Archive for July, 2014

eShop Thursday: “Mega M-August” Edition

July 31st, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Mega Man Battle Network

Mega Man Battle Network debuts on the Wii U Virtual Console today, but it’s only the tip of the Mega Man iceberg. Just like the Mega May promotion, Capcom will be releasing a new Mega Man game in the Wii U eShop each Thursday of this August. The games are:

  • Mega Man 5 (NES)
  • Mega Man 6 (NES)
  • Mega Man X3 (SNES)
  • Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (GBA)

They won’t necessarily be released in this order, so it’ll be a little surprise each week.

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Hyrule Warriors Nintendo Direct Scheduled for August 4

July 31st, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Hyrule Warriors Direct

Nintendo is planning to air a new Nintendo Direct dedicated entirely to Hyrule Warriors this Monday, August 4. They promise to share some new details about the upcoming Wii U beat-’em-up.

The stream will start at 8 p.m. PST. You’ll be able to watch it directly on Nintendo’s site.

Source: @NintendoAmerica

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Refurbished 3DS XLs on Sale for $135

July 31st, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Refurbished 3DS XL

Refurbished 3DS XLs are back in stock in Nintendo’s online store with even more colors to choose from, including the limited edition Mario & Luigi and Yoshi models.

If you don’t mind your handheld being not new, they’re a pretty good deal at $135 ($150 for the limited editions). Plus, they come with all the accessories packaged with a new XL and Nintendo’s guarantee as an Authentic Nintendo Refurbished Product.

The Nintendo 3DS XL is available as an Authentic Nintendo Refurbished Product only from Nintendo, and it comes with our standard one year warranty. Although it may have minor cosmetic blemishes, it is guaranteed to be fully functional. We think you will find the standards for Authentic Nintendo Refurbished Products are VERY high.

Source: Store.nintendo.com

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Nintendo Reports $97 Million Loss in First Quarter

July 30th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Mario Kart 8 Luigi

Nintendo released their first quarter earnings release today, revealing a $97 million net loss during the three-month period ending on June 30, 2014.

The company attributes the poor performance to a lack of hit titles released this quarter. The one major exception being Mario Kart 8, which sold more than 2.82 million units worldwide.

3DS hardware sales were down from the previous year. The handheld sold 820,000 units this quarter, down from 1.4 million units sold during the same time last year. The Wii U, on the other hand, saw an improvement over last year’s numbers. The console sold 510,000 units this quarter, up from 160,000 units sold during the same quarter last year.

Looking ahead, Nintendo is forecasting strong profits from software, with titles like Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, Hyrule Warriors and Bayonetta 2 all set to launch before the end of the year.

Source: Nintendo Investor Relations

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Bravely Second Changing Writers and Composers

July 30th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Bravely Second 01

Two of the big names from the Bravely Default staff will not be returning to work on the sequel Bravely Second, according to Famitsu.

Original scenario writer Naotaka Hayashi, best known for creating the visual novel Steins;Gate, will be replaced by a team of writers.

Making up the team are:

  • Producer Tomoya Asano
  • Assistant producer Shinji Takahashi
  • Director Kensuke Nakahara
  • Lead scenario planner Keiichi Ajiro
  • Bravely Default light novel writer Souki Tsukishima

Also, due to scheduling conflicts, Bravely Default composer Revo, who you may recognize as the person who did the opening themes for the anime Attack on Titan, will be unable to score Bravely Second. Handling the sequel’s soundtrack will be Ryo, from the band supercell. If that group sounds familiar, they performed the ending to the anime Bakemonogatari.

Source: Siliconera

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First 4 Figures Making Light Suit Samus

July 30th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Light Suit Samus F4F

First 4 Figures are pretty hit or miss when it comes to the quality of their sculpts, but their recently announced Light Suit Samus from Metroid Prime 2 is admittedly very pretty.

The 1/4 scale figure stands 20 inches tall and comes in two varieties: regular and exclusive. The only major difference between the two is that the exclusive version lights up and costs a little more. Both will be produced in limited quantities.

Pre-orders are already being taken on the First 4 Figures site. The regular version will run you $340, while the exclusive will cost you $365. They will be released in Q1 2015.

Source: My Nintendo News

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SDCC 2014 Hands-On: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

July 29th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

Professor Layton Ace Attorney 00

Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright, the stars of two of the biggest visual novels on the DS and 3DS, needed to meet eventually. Thankfully, Capcom and Level-5 realized this and made Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. While the game has been out in Japan for nearly two years and is taking its merry little time coming out in North America, it looks like it’ll be worth the wait.

The demo appears to start sometime after the game’s actual opening. Layton and Phoenix are already in the medieval-style city of Labyrinthia and both characters seem to already know the first defendant, Espella Cantabella. The game is broken up into two segments: one where you play as Layton and another where you play as Phoenix.

In Layton’s section, the professor and his companion Luke head into Labyrinthia, where they run into Phoenix and his assistant Maya. During this part of the game, the user interface and gameplay style mimic previous Layton games. You tap around the screen visiting different parts of town and talking with various people. Occasionally, you come across some puzzles or brainteasers that need to be solved. This should all sound very familiar to those accustomed to the series.

After meeting Phoenix, who appears to believe he’s a baker for some reason, a series of events occur that require him to appear in court to defend Espella. Here, the game switches play styles and becomes more like the Ace Attorney series. You’re given the ability to review important information in the Court Record and you get to cross examine witnesses. Since Labyrinthia isn’t America Japan, their courts can have different sets of rules. One of the major changes in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright is that there can now be multiple witnesses giving their testimony on the stand at one time. However, this doesn’t have as much of an effect on gameplay as you would think. You are talking to a group of people, but it still just feels like you’re looking for inconsistencies in one really long testimony.

After pointing out a couple of easy faults in the witnesses’ logic, the demo quickly came to an end.

Despite the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney series taking very different approaches to the visual novel genre, they mesh surprisingly well. Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney appears to take the best of both worlds and craft an exceptionally entertaining package. The wait until August 29 with be a hard one.

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SDCC 2014 Hands-On: Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

July 28th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

CIMG9204

Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal was playable at The Nerd Machine’s Nerd HQ across the street from Comic-Con. The wait to play the 3DS demo was pretty short, and I can see why. Between its low frame rate, disappointing visuals, needlessly large and aimless levels and on-the-fly character switching the game feels like a mishmash of ambitious game ideas that weren’t fully developed.

The demo starts by dropping you into a Donkey Kong Country Returns-style 3D level select screen but one that has a hard time maintaining a stable frame rate. Sadly, it’s a problem that doesn’t get better after you jump into an actual stage. It’s hard to see why the game struggles to run smoothly when it’s using textures marginally better than the DS Sonic games on considerably better hardware.

Stages feel much larger than previous handheld Sonic games and they seem to focus a bit more on exploration and platforming. In order to get through a stage, you’ll need to make use of the game’s character-switching mechanic. During any point in a level, you can switch between four characters: Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Sticks the Badger. It’s a feature that could have been used for some clever puzzles or platforming sections, but since each character controls almost identically to each other, with the exception of one special move, the mechanic really only boils down to “change to this character to hit this switch/break this thing/fly past this obstacle.”

In its current state, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal feels like one of the worst Sonic games I’ve played in recent history. Granted, there’s still time to hammer out the kinks and fix many of the problems I encountered, but at the same time, November isn’t that far away.

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This Week in Games: “Go NinjaGo NinjaGo” Edition

July 27th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

A game based on the LEGO Ninjago series is coming to the 3DS this week and is the only game coming out this week.

At the very least, I get to use Vanilla Ice in a post, and any time you can use the Ice in a post, you do it.

I’m sure I can get more mileage out of this when the inevitable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie tie-in games come out, too.

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SDCC 2014 Hands-On: Hyrule Warriors

July 25th, 2014 | Category: Uncategorized

CIMG9206

Having never played a Dynasty Warriors game, I didn’t really know what I was getting into with Hyrule Warriors. I had a general idea of what the games were like – massive battles where your character practically mows down hundreds of fodder enemies while completing objectives – but I never had a chance to try one out until today.

The Comic-Con demo consisted of a short 10-minute skirmish and let you choose between Link, Zelda or Midna. After watching the people in front of me play as Link and Midna, I decided to go with Zelda.

Combat is pretty simple: you have light and hard attacks, a special move and a secondary weapon or item. Light attacks can be stringed together for simple combos and ended with a hard attack to trigger a flashy finisher that works as a good crowd-clearing move. These finishers also change depending on how the number of light attacks in the combo.

At the top of the screen is a small meter that slowly fills as you deal out damage. When it’s full, you can unleash a powerful special attack. Zelda’s is an elegant shot with her bow than takes out enemies in a straight line in front of her.

As you fight across the map, you will come across treasure chests that contain special items. These can be used in battle for different purposes. The chest in the demo stage had bombs, which could be used as an offensive move or as a means to clear boulders off the field. It also served as an important tool in defeating the demo’s boss.

At the demo’s climax, King Dodongo appears and you have to take him out. As you would expect, he’s a noticeably tougher enemy than anything encountered thus far. He has a much bigger life bar than any other enemy, but more importantly, he has a secondary meter. Attacking not only hurts the boss, but lowers this other meter. When it’s drained, your character will automatically go into a special attack animation and do a massive chunk of damage to the boss.

While it can take a while to whittle down the boss’ life bar, you can exploit weaknesses to save some time. Just like Dodongos in the Zelda series, King Dodongo is incredibly weak to bombs. If you throw some in his mouth as he’s readying one of his attacks, he’ll drop to the ground, giving you a big window to throw out your hardest-hitting moves.

Hyrule Warriors was pretty enjoyable. It felt far shallower than a traditional Zelda game, but it was still fun. There’s just something about mindlessly cutting through hordes of useless enemies that’s really satisfying. I can’t really say I’m more excited about the game after playing it, but I am still looking forward to its release. Hopefully, the full game will offer up more of a challenge.

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