Nintendo

July 28, 2011

3DS Price Drop!

 

 

Written by: CABXYZ…

Yes you heard that right, just less than a year after the portables release it is getting a price drop and a massive one at that. Early this morning Nintendo released a press release stating that the 3DS just 5 months after the system’s release will be taken from its $249.99 price tag to $169.99 on August 12th. Yes, you are not seeing things the 3DS will be $169.99 early next month. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime had this to say about the price drop,

“For anyone who was in the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,”

“We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

If you were an early adopter then don’t worry Nintendo is not giving you the cold shoulder. If you have a 3DS and connect to the e-Shop before 11:59pm EST in August 11th, you will be registered for the Nintendo 3DS ambassador program. The program will contain two parts:

  1. On September 1st the e-Shop will receive NES Virtual Console games and you will receive 10 absolutely FREE! These games are to include: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber, and The Legend of Zelda. There will be paid versions of these games as well so that every 3DS owner will have the opportunity for download.
  2. By the end of 2011 the e-Shop will also include GBA Virtual Console titles and you will receive 10 absolutely FREE! The titles to be included are: Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advanced 3, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare Inc. Mega Microgame$, and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Nintendo stated that these titles will be for ambassadors only and won’t be released to the general public any time in the future.

On top of all of that news Nintendo gave release windows for some of the 3DS’s biggest games this year. Star Fox 64 3D edition will be out on September 9th, Super Mario 3D will be in November, Mario Kart will be out in December and Kid Icarus: uprising will be out before the end of the year. This is a great announcement for a handheld I am finding more and more things I love about it. With Netflix now available, a stead release of quality titles, and with this announcement of a major price cut, the 3DS could be sitting on top when the handheld wars ignite once more when the PlayStation Vita arrives this fall.

July 2, 2011

Charcoal’s Late Review of the 3DS: Part 2- The Games

I know that this is even later, but humor me: I’ve just not been able to put my 3DS down. This little thing is truly amazing. I currently only own three games for it, but they’re varied enough for me to give an accurate review.

THE GOOD:

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is a hell of a game with a hell of a name. As you might expect by reading the name, it’s  Super Street Fighter IV, only on the 3DS and in 3D. However, it fits the little 3DS incredibly well. The button controls are very solid and responsive,  and there are also four “buttons” on the touch screen. These can be mapped to do different things depending on what “mode” your control setting is in. For all the newcomers to the series or the 3DS, there is the LITE control scheme, which allows you to map your more difficult special moves, as well as Super and Ultra combos, to the touch screen buttons. This makes the game a lot more accessible to people like me, who aren’t Combo Gods. However, there is also the PRO control scheme for those high level players who frown upon pressing one single button for the Bloody High Claw. In PRO mode, you cannot map special moves to the touch screen buttons, and instead use them for specifics that might not register properly at high speeds on the regular buttons, such as your force/charge attack, throws, and dodges (all of which are usually activated by pressing multiple buttons at once). The 3DS control is brilliant.

Graphics on the 3DS are, well, 3D. If you play the game normally, it isn’t too bold unless you pull off an attack that changes the camera angle. However, you can also play in an over-the-shoulder Dynamic View mode, which is absolutely gorgeous on the 3DS. Granted, I’ve seen Super Street Fighter IV with better graphics on other consoles, but they weren’t in 3D, or handheld.

Online support for Super Street Fighter IV is also very good. You can match up with random online opponents in Arcade mode, or go straight for them in Versus and 3D Versus. There’s a skill ranking system that will match you of people with your skill level, but you’ll have to lose a few matches to get there. One thing that amazes me is simply how good some people are at Street Fighter. I’ve played many a game of Street Fighter on the 3DS (which, mind you, hasn’t been out for too long) where I’ve gotten off fewer than three attacks before I was toast. I guess they already have experience from other games in the series, but this is a Starcraft-level skill gap nonetheless. This isn’t a flaw with the game so much as it’s a flaw with me, so the best advice I can give you is to practice a lot and stay informed. There are plenty of guides online.

Super Street Fighter IV also has an almost Pokemon-esque trophy-collecting system in StreetPass mode. You have a number of little figurines that you form in to teams to fight. When you pass by someone else in StreetPass mode who also owns SSFIV, your figurines will fight. You get new figurines by spending Figure Points, which are earned by playing the game in any mode, in a slot machine that reminds me of Super Smash Bros. Melee. You can also trade figurines with others. I don’t know too much about this section of the game because I’ve never Streetpassed anyone. Sad Face.

Overall, Super Street Fighter IV 3D is a very solid title, and one of the best the 3DS currently has to offer. If you’re planning on getting a 3DS, put this game at the top of your shopping list.

THE BAD:

Take a look at that cover. Take a good, hard look at the name, Splinter Cell 3D. What does that mean to you? It’s obviously a Splinter Cell game. It could be an entirely new Splinter Cell that just so happens to be in 3D, or it could be a remake of the original Splinter Cell for the 3DS. That’s what I’m getting from the cover, the only thing most purchasers of this game will see before they buy it. So, which is it? A new game or the original?

Neither. It’s Chaos Theory.

When I put this game in, I was fairly excited. Chaos Theory was the only other Splinter Cell I had ever played, and I thought it was pretty good. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but it was a decent experience. However, when I heard the first mission briefing and thought the words sounded a bit familiar, I started to worry. I looked at IGN, and found that it “told the same story as Chaos Theory.” It does more than tell the same story. It’s an only slightly remade port. Now, if they were going to do that, why would they not just call it “Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 3D”? Why delude me into thinking I’m buying something new or different? Frankly, it was hard to get over that initial rage, but I managed to keep playing through a little ways.

The graphics just don’t work. It was kind of hard to see what was going on in Chaos Theory, but it’s incredibly hard to see what’s going on in this title. The only things that are really obviously 3D are the floating tips and instructions in the first level. Everything else is too dark to see in 3D without your night vision goggles, and redundantly 3D with them on. Sam Fisher handles fairly well, but there’s still a lot of “clunk” with the AI. Really and truly, this game probably isn’t bad if you’ve never played Chaos Theory. If you have, just stay far, far away. You’ll get even angrier than you did the first time you played. I’d go more in depth, but this review is tainted and biased; I get so mad whenever I try to play this game that I’ve still not cleared the first level.

THE UGLY AWESOME

Come on. You had to have seen this one coming. I’m a hopeless Nintendo fan, and an even bigger fan of the Legend of Zelda. I’ll admit that I used to point out flaws with this particular title, and name some Zelda games that I thought may have been better. But after playing again, I retract all of those statements. This is easily the best Zelda title ever. It’s not far of a stretch to say it’s the best game Nintendo has ever made. I might even go so far as to say that The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is the greatest video game ever. I know I’ll probably get a lot of flak from non-Nintendo fans for that statement, but I can honestly not think of a better game I’ve played. Once again, this review is probably a little biased. I plugged hours upon hours into the original Ocarina of Time when I was a kid, so it holds a lot of meaning to me. When I first heard the music on the title screen, I nearly cried. It’s that powerful of a memory. Anyway, before I get carried away down memory lane and get all weepy on you, let’s look at some specifics.

The game isn’t too terribly different, but there are some notable upgrades. For one, the graphics have obviously been ramped up. I was worried that this would actually detract from the nostalgic experience, but it’s perfect. It’s just some 3D, shine, and polish on the same models I remember. Unless I’m just improving things with my ears, I think the audio has gotten a slight upgrade as well. In lieu of the C-Buttons, the game utilizes X and Y, as well as two touch screen buttons, I and II. It works pretty well. The menus have been redone to perfection. The Item screen is organizable, your gear is easily accessible, and the Ocarina has its own touch screen button and submenu. Everything works even better than it used to. You can also aim your view, bow, boomerang, hookshot, and slingshot with tilt controls. The only problem I’ve found is that it’s actually a little TOO solid. The challenges in the shooting galleries are quite easy with tilt controls.

As far as actual gameplay, the only change I’ve noticed is the addition of “Sheikah Stones”. These look kind of like Gossip Stones, only they’re larger and colorful. The only ones in the game are in the Temple of Time, and outside Link’s house. There’s a small hole that can be crawled into to access a number of Visions, which are hints as to puzzle solutions, enemy weaknesses, and item locations. They make the game a tad easier, which is fine by me. I don’t use them, but I know a lot of kids may have to.

To counterbalance the easiness (as well as the fact that it’s almost expected at this point), Master Quest was included on the chip. Master Quest is a sort of “Hard Mode” for Ocarina of Time that first appeared on the 64DD in Japan. It was also included on the Ocarina of Time bonus disc that came with Wind Waker. The game is virtually the same geometrically, but there are a lot more enemies who hit a lot harder, and the dungeons have to be solved in different orders. Knowledge of the original title makes Master Quest even harder. I’m thinking of doing a “Let’s Play” video of Master Quest once I’m done with the original game.

So, there you have it! The good, the bad, and the ugly weeping mess of nostalgic gamer on the 3DS. If there’s anything more you want to know about these three games, or the 3DS in general, drop me a comment below!


June 27, 2011

Sound The Alarm

Hey guys I have a friend who also has a nerd site. His name is Adam and he does up the geekness over at http://stashow.net/. Sound The Alarm brings you news in gaming and other fun things as well. They also do weekly podcasts chatting about anything going on in gaming, sports, or random stuff around the house. They just hit the 25th episode mark so gratz to them. So give them a checking out and tell them AceOfNades sent ya. Oh and be nice.

June 27, 2011

Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Video Game Industry

In a milestone event today, the Supreme Court ruled today against the Violent Video Game law presented by California law makers.

“Like protected books, plays, and movies, communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And ‘the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary’ with a new and different communication medium,” said the court.

“This country has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence. And California’s claim that ‘interactive’ video games present special problems, in that the player participates in the violent action on screen and determines its out- come, is unpersuasive.”

This is landmark event in that it sets a precedent for any future entertainment industry laws.  This ruling protects video games under first amendment rights thus extending them the protecting that the Literature, Music and Video industry already have.

“Esthetic and moral judgments about art  and literature… are for the individual to make, not for the government to decree even with mandate or approval of majority”

While it may be true that children should not be playing Violent or sexually explicit games it is most definately not the responsibility of the courts to decide this.  The responsibility of protecting children falls on the hands of their parents.  Parents and lawmakers that are angry with what children are viewing should not be targeting the industry but perhaps targeting themselves or parents of these children who are failing to protect the children from such content?

What does TGB think?  Do think the court made the correct decision?  Does anyone here think it should of gone the other way?  Should the government regulate the video game industry?

June 26, 2011

Subscriptions VS Microtransactions

 

With advancements in gaming come new ways for the industry to get our money. However with EA giving way to the “online pass” codes trend we see gaming heading in a new direction. Now we see free to play, pay to play, and all thats in between popping up all over.

Subscriptions – Ahh the familiar feelings. Pay for a month? Three months? A year? Two years? Hopefully this game lasts that long. Subscription based games rode the MMO wagon to become a standard for a lot of games and gaming services. I am sure the first guy to see a pay to play game said, “Ha! That will never work.” Now that same guy does his best to scrape together enough money to get another month of WoW access like a crackhead getting his fix. Success in the MMO world led Micrsoft to charge a subscription for its Xbox Live content. Even Playstation Network finally  jumped on the bus when they saw how successful it was. More and more we are starting to see new games released with pass codes or codes for add-ons. Now whispers are being heard of possibly charging a flat subscription fee and getting access to all the new content as it comes. Will you want to pay for Xbox Live, a new game, and a subscription for playing that game? Seems a bit much to me.

Microtransactions – The other side of the coin. Microtransactions are the newest fad in the gaming world but they actually aren’t as new as you think. Xbox Live charges microtransactions everytime a user buys Microsoft points. What is newer is the way these transactions are presented. They are wrapped secretly in a “free to play” game. A perfect example is League of Legends, a top down action real time strategy tower defense game. It is absolutely free to download and play. Everything can be unlocked in game by simply putting in time to the game. However for a few dollars here and there you can speed up the process to get ahead. The success this in PC games like League of Legends has gotten Steams attention. Steam announced a new direction of free to play games using the microtransaction method. Even Xbox is rumored to be getting new games as well.

As with everything it all has to do with money. How much can they get from us and how much are we willing to pay? Some like the idea some don’t. Prices will be the biggest issue. If I have to pay for a game, pay for a service to play it, or pay for in game content to be able to contend in game, what will that cost me?

June 20, 2011

Charcoal’s Late Review of the 3DS: Part 1- The Console

What’s up, everyone? It’s super great captain Charcoal (bonus points if you get that 78% obscure reference), who is super late on his DS review. But you know by now that this is how I operate. This review isn’t for the Nintendo total fanboys. This is for the skeptics, the doubters, and most importantly, the poor people who can’t just immediately drop $250 on something. So, here comes my review of the 3DS!

^You totally trust this guy with your reviews, right?

So, for those of you who don’t like reading because big words hurt your internet-pwned brain, I’ll give you the tl;dr / thesis:

  • The 3DS is very, very good.
  • There are very few good games currently available for the 3DS (specifically).
  • If you don’t have any other DS, go ahead and get a 3DS.
  • If you have plenty of money and you like Nintendo, go ahead and get a 3DS.
  • If you don’t have much money and you like Nintendo, wait until the new Smash Bros. comes out, there may be a bundle deal.
  • If you’re indifferent to Nintendo and have a lot of money, wait for the aforementioned Smash Bros.
  • If you don’t like Nintendo, or don’t like them enough to spend a lot of money on their products, skip the 3DS.
  • If you like “Apps”, and you like random cool stuff, you will have way more fun with a 3DS than an iPod Touch.

There. Eight bullet points. If you can’t handle eight bullet points, I highly suggest watching anime in Japanese with English subtitles as remedial reading training.

Now, on to the actual review. Brace yourself, this one’s gonna be huge.

I am totally in love with the 3DS’s hardware. Its design is sleek enough to fit into the pockets of American Eagle jeans (which, if you don’t know, have a tough time holding a golf ball), yet it feels sturdy and I don’t feel bad about keeping it in my pocket when working (unless I’m doing some crazy stuff). Convenient sliders for the volume, wireless, and 3d level are present, the buttons are nice and solid, the slidey thumbstick (of which I wasn’t a huge fan when they were first used on the PSP) doesn’t suck, the d-pad is a d-pad,  and there’s even a convenient “home” key. You’ve also got an SD card port for a number of functions, and three cameras: One on the front of the opened DS to see your face for face-related features, and two on the back to take 3D pictures. The quality is built-in grainy webcam level, but the cameras are more game-oriented. If you want to take quality pictures in 3D, I’m sure there’s a camera for that. The screens are ginormous. The 3DS is as solid as anyone could ask for. Even the stylus is the best yet; it fits snugly in its little stylushole, and it telescopes out.

^It looks small at first, but then it doubles in size. Reference previous picture.

The3 DS doesn’t choke on any of its software. For the built-in stuff, the 3D is spectacular. There are a lot of cool things that are available right from the get-go, including some Augmented Reality games (which can be somewhat dumb, but it shows a LOT of potential for things to get REALLY cool if a serious developer takes this ball and runs with it. Miis are present. I’m not really pro-Mii, but it is a nice touch for kids, and it introduces a cool way to meet people who also have 3DS’s via StreetPass. Streetpass works in the background of the 3DS, scanning for other 3DSes whilst you have it in your pocket in sleep mode or out playing a game. When it finds one, you’ll swap Miis, as well as other ingame content. I’m not totally sure if you can friend-add someone this way (I’ve yet to pass someone in my little hick town), but Nintendo’s good at updating and implementing new stuff. There’s also SpotPass, where the 3DS will automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks and download free stuff for you (you can set it to download magazine articles and whatnot, but sometimes it will just surprise you with a gift). If you think this sounds dangerous, don’t worry. Both of these are opt-outable. Wireless connectivity is way better than the original DS, and updates download decently fast.

^Rush Limbaugh is radically pro-Mii. I’m more of a Miiderate.

The 3DS, like the DSi, has an “App store” of sorts. There are all sorts of applications, and free games and paid games. This is Nintendo’s bid in the whole “tiny thing that fits in your pocket with a touch screen and cheap games” business. However, instead of SQUIRREL INTRUDER LITE or some bullcrap, you can currently get Excitebike for free. And yes, it’s in 3D. And it is AWESOME. Other games are classics that you have to pay for, but they’re cheap, and they’re classics. One of them is The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which I reviewed in a previous “Games for Gameless Situations” article, and is one of my favorite games ever. Super Mario Land is also available. Nintendo is set to wreak havoc in the handheld market again, just as it has always done. What do you know, we might even get Angry Birds and Doodlejump here. Oh wait.

Angry Birds

Doodlejump?

Hey, uh, anyone wanna buy an iPod Touch? I no longer have any reason to own one.

^I mean, just look at this ancient thing.

I’ve done nothing but brag on the 3DS so far. I only really have two problems, one minor and one major (and one pentatonic). Lots of games for the 3DS have buttons on the touchscreen that you touch with your grubby, greasy thumbs, rather than a stylus, and this smudges it up real good. That’s fairly minor. The clear problem here with the 3DS is the total absence of games. Pretty much everything out now is either too cartoony and gimmicky, or a remake. The only ones I can really say are worth owning are Ocarina of Time (Might not be the greatest game ever, but it’s in the top 3.), and Super Street Fighter IV 3D (Enjoy getting pwned online but too on-the-go for Starcraft? Try this on for size.) However, I’m sure Nintendo will have this worked out by Christmas.

^Nintendo: Santa Claus’s best bros since the 1980’s.

So, what you may be thinking is “Should I get a 3DS?” Consult my little bulleted section above. If you have any questions about specifics, or any comments to make about the 3DS, or you think I look really good in a cow suit, drop a comment below!

Part 2 of this review will be out sometime soon. I’ll review a 3DS game that made me incredibly happy, and another that pissed me off quite a bit.

June 8, 2011

Gamer Rant -E3 Edition – Rebuttal

Yesterday, editor AceofNades posted his weekly GamerRant and had quite an argument brewing over Nintendo’s newly announced console the WiiU. I thought it would be fun, with AceofNades permission, to counter his argument with this rebuttal. It’s not so much proving him wrong because at this point no one has a vast amount of details on the system and its odd controller, but seeing the positives of the controller and console in my opinion.

The WiiU is still surrounded with a shroud of mystery. What we were shown at E3 was the tech of the new controller and what will be the final hardware design albeit some tweaks. They showed the controller off first the same way they did with the Wii. If you are introducing a new way to play games the hardware and software take a back seat to the controller. I would want to know how I am controlling this new piece of hardware before the specs. The Wii remote became the symbol for the Wii not the actual console it’s self. The WiiU’s controller will become the symbol of that console as well. Sony has had the same controller for over a decade albeit some tweaks, that is why there is such a focus on the hardware rather than the controller. Nintendo is trying something new, in terms of controllers, with every console lifecycle. This time with the largest and most technological advanced controller we have seen to date, so I agree with them to push the controller first, hardware and software second and let the press and consumers come to terms with what they will be using with the new hardware.

The new controller is an odd, yet large, addition to Nintendo’s stable of peripherals. I remember back in 1996 seeing the huge trident of a controller for the Nintendo 64. After using what resembled a small brick for several years and thinking this is going to cramp my hands and make everything unplayable; what were they thinking? It turned out to be quiet comfortable and ushered in a new era of control with the analog stick. The Gamecube controller with its jelly bean like buttons was the best controller of last gen. The Wiis nun chuck and remote combo showed us a new way to play while developers ushered in the infamous “waggle”, but showed that simple gestures were, at times, better than buttons. The WiiU controller, I believe it will give us something we never thought we needed. With a beautiful 6.2” screen and the full array of buttons we have come accustomed to having on our controllers, maybe Nintendo is on to something. The vibe I get from the controller is the GBA/GameCube connectivity and how much fun it was to play Final Fantasy: Chrystal Chronicles with friends and have your own little inventory screen where you didn’t have to break the action on the TV. The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords is another example of the connectivity. The smaller screen was used for dungeon crawling for certain players and keeping your stats as well. This new controller seems like a perfect fit for any game with an inventory system, like a Zelda or RPG. Sports games also come to mind. I have always hated playing Madden against some one in the same room and all you would have to do is look at the other player’s plays and you have a 1:3 chance of picking the play they chose. With WiiU, the playbook can be in your hands and no one but you will know the play. The Dreamcast had a similar feature with their VMU memory cards but the monochrome screen was not ideal in all lighting conditions. There is a just a bevy of ideas that this screen and controller can be used for and I think we haven’t even scratched the surface of what developers have in store.

I think Nintendo has learned a lot from their time with the Wii. The Wii remote devoured batteries at an alarming rate and the new controller looks to have a rechargeable battery, possibly integrated like the PS3 remotes. I could see battery life ranging anywhere from 5-8 hours of play on a single charge, which is better than the 3DS battery powering a full 3D screen. Heat won’t be an issue because I see you being able to either transfer Wii titles or titles that are less hardware taxing to the controller. If they find some way to have full retail games such as Battlefield or a full on Zelda to this device, I am sold! At that point they have the greatest controller ever developed or some sort of powerful Voodoo. There is no doubt that the WiiU controller is huge. 6.2” screen plus two sticks and all the normal face buttons; it is larger than my girlfriends Nook Color. The N64 had a rather large controller; does anyone remember the original Xbox controller named “duke”?  There have been large controllers in the past but not to the extent of this one. If the ergonomics are right and the weight is kept to a minimum, then I see no problems in long play sessions. The controller has to feel right as well as utilizing its functions.

The WiiU and it’s highly advanced, yet large, controller will not hit the Wiis original retail price of $249.99; there is just no feasible way. I can see this launching as one of Nintendo’s priciest systems to date. There has been no talk of price point but from what I have seen and to have more horsepower than the 360 and PS3, the $399.99 price range is what I would price it at. The extra controllers are going to have to be $100 or less. At the peak of their price points the Nun chuck and Remote combo was hitting the $70 asking price, so $100 for a controller that smokes that combo is not unreasonable in my book. They will have a hell of a time marketing this. I agree with AceofNades on this point. Nintendo has done a terrible job at marketing the 3DS and sales have suffered as a result. The 3DS needs to be marketed as the DS successor and they need to cut the DS cord if they want the 3DS to flourish (that and a lineup of games that go from “meh” to “what is this shit?”). The same goes for the WiiU, it needs to be seen as the replacement for the Wii and it needs to stay out of the 3DS’s light. Nintendo has a great family of consoles and handhelds; it just needs to let the consumer know the difference and what the replacements are.

I will end with something AceofNades mentioned and something I think is going through every ones minds; I don’t think this new controller is a gimmick. The videogame industry is a very competitive market. You have companies and development houses come and go and there are only a few major players in the industry that are constants. Hardware manufacturers are constants and there are only three of them so how do you differentiate yourself from the competition when you all have similar products? The WiiU will be going toe to toe with the 360 and PS3 as well as their replacements. Nintendo is finally making a HD console and wants to open the minds and hearts of the core gamers they left behind in their quest for a wider audience. Microsoft and Sony all jumped on to the motion control band wagon when the Wii took off and we have Kinect and PlayStation Move as the result. Now Nintendo is trying to through down with the big boys while going after Apple (and their mindless minions), who they have always seen themselves competing with; now is the time to differentiate. If you have the 360, PS3, and the WiiU all sitting side by side with no labels and similar controllers, you have three almost identical systems that the average consumer will blindly pick one and never look back. Microsoft touts its online structure and the 360 being an online media machine, while having a hand full of exclusives. Sony touts a technological superior console with the PS3, the Blu-Ray disc format, and a handful of exclusives. Nintendo would have a consol with similar hardware, a handful of exclusives, and what? That is where the new controller fits in. It is unique to Nintendo’s console. It is what separates them from looking like everyone else. Nintendo needs more than just Mario and they know it. They are trying to work diligently with 3rd party developers and create something unique, yet familiar, something that “hardcore” gamers will put down their 360 pads and duel shocks and say “I like this, it is different, yet something I would have never thought I needed”. I have faith in Nintendo to bring us a quality product and a complete game changer, because that is what they do best.

June 7, 2011

Gamer Rant – E3 Edition – Wii U

Nintendo revealed its new console at thier press event and are calling it the Wii U. Here comes the pain. So there was no mention of an actual console they only focused on the controller. Wait I thought we were getting a new console? First off the controller looks like its the size of the U Draw or a fat touch tablet. That’s way to big in my opinion. Yea its got a fancy touch screen, but why do I need a screen? Will it have heating issues? Will it eat through batteries? It’s gonna be in HD, but thats the most that was said about the console. The problem is like the Wii the Wii U offers nothing more than a new gimmick. You can switch from your TV to your 6.2 inch screen and then it becomes a handheld…..but I already have a DS. They said release 2012 and gave no price. The 3DS is already $250….now your trying to sell me a new console with another handheld for a controller? How much will that be? You can aim the new controller at the screen for different uses in games (example was baseball, you can use it to aim your pitch) but I get tired after holding up controllers to point at the screen after a while. They are adding newer titles like Arkham City, but I am not going to buy a new console for one or two games when I can just get it for Xbox or PS3. Sure there will be more info to come with the Wii U, but E3 is the place to sell me on your product and I gotta say I am not sold.

June 7, 2011

E3 2011 – Nintendo – E3 Press Conference

Wow, what a morning. Nintendo went out with a bang that left more questions than answers about their mysterious Project Café, now known as Wiiu. There was a great 3DS support, a new controller for their new console, and only one Wii title announced, so take that for what you will. Now on to the facts!

Celebrating 25 years of The Legend of Zelda – They had a live orchestra performing the many themes from the Zelda games over the years and with fanfare announcements dealing with the Zelda franchises. There will be a Zelda concert series performing worldwide; dates to be announced later. There will be a free copy of Zelda: Four Swords on the DSIware this fall. Skyward Sword will be out this holiday, with a limited edition Gold Wii Remote plus, sold separately.

3DS – was greatly supported this time around with several games that are headed to us by the end of the year. Mario Kart 3D will have new attachments such as a glider and a boat motor for underwater sections on the tracks; release date this holiday. Starfox 64 3D will be out this September and will track your opponents faces during multiplayer. Super Mario 3D will be out by the end of the year and will be a mix of 2D and 3D platforming, on top of bringing back the infamous Tanooki suit from Super Mario 3. Kid Icarus: Uprising will be out again this holiday and will feature AR card battles and a multiplayer up to 3v3. Finally a game that first hit the Gamecube back in 2001 is getting a sequel with Luigi’s Mansion 2. It is an all new title with several mansions to explore.

3DS eShop – The update went live last night for the 3DS to enable the internet browser and the eShop. There will be coming, in the fall, game demos for both DSIware and retail games, along with 3D videos. Also within the eShop is the virtual console that will have Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Right now, up until July 7th, you can download a free copy of Excite Bike 3D classic edition. This will be the start of Nintendo’s revival of classis with 3D enhancements. Also free on the eShop is Pokedex 3D, which is an enhanced Pokedex where you capture the Pokemon through AR spots and the 3DS Spotpass.

WiiU- Nintendo announced what we all thought would be announced, the Wii successor; the WiiU. Now no tech specifics were given; but what was shown is the new controller they hope will revolutionize   gaming. The controller will have a 6.2” screen, accelerometer, speakers, a microphone, two circle pads, a d-pad, normal face buttons (A,B,X,Y,), two bumpers, two triggers, and two cameras; one facing out the other facing you. Here is a picture below. They did not show any specs but the entire target and title footage they showed is comparable to Xbox 360 and PS3. They touted titles such as Darksiders 2, Dirt, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Ghost Recon Online, Metro: Last Light, Tekken, and Ninja Gaiden. These are all just titles they announced not confirmed. No price and no official console reveal was given outside of press pictures, hopefully we will see more in the future, until then here is the WiiU and its new controller.       

For more on all our E3 coverage head over to E3 tab and check out the latest and greatest news.

June 6, 2011

E3 2011 – Ubisoft

Next on the list was Ubisoft’s event. Before I start can I just say 1. just give us the info, you’re not funny and 2. hire people who speak english or make them learn it better. I can’t understand half of what you just said about Track Mania…not that I cared but I digress…Here is what Ubisoft had to offer:

Rayman Origins – This live demo showed some co-op and brought me back to the SNES and Sega days. It had a old school feeling with it’s well animated 2D side scrolling action. The game will support a 4 player co-op.

Driver San Fancisco – Nothing special unfortunatley. Driver will have a multiplayer feature though.

Farcry 3 – This actually looked decent. Got a little sneak peak of gameplay and seemed to have a mixture of stealth and regualr cap busting. The dialog was a bit rough because they censors had a field day with the “beep” button.

Brothers in Arms: Furious Four – 2012  – This is another squad based shooter set in WW2. A mixture of funny characters and over the top style action and humor may make this game one of the better BiA titles.

Adventures of  TinTin – Adventure style game….they didn’t have much to say honestly. Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg just talked about how good it was. Other than that I don’t really know much.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier – Showed off some great looking gameplay. Showed the 4 player co-op on a mission to secure a VIP. It had good graphics and really smooth movement and shooting. It looked like a blast to me.

Ghost Recon Online – This will be a free to play PC game. It will also support the achievements you earn in Future Soldier

Track Mania 2 – This is part of Mania Planet which is a hub for other online games for PC. Basically it’s Mod Nation Racers with realism.

Raving Rabbids – Kinect – Nov 8 – The party game comes to Kinect…..wooo……

Just Dance 3 – Oct 2011 – This is wear I took a restroom break…..

Rocksmith – Oct 2011 – Yet another Rock Band/ Guitar Hero -ish game. Rocksmith is supposed to be more realistic than the other guitar games out there as well as being able to teach you how to play real guitar….we’ll see

Assassins Creed Revelations – Nov 2011 – First they showed a cinematic trailer which was great then they gave us a look at gameplay. The cut scenes looked nice but the graphics don’t look much different then the last one. We did get a chance to see a smoke bomb in action with the combination of eagle vision to take out three enemies. Then we saw Ezio running through a crazy course of burning/ exploding ships in the harbor. Looked pretty good.

I didn’t think Ubisoft had that strong of a lineup outside of Assassins Creed and Ghost Recon, but we will just have to see how it pans out.

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