The guidance is part of the Commission’s wider guidance on Charities and Investment Matters, which is not yet being updated. According to the Commission this is because it recognises an urgent need to first address concerns about the clarity of its existing guidance around responsible investments.last_img

first_imgIn August 2018, after the murders of two other journalists in Playa del Carmen – Rubén Pat and José Guadalupe Chan Dzib of Semanario Playa News (an online weekly) – Romero requested protection from the Federal Mechanism for Protecting Journalists, which gave him a “panic button” and four police bodyguards who followed him whenever he went out. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is appalled to learn that Francisco Romero Díaz, a freelance crime reporter who was receiving Mexican government protection, was murdered today in Playa del Carmen, in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo. He was the fifth journalist to be slain this year in Mexico, now the world’s deadliest country for the media. NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Follow the news on Mexico News RSF_en The other journalists murdered this year in Mexico were Telésforo Santiago Enríquez, Jesús Eugenio Ramos Rodríguez, Rafael Murúa Manríquez and Santiago Barroso. Romero’s death means that Mexico is now the world’s deadliest country for journalists. 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies May 13, 2021 Find out more News MexicoAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Citizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionViolence to go further Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state May 5, 2021 Find out more But he was not being escorted at the time of his murder. Rubén Pat was also receiving protection from the Federal Mechanism when he was killed. Organisation MexicoAmericas Condemning abusesProtecting journalists Citizen-journalistsFreedom of expressionViolence “The Quintana Roo authorities must quickly identify the perpetrators and instigators of this shocking execution-style murder and bring them to justice,” said Emmanuel Colombié, the head of RSF’s Latin America bureau. RSF has been told that Romero received a phone call at around 5 a.m. today urging him to go at once to a nearby bar called La Gota to cover an important event. His lifeless body was found a few meters from the bar an hour later. He had been badly beaten and then shot in the head. A freelance crime and court reporter, correspondent for the regional daily Quintana Roo Hoy, who had founded a local news page on Facebook called “Ocurrió Aquí,” Romero had often received death threats in connection with his reporting. Help by sharing this information Reports News Receive email alerts Mexico is ranked 144th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Source: Facebook “Francisco Romero Díaz is the fifth journalist to be murdered this year in Mexico. The government must take bold decisions and completely overhaul the Federal Mechanism for Protecting Journalists, whose effectiveness is constantly being called into question.” April 28, 2021 Find out more May 16, 2019 Mexican journalist murdered while under federal protectionlast_img

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