Archive for July, 2011

This Week in Games: “Can You Tell Me How to Get…” Edition

July 31st, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

I like that even though Grover is supposed to be the star of this game, Elmo still finds a way to steal the spotlight.

What a jerk.

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First-Person Mario Running on the Unreal Engine

July 30th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

This first-person re-imagining of Super Mario Bros. was made in only eight weeks by Massud Sarahi and J.Lee as part of a game development seminar.

The duo has another video, featuring World 1-1 with enemies. It’s hilarious to hear classic sound bytes like “Double Kill” and “Killing Spree” when stomping Goombas.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the action from Mario’s perspective. Earlier this year, co-creator of the “freddiew” YouTube channel Brandon Laatsch mashed together the Mushroom Kingdom and Call of Duty in 3ds Max.

Source: reddit

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Snake Eater 3D Sneaks into 2012

July 29th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Surprisingly, there are things going on that don’t have anything to do with the 3DS price cut.

According to sources speaking to Kotaku, the European and North American release date for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D has been pushed back to next year. Japan seems to not be affected by this delay, which means they can expect to tromp around the Soviet Union with Snake this November.

Source: Kotaku [via Cubed3]

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Iwata Comments on 3DS Price Drop at Financial Briefing

July 29th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

With everyone wondering what’s going on over at Nintendo following the drastic moves made in the past few days, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata addressed the situation at a financial results briefing yesterday.

Iwata was quick to admit that the 3DS has not been performing to expectations and that the price drop was done in order to rebuild momentum and get the handheld’s sales back on pace.

Another reason for cutting the 3DS’ price was because they want to greatly grow the install base before games like Kid Icarus: Uprising and the recently renamed Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3DLand head out for the big holiday push.

While trying to allay investor fears, Iwata asked shareholders to wait until the end of the year before making any judgements on selling stock. He noted that the company is aware of the negative effect the price cut will have on the 3DS’ profitability, but he refer to it as being a short-term issue.

All of these changes are being made in hopes of making the 3DS a worthy successor to the DS line.

A full transcript of Iwata’s message can be found on Nintendo’s investor relations page or after the break.

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Nintendo Higher-Ups All Take Voluntary Pay Cuts

July 29th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Taking responsibility for the 3DS not meeting sales expectations, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told shareholders that he and other company higher-ups will be opting to take pay cuts.

Iwata will take the biggest pay reduction, cutting 50 percent from his annual salary of $2 million. A 30 percent pay cut will be made to directors who worked closely on the 3DS, while other company executives will receive a 20 percent reduction to their salaries.

Acting executives in Nintendo weren’t the only ones to lose money, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi lost more than $300 million when the company’s stock plummeted by 12 percent after they re-evaluated their profit forecast.

Source: Game Informer, Bloomberg

 

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eShop Thursdays: “Oh Yeah!” Edition

July 28th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

I know absolutely nothing about this game. I just love the Kool-Aid Man-esque box art.

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3DS Price Cut Means Nintendo Will Lose Money on Every System Sold

July 28th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Nintendo usually prices their systems to make a profit from day one, but the 3DS’ imminent price cut is going to change that.

Bloomberg Japan reports that Nintendo will actually lose money on every 3DS sold. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata explained that this was done in order to improve the company’s future fiscal performance.

In addition to announcing the price cut, Nintendo revealed that they are lowering their full-year profit forecast by 82 percent, going from a predicted ¥110 billion (≈$1.4 billion)to ¥20 billion (≈$256.8 million). According to SMBC senior analyst Eiji Maeda, 40 percent of that forecast revision is attributable to the 3DS price cut alone.

Source: andriasang, gamesindustry.biz

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Nintendo Cuts 3DS Price By $80, Offers 20 Free Virtual Console Games to Current Owners

July 28th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

The price drop we all knew was going to happen happened. With 3DS sales not meeting expectations, Nintendo announced that they will drop the handheld’s price to $170, starting August 12.

To try and appease early adopters, the company is offering 20 free Virtual Console games in the eShop. Anyone who connects to the eShop once before 11:59 p.m. (EST) on August 11 will automatically be enrolled in the “Ambassador Program,” which guarantees free and early access to 10 NES games and 10 GBA games, starting September 1.

Nintendo hasn’t revealed the full list of games they are planning to give away, but we do know it includes:

NES Games:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Balloon Fight
  • Ice Climber
  • The Legend of Zelda

GBA Games:

  • Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Metroid Fusion
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong

What makes this program a little weird is that, while the NES games offered will eventually go on sale to the general public at a later date, the 10 GBA games are exclusive to those in the Ambassador Program.

Now, the question for current non-3DS owners: Do you get a 3DS now and nab the 20 free games, or do you wait for the price drop?

Source: Nintendo.com, Press Release

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Comic-Con 2011: Kid Icarus: Uprising Impressions

July 27th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Nintendo had two different versions of Kid Icarus: Uprising playable in their Gaming Lounge. One was the actual adventure portion of the game, while the other demoed the special Uprising AR cards.

The adventure demo let you choose between three levels, each representing a different difficulty level. Regardless of which level you chose, they all started with you flying to your assigned location. This segment plays out similarly to Star Fox in that you are stuck on a set flight path and you must shoot down as many enemies as possible. However, it’s hard to confuse the two titles, especially when Uprising has you aiming with the touch screen and firing your weapons with the L button.

Speaking of armaments, Pit has quite the arsenal given to him by the goddess Palutena. At the beginning of a mission, you can select a weapon to take into battle. The selection includes traditional weapons like a blade and bow, but the game also has some weirder options, like orbital cannons that hover around Pit’s shoulders.

Continuing on with the mission, once you’ve completed the flying portion of the game, you’ll make your decent and proceed to take out more of Medusa’s army on foot while making your way to the area where you’ll fight the stage’s boss. The controls for the on-foot segments are basically the same as the previous segment, but now you have to deal with enemies all around you. In order to look around, you have to swipe the touch screen left or right. Palutena, who provides helpful advice throughout the demo, likens the action to spinning a globe.

If the idea of swiping the screen in order to spin around sounds clunky. It is. While aiming at enemies in front of you with the touch screen is simple and accurate, trying to quickly turn to deal with a threat to your side usually ends up with you overshooting the target and trying to slowly move the camera back in the opposite direction.

As I mentioned earlier, waiting for you at the end of each level is a boss. The only boss I had a chance to take on was fiery hound Twinbellows. The fight was pretty simple. All it consisted of was dodging his attacks (performed by quickly tapping the circle pad in one direction) and relentlessly going at him with Pit’s selected weapon. After Twinbellows quick defeat. The demo abruptly ended and presented me with my score for the level.

There wasn’t much to the Uprising AR card demo. Similar to Star Pics in the 3DS’ AR Games, you can view 3D models of characters from the game.

The cards they had available were of Pit, Palutena and Medusa. Unlike the Star Pics AR card models, these ones were actually animated, and if you pointed two of them at each other, they would fight. By “fight,” I mean stand in place and swing their weapons.

I don’t know if Nintendo and Project Sora have bigger plans for this mode, but it really seems like a neat little distraction and nothing more.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is due out this November.

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Comic-Con 2011: Mario Kart Impressions

July 27th, 2011 | Category: Uncategorized

Mario Kart for the 3DS was another game Nintendo had raring to go at Comic-Con this year.

From the start of the first race, I already felt comfortable driving my kart. The controls should be familiar to Kart veterans: A accelerates, B brakes, L lets you use items and R hops and lets you drift. Just like before, rocking the circle pad back and forth while drifting causes you to create colored sparks and gain a little boost.

Upon starting the demo, the game drops you straight into the character select screen. Here you have most of your Kart mainstays, like Mario, Luigi and the rest of the gang from the Mushroom Kingdom. Once a racer’s been chosen, it’s off to the garage to customize your kart.

Customization options were limited to a few styles of karts, three different sizes of tires and one type of hang glider. From what I noticed in my playthrough, the tire size option was the only one that had a noticeable effect on the kart’s handling. The big tires I had on seemed to hinder your acceleration, but it let you wander off road with slightly less resistance.

Concerning the hang gliders, I know some of you are worried about their addition into the Mario Kart formula, but I can say that they’re hardly anything game changing. During some big jumps, your hang glider will automatically deploy and you can control your decent. The entire process only lasts a few seconds and doesn’t break up the race action. In fact, with some smart piloting, you can actually shave quite a bit off your lap time.

Underwater racing is another new addition to the series. For the most part, it’s exactly the same as driving on land. The only exceptions are the cosmetic propeller that sprouts up from your engine and the slightly different physics. While underwater, your kart feels a little more… floaty. Taking a good racing line requires you to press R a little earlier than usual, since your kart will stay in the air, er, water a little longer.

Despite what you’ve seen of the new Mario Kart — hang gliders, propellers, customizable karts and whatnot — the series’ newest outing on the 3DS is still very much the same Mario Kart you’ve grown to love.

Mario Kart is another one of Nintendo’s titles slated for release sometime this holiday season.

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