Goriginal Content

EoD - Back in black

EoD - Smash controls

EoD - Instagram fun

Xeodrifter diary #13

GN Podcast #480

EoD - Smash Wii U!
 

Junction Point studio closed

It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2. - Disney



Unfortunately, it looks like yesterday's rumor is today's fact. No word from Warren Spector at this time.

Link

Also check out:
Discussion Preview
24 total comments (View all)
No Avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:05

It's a shame. I liked Spector as a designer because of his passion and enthusiasm for Disney. He truly wanted to create an awesome Disney game. Problem was, the games weren't that good. The first was highly anticipated but turned out to be dull...and the second was essentially the same thing, but because the first was so bad, it had much worse sales. It was pretty doomed to begin with. Can't say I didn't see this coming. :(
No Avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:07

that sucks, hope employees find another company to work with, they have talent
No Avatar
Anonymous
29 Jan 2013 14:08

Unfortunately I called this many days in advance

In response to this "Disney Infinity may put a stop to standalone movie games for Disney"

viewtopic.php?f=43&t=103882&p=761924#p761924

Anyway I beat both EM1 and 2. I'm going to miss the atmosphere that game painted. As well as the amazing soundtrack by Jim Dooley, really just incredible music.

Most everything other than the gameplay was great in Epic Mickey. It was fun to experience the world and talk to all the neat and forgotten characters. I also enjoyed restoring the scenery and seeing how much it would change. Anyway the game had some flaws and EM2 had some serious flaws but other than that I had a great time with both games.

Sadly I don't think Disney Infinity is going to capture the same aesthetic when they bring in Mickey. So farewell fantastically realized nightmarish but charming world of "Wasteland" it was fun while it lasted.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:16

Darn shame, I still haven't played EM2 but I got it waiting on my desk!

Disney Epic Mickey was some great fun in my opinion. There were definitely some flaws in it, but they weren't big enough for me to throw the game down.

I also played Power of Illusion, and while it wasn't as good as it could have (or should have) been it was still pretty good in my humble opinion.

I hope Warren Spector and the rest of his gang the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Guess Duck Tales will never happen now huh? Maybe they can let Warren design some Disney Infinity Duck Tales world/toys? It won't be the same, but it's something.

I'm still utterly shocked at Disney Epic Mickey 2's performance though. It had more exposure due to being on more consoles and followed up a popular title (who cares if hardcore gamers found faults in it, I bet the thousands of little kids who got it for Christmas loved it). I don't watch TV anymore, did they poorly advertise it or something? Or did going multiconsole actually hurt them? (Costing more money to port and manufacture and what not).
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:18

The Epic Mickey games were pretty bad so I don't feel like we're losing much here. I do however feel sorry for those who are now out of work.

Disney Infinity looks pretty bland and generic in it's design. Real shame they aren't planning any solo Disney games anymore because of it.
No Avatar
Anonymous
29 Jan 2013 14:21

Now for some jokes

So now that Epic Mickey is gone will it too fall into the Wasteland? Will there now be a recursion of Mickey's playing as themselves playing Epic Mickey? Does Junction Point get a spot in the Wasteland as well? Is there going to be a nightmarish but charming Warren Spector character in the Haunted Mansion?

So many questions unanswered.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:32

Meh I played the first pretty bland and boring. Then I played the demo of the second one because it seemed better but it was still kinda bland...I just don't see why we need Epic Mickey games when we have the Kingdom Hearts series...a MUCH better series to be honest...
No Avatar
Anonymous
29 Jan 2013 14:38

Kingdom Hearts in it's current state is one of the most garbage bloated gameplay experiences you can get. At least Epic Mickey didn't make me cringe whenever a character would open it's mouth.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:41

Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:55

mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Yuck Kingdom Hearts is disgusting. Japanese designers should NOT be working with Disney characters.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 14:56

mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Hey now, don't go dissing Oswald's VA! He's voiced by Frank Welker, easily the greatest voice over actor working today. He's not only very talented in doing dialogue, he can also perform creature/animal sounds/effects.

I haven't played enough of the game to actually get a feel for it myself, but from what I've heard of Oswald, Welker's voice matches him well, especially fitting that classic Disney character feel. If it gets worse throughout the game though, I'd most likely blame it on poor direction from the audio director (or whoever is in the booth giving directions).

I dunno about his GF though, she could be terrible for all I know :P.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 15:06

GeneticRepoMan wrote:
mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Hey now, don't go dissing Oswald's VA! He's voiced by Frank Welker, easily the greatest voice over actor working today. He's not only very talented in doing dialogue, he can also perform creature/animal sounds/effects.

I haven't played enough of the game to actually get a feel for it myself, but from what I've heard of Oswald, Welker's voice matches him well, especially fitting that classic Disney character feel. If it gets worse throughout the game though, I'd most likely blame it on poor direction from the audio director (or whoever is in the booth giving directions).

I dunno about his GF though, she could be terrible for all I know :P.


Don't get me wrong I LOVE Frank Welker as Nibbler and his various animal noises but man he chose a wrong direction for Oswald IMO.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 15:11

mariomaniac45213 wrote:
GeneticRepoMan wrote:
mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Hey now, don't go dissing Oswald's VA! He's voiced by Frank Welker, easily the greatest voice over actor working today. He's not only very talented in doing dialogue, he can also perform creature/animal sounds/effects.

I haven't played enough of the game to actually get a feel for it myself, but from what I've heard of Oswald, Welker's voice matches him well, especially fitting that classic Disney character feel. If it gets worse throughout the game though, I'd most likely blame it on poor direction from the audio director (or whoever is in the booth giving directions).

I dunno about his GF though, she could be terrible for all I know :P.


Don't get me wrong I LOVE Frank Welker as Nibbler and his various animal noises but man he chose a wrong direction for Oswald IMO.


Very understandable, and like I said, I haven't even beaten the game yet, so who knows? I may want to beat Oswald to death by the end of it due to him getting on my nerves xD. I do hear that he talks A LOT during game play.

I'm mostly just going by first impressions, and those certainly can change!
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 15:23

@mariomaniac45213 The voice he picked is a modified version of Fredd from Scooby do and adult bam-bam. If you have something to blame. Blame the voice director. I know they told him to act annoying. I've seen enough directors think hyper slash idiot speak is cool.
No Avatar
29 Jan 2013 15:29

TheBitBlock wrote:
mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Yuck Kingdom Hearts is disgusting. Japanese designers should NOT be working with Disney characters.


great... a Xenophobe too
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 15:50

Well, that´s was expected, "Epic Mickey 2" not only suffer the "Wii Curse" after go multiconsole, but now "Epic Mickey Series" will have the "Third Game Curse" like MegaManLegends

SPOILERS:
(Epic Mickey 2 end in Cliffhanger)

I like EM1 was one of the few Wii Games i actually like to replay, but im not going to buy EM2 because is too bad.
No Avatar
Anonymous
29 Jan 2013 17:07

Ashes to ashes.
No Avatar
29 Jan 2013 17:19

warbearer wrote:
TheBitBlock wrote:
Yuck Kingdom Hearts is disgusting. Japanese designers should NOT be working with Disney characters.


great... a Xenophobe too


That's not xenophobic...

Either I'm missing something, or you don't know what xenophobia is or are being over sensitive.

Japanese have different game styles, make games differently and the like. He's not being xenophobic by saying the Japanese designers don't suit using Disney characters.
No Avatar
Anonymous
29 Jan 2013 19:46

I have beaten nearly every Kingdom Hearts game, Japanese and English (so I've got a bit to say about KH)

Kingdom Hearts 1
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts:COM US
Kingdom Hearts 2 JP
Kingdom Hearts 2 US
Kingdom Hearts: Re:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts: Re:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 days JP
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 days US
Kingdom Hearts:Re:Coded JP (The DS game I've never played the cellphone game)
Kingdom Hearts: BBS JP
Kingdom Hearts:BBS US (These come close to KH1 and COM in quality...very close)
Kingdom Hearts:Re:Coded US (a fantastic game actually!)
Kingdom Hearts:Dream Drop Distance US (I did not get the chance to play this one in Japanese unfortunately)

So with that said I believe I am qualified to verify and judge the quality of Kingdom Hearts as a whole. As well as how it compares to Epic Mickey in terms of atmosphere.

Anyway Epic Mickey trumps Kingdom Hearts in pure Disney nostalgia and requisite atmosphere. The music, the color schemes, the shapes, the characters, the dialog and the settings. EM cares about it's story as it pertains to it's characters.

Kingdom Hearts 1 actually cared a great deal about representing Disney in a good light. Hell KH1 could be a Disney cartoon provided it was edited down. It starts off like the Heroes Journey. All is normal, then stuff goes wrong, then you are thrust away from your home, adventure starts, hero gets stronger, learns more, hero triumphs over evil after facing many hardships, hero DOES NOT go back to the normal life...to be continued etc.

Furthermore in Kingdom Hearts 1 it feels like you inhabit a world with characters that were doing stuff without you for quite awhile. You can walk up to them, you can talk to them. Also the scenery played a bigger role in KH1 and KH2(less so in this) In KH1 you can go into stores and houses while at Traverse town. In addition to that there would also be people inside buildings. People that you could talk to. It felt a lot more like a new gen RPG then what it currently feels like. In a word it felt like a Square Soft game but in 3D. There was a sense of slow progression as you actually solved clues and helped people. Actually it felt like a point and click Adventure game too. Go and play Kingdom Hearts 1 and then play any of the ones after that and you'll notice the difference in the amount of the world that is worked on and polished. In KH1 you can sidle along edges. There wasn't really a reason but just having it allowed the game to have another form of expression. You sure as hell didn't need to sidle in combat. Just that inclusion goes to show you how much focus moving around received. Unfortunately all that has been stripped out of the game. You can no longer go into shops, or any buildings, talk to npcs in worlds(moogles maybe) or interact with the environment in a meaningful and permanent way. Furthermore there is no reason to explore or collect things other than filling up your journal. Which I might add felt rewarding in KH1. The more useful trinkets you have to collect the more rewarding exploration can be. For example because you can equip three stat boosting items to Sora in KH1 it gave you a good reason to go around and search for treasure chests. This was especially true because certain equips would give you a huge helping hand in combat that leveling up couldn't.

Anyway KH2 is the game that started the downward trend of focusing purely on combat. Which is a barely passable God of War clone.(which is already a clone of DMC) It focuses too much on stupid combat instead of building up a world with characters that feel believable and charming. It's still a fairly enjoyable experience throughout.

The main issue with Kingdom Hearts today is the asinine story and the homogenization of world building, character interactions, choices, dialogue, cut scenes, representation of Disney Worlds/Characters/Script, player verbs(running, jumping, attacking etc) inventory, stat manipulation etc ETC

Let me amend all that to a single thought. Whats wrong with KH today is that with each new game the veneer of the world is getting sanded away. The team keeps cutting away all the charm and leaving players with just systems and bare bones character interaction.

Overall Kingdom Hearts 1 seems like a labor of love. A game that had to prove itself if it wanted to survive. While it wasn't perfect it was a unique and slightly mystifying experience. I'm really looking forward to the PS3 rerelease of KH1 and RE:COM. If we are lucky Square Enix will realize that it is a much fuller experience than any other KH game. And if we are really lucky they will apply this thought to KH3. I want the combat of BBS with the heart and soul of Kingdom Hearts 1.

Of course this is just my opinion. Which is based on playing nearly every game in the series.
User avatar
29 Jan 2013 20:13

If you can't deliver, you don't eat. It's as simple as that. Stay on your toes, game industry.
No Avatar
29 Jan 2013 23:29

Brennan88 wrote:
warbearer wrote:
TheBitBlock wrote:
Yuck Kingdom Hearts is disgusting. Japanese designers should NOT be working with Disney characters.


great... a Xenophobe too


That's not xenophobic...

Either I'm missing something, or you don't know what xenophobia is or are being over sensitive.

Japanese have different game styles, make games differently and the like. He's not being xenophobic by saying the Japanese designers don't suit using Disney characters.


great... a white knight
No Avatar
30 Jan 2013 00:17

warbearer wrote:
Brennan88 wrote:
warbearer wrote:great... a Xenophobe too


That's not xenophobic...

Either I'm missing something, or you don't know what xenophobia is or are being over sensitive.

Japanese have different game styles, make games differently and the like. He's not being xenophobic by saying the Japanese designers don't suit using Disney characters.


great... a white knight


You have got to be kidding me...
I'm trying to figure out whether I should logic with you or not. I have a feeling that it would be "not very effective" on you.

As for the employees at Junction Point, hopefully they can get back onto their feet quickly.
User avatar
30 Jan 2013 19:00

TheBitBlock wrote:
mariomaniac45213 wrote:Apparently you WEREN'T listening to Oswald's terrible VA and his gf's. I wanted to punch the screen in the demo everytime I heard them speak. Also I was referring to the first two Kingdom Hearts never played any of the spin-off/side games...


Yuck Kingdom Hearts is disgusting. Japanese designers should NOT be working with Disney characters.

Overreaction much? Disgusting is Aquaman, Superman 64, Drake of the 99 Dragons, Sonic 06, or Charlie's Angels, so cut the drama crud.
User avatar
30 Jan 2013 19:12

Fuego6 wrote:I have beaten nearly every Kingdom Hearts game, Japanese and English (so I've got a bit to say about KH)

Kingdom Hearts 1
Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts:COM US
Kingdom Hearts 2 JP
Kingdom Hearts 2 US
Kingdom Hearts: Re:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts: Re:COM JP
Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 days JP
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 days US
Kingdom Hearts:Re:Coded JP (The DS game I've never played the cellphone game)
Kingdom Hearts: BBS JP
Kingdom Hearts:BBS US (These come close to KH1 and COM in quality...very close)
Kingdom Hearts:Re:Coded US (a fantastic game actually!)
Kingdom Hearts:Dream Drop Distance US (I did not get the chance to play this one in Japanese unfortunately)

So with that said I believe I am qualified to verify and judge the quality of Kingdom Hearts as a whole. As well as how it compares to Epic Mickey in terms of atmosphere.

Anyway Epic Mickey trumps Kingdom Hearts in pure Disney nostalgia and requisite atmosphere. The music, the color schemes, the shapes, the characters, the dialog and the settings. EM cares about it's story as it pertains to it's characters.

Kingdom Hearts 1 actually cared a great deal about representing Disney in a good light. Hell KH1 could be a Disney cartoon provided it was edited down. It starts off like the Heroes Journey. All is normal, then stuff goes wrong, then you are thrust away from your home, adventure starts, hero gets stronger, learns more, hero triumphs over evil after facing many hardships, hero DOES NOT go back to the normal life...to be continued etc.

Furthermore in Kingdom Hearts 1 it feels like you inhabit a world with characters that were doing stuff without you for quite awhile. You can walk up to them, you can talk to them. Also the scenery played a bigger role in KH1 and KH2(less so in this) In KH1 you can go into stores and houses while at Traverse town. In addition to that there would also be people inside buildings. People that you could talk to. It felt a lot more like a new gen RPG then what it currently feels like. In a word it felt like a Square Soft game but in 3D. There was a sense of slow progression as you actually solved clues and helped people. Actually it felt like a point and click Adventure game too. Go and play Kingdom Hearts 1 and then play any of the ones after that and you'll notice the difference in the amount of the world that is worked on and polished. In KH1 you can sidle along edges. There wasn't really a reason but just having it allowed the game to have another form of expression. You sure as hell didn't need to sidle in combat. Just that inclusion goes to show you how much focus moving around received. Unfortunately all that has been stripped out of the game. You can no longer go into shops, or any buildings, talk to npcs in worlds(moogles maybe) or interact with the environment in a meaningful and permanent way. Furthermore there is no reason to explore or collect things other than filling up your journal. Which I might add felt rewarding in KH1. The more useful trinkets you have to collect the more rewarding exploration can be. For example because you can equip three stat boosting items to Sora in KH1 it gave you a good reason to go around and search for treasure chests. This was especially true because certain equips would give you a huge helping hand in combat that leveling up couldn't.

Anyway KH2 is the game that started the downward trend of focusing purely on combat. Which is a barely passable God of War clone.(which is already a clone of DMC) It focuses too much on stupid combat instead of building up a world with characters that feel believable and charming. It's still a fairly enjoyable experience throughout.

The main issue with Kingdom Hearts today is the asinine story and the homogenization of world building, character interactions, choices, dialogue, cut scenes, representation of Disney Worlds/Characters/Script, player verbs(running, jumping, attacking etc) inventory, stat manipulation etc ETC

Let me amend all that to a single thought. Whats wrong with KH today is that with each new game the veneer of the world is getting sanded away. The team keeps cutting away all the charm and leaving players with just systems and bare bones character interaction.

Overall Kingdom Hearts 1 seems like a labor of love. A game that had to prove itself if it wanted to survive. While it wasn't perfect it was a unique and slightly mystifying experience. I'm really looking forward to the PS3 rerelease of KH1 and RE:COM. If we are lucky Square Enix will realize that it is a much fuller experience than any other KH game. And if we are really lucky they will apply this thought to KH3. I want the combat of BBS with the heart and soul of Kingdom Hearts 1.

Of course this is just my opinion. Which is based on playing nearly every game in the series.
Your love for KH1 is based off of 2 things:
1. Nostalgia
2. The fact that Square overused the levels from the first game way too many times which reinforced the nostalgia of how much better those levels were.

Also, how can you like Coded and CoM? You talk about systems and you say you like the two with the most different (and many KH fans say the worst) combat system?

However, I do agree with the convoluted storyline. This is a game that children play and I don't see how many could follow the asinine story other than very ardent kids. Heck, I have been playing KH since 2002 and I have to do a refresh over everything once a new game comes out.

Also, the characters. I feel like I am dealing with the Sonic franchise. How many characters do we need? Stick with the characters already created in the first game. Why has Sora become such an idiot? Must've been the memory pod. :lol:

View the full discussion!

Quickie Search

"Advanced" Search

Anti-social Tendencies

Advertisements

RSS feed trough

News Feed
Top Stories
Console News
Portables News
Podcast Feed
GoNintendo Radio Feed
Twitter Feed

Affiliates + Friends

Destructoid
Gamersyde
Modojo
TheBitBlock
Anime Your Way