Issue #7: New Beginnings – January/February 2014
Our final issue of the Year 1 subscription cycle, New Beginnings is also the first new issue published in 2014 – and its theme embraces the idea of starting over. Getting a blank slate. Opening a new chapter. Our central feature examines game developers who did just that, stepping away from the jobs that made them famous in order to pursue a new dream by founding smaller, independent studios. Yacht Club Games – formed by former employees of WayForward Technologies – is our inspiration, and also the makers of the game on the cover, Shovel Knight. We reveal exclusive new information on it inside, preview 2014’s biggest upcoming games on 3DS and Wii U and review the first hits of the year, including Bravely Default and Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. So grab a copy, won’t you?
SHOVELING FOR JUSTICE!
Issue #7 marked our first time featuring a non-first-party game on the cover of NF Magazine, and we were thrilled that such an honor could be bestowed upon the most honorable Shovel Knight. Yacht Club Games’ own concept artist Erin Pellon illustrated the cover art for us, and our four-page preview inside revealed all-new, never-before-announced details about the game’s mechanics and features.
2014 YEAR IN PREVIEW
As the first issue of a new calendar year, we did our annual duty of turning our attention to the biggest new releases scheduled to arrive in the next 12 months on both Wii U and 3DS. In a twist on our previous year’s preview focus, though, this time we paired recaps of the known info about each game with our own speculation/wishlists for what elements we hope will be a part of each final product.
WRAPPING UP 2013
With NF Magazine now over one year old, we were able to turn our focus backward as well as forward – we evaluated how our own previews and predictions from Issue #1 had played out one year later, and presented our list of nominees for our second round of NF Game of the Year Awards (which reads a lot like the list of games that have appeared on our previous issue’s covers).
The developers at Yacht Club Games took a major risk when they left the relative security of their former jobs at WayForward Technologies and set sail as an all-new studio working on Shovel Knight. Our central feature explores how other developers have followed that same path over the years – leaving the job that first made them famous behind in order to open a new career chapter at a smaller studio.
THEY CAN DIG IT!
In Issue #5, new NF artist Thor Thorvaldson provided a single piece of character art for our pages. In Issue #6, he illustrated the large Mighty No. 9 cast collage that kicked off that issue’s Download section. Now, in Issue #7, he’s taken the next step in creating even larger art, crafting a two-page-spanning action scene featuring the entire history of video game heroes who like to dig. Can you dig it?
Finally, one of the biggest launches for Nintendo at the end of 2013 came not from Nintendo themselves, but from a group of dedicated fans who’ve been tirelessly working to improve one of the Big N’s games – the creators of Project M, the Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod that brings that game more in line with 2001’s Melee (and adds lots of extras too). We interviewed them about their work!