News Article

Pier Solar HD Delayed, Wii U Version Will Now Come With Built-In Achievements

Posted by Damien McFerran

Certification process throws up some issues

WaterMelon's rebooted 16-bit RPG Pier Solar and the Great Architects HD was due for release earlier this year, but the developer has now revealed that a last-minute snag in the certification process has resulted in a minor delay.

Apparently it's Microsoft which is kicking up a stink — it rejected the game due to "internal requirements". Rather than stagger the launch, WaterMelon is now holding back all versions of the game (that's over 10 iterations) until such requirements have been met. According to the studio, the fixes are minor and shouldn't take long to action.

It's not all bad news, though — to make the additional wait a little more bearable, WaterMelon has gone into detail regarding some of the bonus features which have been skilfully worked in the HD remaster. A new ending has been confirmed — and the possibility of secret endings teased — and the save system has been reworked to make it more agreeable. Graphical filters also make the cut, as do built-in achievements for the Wii U edition of the game.

WaterMelon will announce the new release date once all versions of the game are approved.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

[via joystiq.com]

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User Comments (64)

jpelgrom

#1

jpelgrom said:

"Apparently it's Microsoft which is kicking up a stink — it rejected the game due to "internal requirements". Rather than stagger the launch, WaterMelon is now holding back all versions of the game (that's over 10 iterations) until such requirements have been met."

It's makes sense they hold back all versions of the game: Microsoft's ID@Xbox programme requires that the game is available at launch on Xbox platforms, and not on other platforms before that date (although I think they won't look at the Mega Drive version, since it was not an official game launch on that platform).

Tsurii897

#3

Tsurii897 said:

shakes his fist angrily at Microsoft
So it was you!

Really appreciate, that the devs were using the time to work a bit more on those things, tho. Delays can be annoying, but if it means I'm getting a better game, it's all good ;)

smikey

#6

smikey said:

"rather than stagger releases" which Microsoft wouldn't even let them do in the first place.
It's not like it will be a mass microsoft seller is it.
Most xbox fans aren't exactly known for being fans of games from the past / or games influenced by games from the past.

I still think the game will sell well when finally released but xbox will almost certainly be one of the lowest sales numbers if it doesn't finish bottom.

& @DarkLloyd yes at the end of the trailer it says ps4 along with all others

Player4

#7

Player4 said:

Damn you Microsoft!

But really tho, I can't wait to play this game and it's too bad it got delayed..

Kaze_Memaryu

#8

Kaze_Memaryu said:

Argh, Microsoft! Now that they finally got everything ready, you just had to ruin it for everyone! Thanks for reminding me again why I don't use your stuff anymore!

Genesaur

#10

Genesaur said:

I guess it's not a huge deal to me. I probably wouldn't get it for some time, anyway. Plenty of other Wuu stuff to catch up on.

Morph

#12

Morph said:

I cant understand why indie devs in particular dont shun xbox because of their stupid rules

readyletsgo

#13

readyletsgo said:

So, is this coming to the 3ds too? 10 platforms, so I guess that's phone's as well. If not I'll get the WiiU version

FragRed

#14

FragRed said:

@Morph I think a fair few have been actually. There has been a fair few Sony exclusives coming out or being announced recently.

SKTTR

#15

SKTTR said:

At least we get a full version that has even the achievement features from the Xbox version. I wish The Cave had this kind of thing, as there were funny, replay enhancing achievements in the original but they were all cut out from the Wii U version.

Mega719

#17

Mega719 said:

Thanks a lot Microsoft I thought you were warming up to indies but apparently you're not. I wasn't really looking forward to this but it's still unfair. We don't have Forced coming anytime soon because of the same reason

WanderingPB

#18

WanderingPB said:

If it will give them time to fix up and improve the game in all versions im all for it. Nintendo themselves are tough on their requirements as well especially finding bugs look at Shovel Knight and Armillo for example those games have been ready for awhile but were held back b/c of bugs infact didnt a few people report sum glitches in Shovel Knight after its release?

Id rather have an incredible game like Shovel Knight that needs a small little patch then a completely broken game like Battlefield 4…im always willing to wait for a good game

SmaMan

#21

SmaMan said:

I've been waiting on my Genesis reprint on this game since LAST Christmas... what's another week or two, huh?

unrandomsam

#22

unrandomsam said:

I am not bothered about achievements (If there is only one left though I do get it which can be totally annoying depending on what it is).

There is no need for achievements if finishing the game is an achievement in itself.

WanderingPB

#23

WanderingPB said:

@Mega719 u misunderstand my friend im not trying to say every game released on the eshop is bug or glitch free but each of the big Three has certain standards and requirements before meeting approval so if there's a delay in one version it could be used to improve all versions especially when it comes to bugs and glitiches.

And if developers were the sole and only reason for delays then EA just pretty much said they can sell us anything and we would buy it with Battlefield huh but wait they did apologize and offered us more PAID DLC that we could purchase…yay…

FragRed

#24

FragRed said:

@Falchion Theres a Dreamcast version? Finally I can dust off my next generation console and start using it! Its about time I upgraded from my N64 :)

Morph

#25

Morph said:

@WanderingPB The thing is, it may not even be that there is a bug in it, it may be something silly like a cultural reference or something petty, that Microsoft want them to change. Then all the other versions have to be held up because of that change, due to Microsofts policy of a game having to be on their console first or at the same time as other machines.

Doctor_Pancakes

#29

Doctor_Pancakes said:

I wish they would just drop MS... it is coming out on plenty of other platforms...
well unless this was a kickstarter and MS fans contributedI'vet even then there is no reason they couldn't release all of the other versions. I've been looking forward to this, delays for one platform is ridiculous. Eh at least Shovel Knight released. That game has been perfect in this slow summer in gaming and looks to occupy me and loads of other people for a good while!

retro_player_22

#33

retro_player_22 said:

I hate how developers had to wait for Microsoft to fix their crap. I mean c'mon, just release our versions, if those idiots don't know how to fix their gaming issue then just forget them, don't make their problems our problems. Developers nowadays needs to take a stand and stop kissing Microsoft's behind.

ogo79

#34

ogo79 said:

not big on multiple endings or secret endings...heres a secret, they need to pick up the pace on "project y"

Iggly

#35

Iggly said:

I'm not a huge fan of achievements since they're pointless and gives you nothing for earning it. [Sure now you can have bragging rights, but you can easily say that with completing difficult parts] Though I'm glad that they're not cutting out the achievements since there are people who love achievements.

unrandomsam

#36

unrandomsam said:

@jariw Why would I ? I just think with wiiware they used to do proper QA now any old buggy rubbish is allowed to be released. Obviously I don't know other than the basic check of stuff I bought that needed to be patched (Only Gradius Rebirth which was a feature addition not because it was buggy).

ikki5

#37

ikki5 said:

for this, they should add one extra dungeon to all versions except for the Xbox version. lol

andrea987

#38

andrea987 said:

"What's wrong, Hoston?" Hoston, we have a problem... ahem :D
On a serious note, that's too bad, it's a day one buy for me. I think the soundtrack is epic.

sinalefa

#39

sinalefa said:

Chronicles of Mystara is proof that bugs are not the reason why Microsoft wants the game delayed. In that case it was Nintendo who refused, and that did not delay the other, buggy versions.

And I think that devs who do not put achievements on Nintendo systems because there is not a Gamerscore/Trophy Level are just lazy. SSFIV 3D has them, and exclusives like W101 and Kid Icarus Uprising have them. They could take the Nintendo way and turn them into stamps or other ingame rewards like Smash Bros does.

Neko_Rukiafan

#40

Neko_Rukiafan said:

@RIC616 Agreed, Microsoft has been poopiedoop since Bill Gates was ousted from the corporation. :|

"Note" No profanity was used I just used TBD's method of censoring to replace what I really wanted to say. ;)

Neko_Rukiafan

#41

Neko_Rukiafan said:

Also Damian, technically the game is a hybrid it's not exactly 16-bits. In some aspects it is, but in others it's over 128-bits. ;)

You can't make a true HD game without increasing the bits to at least 128 since bits represent pixel count and anything less than 128 bits has noticeable pixelation which makes it impossible to obtain a crisp HD image. ;)

AVahne

#42

AVahne said:

Tch, of course it's Microsoft. They sure enjoy being a plague to the gaming industry.

B3ND3R

#43

B3ND3R said:

I know a fellow game developer who is partnering up with Watermellon to get his game "Elysian Shadows" on Dreamcast discs. It's cool being a new indie dev and meeting other developers :D

SomeBitTripFan

#44

SomeBitTripFan said:

These kinds of policies anger me. Just because one company has a problem with a game, it shouldn't affect everyone. I'd say Watermellon should just skip Xbox, but indie devs need to be on as many platforms as possible.

Manaphy2007

#47

Manaphy2007 said:

the achievements part was random as f*ck, nice to see that i guess. might be a good way to try and 100% it

shingi_70

#48

shingi_70 said:

Its a bit odd since if was announced that Nintendo was the cause for delay most of you would be practice jg their QA quality.

shingi_70

#49

shingi_70 said:

@retro_player_22

You do realize that isn't how QA even works. The platform holder checks for problems and notes the bugs, than the game and documentation is sent back to developer to fix said problems.

Ernest_The_Crab

#51

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@shingi_70 I think most people are more annoyed by the fact that if the delay was caused by Microsoft it would hold back every version due to their policies. I'd still be annoyed by a delay caused by Nintendo but I doubt other platform owners would be quite as annoyed, as their versions wouldn't be held back.

This essentially holds back 9 different versions of the game. A delay by Nintendo would have effectively delayed 1 version of the game.

shingi_70

#52

shingi_70 said:

@Ernest_The_Crab

Nope a Nintendo delay would have delayed every other version as well. If anyone bothered to read the blog the other versions are being delayed to check if the bugs in the Xbox version are present in the other skus.

Delaying all the version was a personal choice by the dev.

Hikingguy

#54

Hikingguy said:

After reading Watermelon's blog post (search for: "magical game factory"), the way I read it, the delay lands mostly on the shoulders of Microsoft and that Watermelon desires to make a "clean" release. WaterMelon does not want to cause another "failed certification" with them. Boo!
But if you read the rest of the blog it does sound like they are adding some extras and tying up loose ends from the original game. If you ever have followed Watermelon in the past, these guys are truly class acts and really only wanted to make a great 16 bit JRPG game that the fans will like. Since I've played the original, I will be getting either the Wii U, or the Dreamcast version. It will be fun to see what they added. They went above and beyond anything I ever expected a small company making a MegaDrive/Genesis game ever would do.

Ernest_The_Crab

#55

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@shingi_70 The major problem is that Microsoft has a track record of incurring delays due to exclusivity contracts. It also doesn't help that the article doesn't make it clear.

The original Joystiq article has it worded much better than over here. Not everyone has the time to do more than a read over of an article and an additional search on the topic so you may want to add an additional link in your comment that leads to the blog. Odd that this article doesn't have it included, usually the other indie posts have links to their respective blogs if I remember right.

shingi_70

#56

shingi_70 said:

Here's the blog post.

Coming from Watermelon's dev blog...

We're starting the submission process for PSHD. Valve already approved it for release on Steam so that's done and done. We may contact some of you who subscribed to beta test to test the game on Steam using a beta key. Stay tuned. Microsoft already evaluated Pier Solar as well but we failed some internal requirements on the certification and we're correcting them for the next submission. This also impacts Wii U and PlayStation(s) submissions since we want to send it as clean as possible so that we don't get another failed certification. Luckily, the process doesn't take as long as we thought, so the perspectives to getting a release date gets better. As soon as we're certified on all platforms we'll announce the date and put it on the street. We're also submitting PSHD for PEGI, which is slightly more complex than ESRB, but required for a release in Europe. We're expecting a rating of PEGI 7. One last thing, we're working to get a publisher to release PSHD in Japan. Due CERO regulations it's only possible to release a game if a studio has an established working office in Japan and we don't have it. So once we get it we're secure to release in Japan, this, hopefully could also lead to having a publisher for 360. Fingers crossed.

JustinH

#57

JustinH said:

I don't buy games that make me wait to appease Microsoft. Tons of other stuff to spend my money on, thanks.

retro_player_22

#58

retro_player_22 said:

@shingi_70 Nah, Microsoft is known to wanting to get multiplat titles on their machine first or at the same time otherwise they'll rule out the dev that doesn't follow their policy. It clear that there's something about Pier Solar that Microsoft wanted to altered.

Rafie

#61

Rafie said:

Parity clause strikes again. That's why I'm glad some developers opted not to release on Xbox consoles because of that reason.

JusticeColde

#62

JusticeColde said:

Microsoft has poopy software and poopy policies.

This is just ridiculous, I still can't believe devs put up with this. It's asinine to force delays to let someone make a game for your system, especially when they could just up and go somewhere else because the intended audience is almost always never on Xbox systems.

Cesco

#63

Cesco said:

IMHO They should port this game on the 3DS too. Heck, if this is going to be published on the Dreamcast too, the 3DS should have enough horsepower to handle it.

piggie_pie

#64

piggie_pie said:

Microsoft is annoying to say the least... there is a reason why i have owned every Nintendo and PlayStation console but have never touched the Xbox brand... arrogant bastages!

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