Handheld

December 12, 2013

Miiverse has come to the 3ds

 

The latest system update for the 3DS is now available and it brings the wonderful community feature from the Wii U, the Miiverse, to the spunky handheld. The Miiverse is Nintendo’s form of a social network, were you can post screen shots (for certain titles, not all work yet) artwork, hints, or just your love for a certain title for the whole community to see. I was an early adopter of the Wii U and this has been one of the consoles best features. If you sign up for the Miiverse on the 3DS you will have the option to link your Nintendo ID, this is the ID you sign in with and use on the Wii U. This feature will allow for the sharing of funds between the Wii U and 3DS so no more loose change hanging around. This is a feature Sony uses for the Vita and PS3 and I love it. The update is live now and there are currently 19 game communities available to become a part of. Expect more communities to roll out over time, so go sign up and have fun in the community.

December 2, 2013

The Holidays hit the Nintendo eShop

 

As promised, I am back with the eShop deals that are active this week. I do apologize that they are late, with the holiday and being sick it has not been a fun week. Though I did have a fun Sunday finally putting some serious time into Super Mario 3D World and have come away thoroughly impressed. I started the game up around 10 a.m., wanting to just finish a couple of levels and grab some collectibles. I had picked up ZombiU on a Black Friday deal and wanted to give it a go once I finished 3D World. 6 p.m. rolls around and I am still at Mario with my Skullcandy headphones plugged into the gamepad, enjoying one of the all-time great Mario games. The soundtrack is a work of art. If you have a Wii U, or plan on getting one for the holidays, please pick up Super Mario 3D World. It is not as revolutionary as Galaxy or 64, but it has incredible level design, is not too overbearing on the nostalgia, and it runs at a native 60 FPS at 720p. That last bit is a shot at the new consoles yes, Mario may not be the most demanding visually, but this game in motion looks damn fine and it is running on $300 hardware. I may not have time to put a full review up, but with this post I give my wholehearted recommendation for this game. If you have a Wii U or plan on it, this should be in your library. I played it solo and it was a blast. Now on to the deals. This week we see deals for Mario in both the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Here are the deals for the corresponding shops.

 

Wii U

Mario Bros, (NES) – $3.49

Super Mario Bros. (NES) – $3.49

Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) – $3.49

Super Mario World (SNES) – $5.59

 

3DS/2DS

Super Mario Bros. (NES) – $3.49

Super Mario Bros. (NES) – $3.49

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (Game Boy) – $2.79

Mario/DK: Minis on the Move (3DS) – $6.99

 

These deals will last until the eShop updates on Thursday (12/5) around 12 p.m. EST. There are a few other titles that hit the eShops recently to make a point of interest. Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom hit the 3DS ($4.99) as well as the first two of the 3D Sega Classics. They started the roll out with Super Hang-On and Space Harrier (each $5.99). On the the Wii U we have received my favorite Contra title, Contra III : The Alien Wars (SNES), which you can snag for $7.99. Next week we see the end of the holiday sale and it closes out with a Donkey Kong featured sale. For a little bonus fire up the eShop on the Wii U for a small bit of Christmas cheer.

November 22, 2013

Nintendo offering character driven deals on the eShop

 

Though I must apologize I am a week late, but there is still plenty of time to snag up some great games or fill up that 3DS (2DS) or Wii U you are giving as a gift. Last week, The Legend of Zelda was the theme, this week have the venerable blue bomber, Mega Man. This week until November 28th, you can grab Mega Man 1-4 for just $3.49 a piece. These games come in either the 3DS or Wii U flavor, and are easily downloaded via WiFi. Next week, starting on Thursday, Mario will be making his sale debut. Rounding out the sale in the last week will be Donkey Kong. I already have Mega Man 2 and 3 on my 3DS but will getting 1 and 4 for sure. Though I do like the Virtual Console on the Wii U, there is just something special about playing Mega Man on the 3DS. Plus during the holidays it is much easier to pull out a 3DS and ignore the family and in-laws and defeat the dreaded Dr. Wily. Again Mega Man 1-4 are $3.49 each till next Thursday, after that a Mario takes the spotlight. Check back next week as I update this and let you know what is on sale featuring the famous plumber.  Check out everything over at the Official Nintendo page.

November 13, 2013

The 3ds To Receive Miiverse, A Link Between Worlds gets New Trailer

 

 

A new update is on the way for for Nintendo’s dominant handheld and will add one of the greatest features of the Wii U, the Miiverse. The Miiverse is Nintendo’s own social media for talking about games, showing off hand drawn art, and finding help when you are stuck in a certain game. I am not one for social media. I am on Facebook, because I have to be. The Miiverse has been one social media outlet, that I have thoroughly enjoyed. There is more to the update than just the Miiverse, if you have a Wii U and a 3DS you will be able to share the monetary balances you have between the two consoles. This is great and wish it was implemented a while ago when I had some left over currency on my Wii U account and wanted to buy two games off the 3DS eShop. The Update will go live next month. Nintendo this morning also released a new trailer for the upcoming game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. This is a sequel to the Super Nintendo classic, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The game will hit the 3DS and 2DS on November 22nd, and Nintendo will be offering a special branded 3DS XL as well. If you want to catch up on that leg of the Zelda series, Nintendo is offering the SNES classic on its Club Nintendo program. Register some games and take some surveys and you can have the game on the Wii or Wii U (via the Wii app), it is only 150 coins, luckily I had

November 6, 2013

New Vita Update Prepares for Impending Launch

 

If you have downloaded the new system update for the PlayStation Vita you will notice that there are some new features, including one for the upcoming launch of the PlayStation 4. If you check out the picture above of my home screen (yes that is Fall of Cybertron artwork as my wallpaper), you will notice there is a new app, the PS4 Link. Tab the bubble and you will be taken to a screen that has the options of Remote Play and Second Screen. Second Screen will be used for titles that have the ability to display information on a second screen like a tablet or smart phone. What titles and how they will use this has yet to be determined, hopefully DICE makes a Battlefield 4 commander app for the Vita. Remote Play works similar to how remote play with the PS3 works, the benefit of the PS4 however, is that most games (outside of utilizing peripherals like the camera) will be supported. The feature works best if you have the PS4 connected with an Ethernet cable and the Vita is on the same Wi-Fi the PS4 is connected to. There are other features to be excited for as well. The content manager can now access your PS3 via Wi-Fi, so you no longer have to hard wire your Vita to transfer data back and forth. There is a new panorama feature to the camera that lets you take 360 degree photos, and new parental controls were added as well. One last feature I want to hit upon is the new update to the friends app, that lets you sort, add, and accept friend request with ease. For more of the features and descriptions head over to the official PlayStation Blog or check out the video below. I am excited to see the PS4 application in action, only just over a week and the PlayStation 4 will be on store shelves. The PlayStation 4 will launch on November 15th.

October 23, 2013

Bionic Commando Rearming the Remix

 

This week has just been a splendid week for video game music as we saw the release and Gaming in Stereo featured soundtrack to Batman Arkham Origins yesterday, and today the release of Bionic Commando ReMixed: OK We’ll Groove! Well to be honest, the latest from OverClocked ReMix hit yesterday, I was just so busy I didn’t have a chance to give it a proper listen. Now that I have the album set to repeat I must say, it is one of their finer efforts. There is a variety of music genre’s that can be found on the album, everything from dubstep (the wub wubs), trance, to synthetic orchestra, jazz, and rock. They somehow mesh very well and some even feature some of the original chip tunes from the NES title. All the tracks despite polar genres, all have a great energy to them. One thing I love about Capcom, even current Capcom, is their high energy music output. I love the electronic mixes we see in Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, and the interesting music we saw from some of their downloadable titles such as Mega Man 9 & 10 and Bionic Commando: Rearmed. I unfortunately was late to the party with Bionic Commando, my first time with the title was in 2008 with Bionic Commando Rearmed. I loved Rearmed, and if fact, just played through it again not too long ago. Bionic Commando ReMixed: OK We’ll Groove is available for your listening pleasure and as a free download over at OverClocked ReMix. Down below is the official trailer for the album and one of my favorite tracks from the album. Have a listen and download the album and support this great community of talented artist.

 

Master “D” is for Dance (Rise of the Albatross) – Gario

I love the high energy and the staccato stops. No your speakers are not broken, just a great effect used well, effectively.

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October 2, 2013

Nintendo Delays Tropical Freeze, Shows off New Kirby and 3d World Gameplay

 

 

Nintendo held a Nintendo Direct Yesterday and while there were plenty of things to be excited for coming in a few short months, one game has been pushed back till next year. The return of Donkey Kong, in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze  was given a few more months to incubate, and will now release in February 2014. The Wii U has a stacked holiday lineup with plenty of exclusives firing off with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD this Friday; though with the current lack of software and two new consoles on the horizon, a little insurance would not have hurt.

One game that is on track to hit the Wii U this holiday season is Super Mario 3D World. The latest in the Mario 3D series, which is scheduled to hit on November 22nd, sees Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad facing off against Bowser with some unique new power-ups. the new cat power-up is now in company with the cannon block, duplicating cherry, a Boomerang Bros. power-up,  and the return of the Tanooki suit. 3D World seems to be taking ques from 3D Land on the 3DS and mixing typical 3D platforming with some more traditional 2D Mario. This game is definitely on my radar, a huge fan of Nintendo platformers, again the game will be on the Wii U on November 22nd. Check out the latest gameplay video below.

 

The 3DS is thriving right now with a strong library and constant support in the eShop, it is a handheld force to be reckoned with. Even with all this there is one thing missing from the handheld that has appeared on every Nintendo portable since the Game Boy, Kirby. During the Nintendo Direct, Mr. Iwata showed off the latest adventures of the pink puffball coming to the 3DS next year. The game reminds me Donkey Kong Country Returns in the way it jumps from front to back while remaining in 2-D. The game has no official title as of yet, though it is scheduled to be released next year.

You can check out the these titles and more in the Nintendo Direct, played in its entirety below.

September 26, 2013

PlayStation 3 gets Exclusive Arkham Origins Content, Season Pass for All

 

 

The PlayStation 3 version of Batman Arkham Origins will be getting a few added extras. These extras will come in the form of two exclusive skins 3 combat maps and 2 predator maps dubbed the Knightfall Pack. The Knightfall Pack skins bring Adam West’s 1966 Batman costume and the Azrael outfit from Knightfall. Azrael stepped in for Bruce when Bane broke his back, though his methods were far more brutal and braking Bruce’s “one rule”, his enhanced costume is still one of my favorites. You can see all you will get in the video below, no work if this will ever come to the PC, Wii U or Xbox 360 versions of the title.

 

 

For everyone else, Arkham Origins will be getting a Season Pass filled with content. More than a $30 worth of content, the Season pass can be had for a discounted price of $19.99. The Season Pass includes two exclusive skins, Gaslight Batman and Brightest Day Batman, two costume packs (New Millennium and Infinite Earth’s) for a total of 12 new costumes, new story missions, as well as “Initiation” challenge maps featuring one of Batman’s greatest teachers, Kirigi. Check out the flyer below for everything that you get with the season pass, interestingly enough, there is no mention of multiplayer outside of the skin sets. I guess take that hint with a grain of salt. On another note, the artwork for the flyer and the shot above is awesome in its own right. It is available on the Arkham Origins site as a wallpaper, your welcome.

 

September 25, 2013

Some Interesting Tidbits from Around the Web

 

What a weekend, that culminated into a very sad day yesterday. Personally I have had a very rough weekend and start to the week, but I still want to sit here and write about games and discuss games, because games and the games industry make me happy. I am going to link a couple of articles that I feel are important that I have found around the web, while I went to and from the hospital this weekend. Here we go!

 

Games Industry International – This article was just posted today, but I still find it very important, though I have not had ample time to mull over the subject. The article is on the decline of mobile gaming and devs finding it easier and more cost effective to head to PC’s and consoles, now that they are offering self publishing. The other thing I find interesting is a few years ago, everyone was on the mobile bandwagon, and that your iPhone was going to replace your portable and console gaming. I remember Rovio, the developer behind Angry Birds, saying mobile will rule the market and that Angry Birds is better than some AAA titles, or something along those lines. Please don’t quote me, I am paraphrasing from memory. Anyway, the mobile space is now in decline, with devs jumping ship, and 3DS sales are very strong and has a great library making it very competitive. Check it out, let me know how you feel about the mobile segment.

 

Game Trailers- Annoyed Gamer – Marcus Beer is either loved or despised, but he brings up plenty of good points. Personally, I like the guy and we need more people to question the industry we work in. His latest rant is on the subject of Grand Theft Auto V, not the game but on mature rated games getting into the hands of kids. Marcus can be a bit brash, but he has a very good point. Enjoy and hopefully it provokes your thoughts.

September 19, 2013

Hiroshi Yamauchi, Former Head of Nintendo, dead at 85

 

Today is a sad day for the industry as we have lost one of the most influential people to jump start the modern industry. Nintendo of Japan has confirmed that the former head of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, has passed away at the age of 85. Yamauchi was instrumental in the early changes at Nintendo that propelled them to the video game empire they are today. Yamauchi brought in talent like Gunpei Yokoi and Shigeru Miyamoto and launched products like the Game and Watch, NES, SNES, the Nintendo 64, and the Nintendo GameCube. Yamauchi also purchased the Seattle Mariner, a Major League Baseball club, in the early 1990’s. Yamauchi was hugely influential in the industry propelling the Japanese market as well as jump starting the industry from the crash in 1983. Yamauchi was succeeded by Satoru Iwata in 2002 and remained on the board until 2005. We have lost one of the greats today, hopefully his outlook and confidence in products will invigorate the industry as we enter 8th console generation.  名誉と尊敬で、我々は山内を覚えています。

 

* Image from Nintendolife.com

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