Monday, July 30, 2012

Club Nintendo July Rewards Update #4

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards today replacing Starship Patrol with Golf for the 3DS Vitual Console.  The expiration date for this offer is now August 12 and the price is 150 coins.  Be sure to check back August 5 for the next reward, most likely for WiiWare or Wii Virtual Console.

Golf - Nintendo 3DS
150 Coins (Available Until August 12)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Battle Kid 2 Enters Production

It's no secret that we here at Treon's Realm are excited for the upcoming release of Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment.  Today marked a big milestone for this highly anticipated NES title.  The developer, Sivak, has passed the final game files to RetroZone, the games publisher.  This basically means that the game will be burned onto ROM chips followed by cartridge production.  While a definite production time has not been given, current estimates are roughly 2-3 weeks.  We will keep you posted on developments as they occur.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Introducing The Humble Music Bundle

Having amassed over 40 games for my Linux machine care of the Humble Bundle, I am a huge fan of what these guys do.  After 5 extremely successful "Humble Indie Bundles" as well as a variety of spin-off bundles, they have just introduced the "Humble Music Bundle".  Featuring six albums from a variety of indie artists, the collection has something for just about everyone.

  • "Twelve Remixes of Four Songs" by OK Go
  • "Favoritism" by MC Frontalot
  • "Album Raises New and Troubling Questions" by They Might Be Giants
  • "Calling All Dawns" by Christopher Tin
  • "Best of the Valkyria Chronicles" by Hitoshi Sakimoto
  • "Jonathan Coulton's Greatest Hit (Plus 13 Other Songs)"

The Nerdcore stylings of MC Frontalot are without a doubt some of the most entertaining songs in this entire collection while They Might Be Giants always deliver a fun & unique set-list.  Overall, this is an excellent collection for any geek, nerd, gamer, etc.  All of the albums are offered in both DRM-free MP3 and FLAC formats meaning you can put the music on any damn device you own without the big brother music industry breathing down your neck.  As usual the bundle is pay what you want and helps charity so don't be a stingy asshole and only offer a penny, that is what we would call a "dick move".  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Treon's Game of the Week - Seedling

Its been a while but I've decided to bring back "Treon's Game of the Week".  This week's game is Seedling, a flash game that clearly takes its inspiration from The Legend of Zelda.  Seedling is playable within your web browser meaning that it is cross platform and completely free.  It is a blast to play and a testament to what can be done with the Flash platform.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Club Nintendo July Rewards Update #3

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards today replacing Virtual Console title Mario Tennis with WiiWare title Bonsai Barber which was developed by Zoonami.  The expiration date for this offer is now August 5 and the price is 150 coins.  Be sure to check back July 29 for the next reward, which will likely be on eShop or 3DS Virtual Console.

Bonsai Barder - WiiWare
150 Coins (Available Until August 5)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rumor: Nintendo Attempting To Buy & Develop Banjo Kazooie?

There is a new rumor making the rounds that Nintendo may be purchasing RARE franchises from Microsoft.  Specifically, that Nintendo is attempting to regain rights to the Banjo Kazooie franchise.  This also leads some to believe that other RARE franchises could be on the sale block as well.  I felt a need to weigh in on the possibilities and what actually may happen if any parts of this rumor are true.  If true, Nintendo is most likely interested in purchasing previously exclusive and valuable brand IP's as opposed to outright acquiring the actual development studio.  Lets take a look at the current state of Nintendo, Microsoft & RARE.

  • Nintendo has taken a lot of flak over the last 5-6 years for relying to heavily on brands such as Mario and Zelda and not creating new IP's or resurrecting old ones.  This has led to some pretty successful resurrections of older franchises such as Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kid Icarus Uprising.  Games like these help Nintendo regain "core" gamer's they lost with the casual friendly Wii console which is very important with the move to the upcoming Wii U.  Bringing back some of their most valuable and desirable N64 era franchises would go a long way towards winning back a lot of lapsed Nintendo fans.
  • Microsoft has shown that they have little to no interest in the intellectual properties RARE regained when Nintendo sold them.  The failures of titles such as Perfect Dark Zero, Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts and Conker Live & Reloaded has cemented the fact that these classic franchises are little more than a money pit for Microsoft and an ill fit for their audience.  This was compounded by the mass exodus of essential RARE staff after the company sale back in 2002.  Microsoft has established themselves as a platform that has little to no need for the RARE franchises and they have kept a friendly and non confrontational relationship with Nintendo meaning that a sale of this type is plausible.
  • RARE is no longer the studio everyone remembers, they are largely responsible for the Kinect Sports series and all of the pivotal & influential people of the former RARE are long gone. This means that there is little personal attachment to these brands and the influx of capital from their sale could fund new original content. Honestly, the RARE purchase and its fallout likely led to Microsoft ditching other former "first party" developers such as Bioware and Oddworld Inhabitants.  
  • Retro Studios, developers of the extremely successful Donkey Kong Country Returns and the masterpiece Metroid Prime series could be the key to this whole story.  Their success with past Nintendo franchises has fueled rumors of them developing titles such as Star Fox and Zelda.  It's more likely that Retro would be given a game such as Banjo Kazooie and allowed to run free creatively due to the low risk and potential high payoff in the same vein as Donkey Kong.  The secrecy surrounding their current project would fit if they were working on a Banjo Kazooie title while Nintendo was finalizing the sale with Microsoft behind closed doors.
  • These franchises are now more valuable for the intellectual property rights as opposed to a current RARE developed version of these games.  Microsoft can sell these to Nintendo for some quick cash and Nintendo could purchase these cheap for just the franchise rights instead of a studio that would be worthless to them in its current state. It's also worth noting that many if not all of the N64 era RARE IP's are only really appealing to the Nintendo audience seeing that Nintendo is the only company capable of doing them justice and returning them to their former glory.

In the end, this is currently rumor and should be treated as such but it is still an interesting rumor with some actual merit when everything is laid out.  Video games are a business and Nintendo controlling and developing valuable RARE franchises that Microsoft no longer needs is very good business for all parties involved.  Please comment on what you think of this rumor and its impact if true.

Original story from Zelda Informer

New Battle Kid 2 Demo Will Test Your Metal

Battle Kid 2 has received a new playable demo ROM that better reflects the final product scheduled to release within the next month.  The demo allows you to play through the intro stage and the early parts of the main game wrapping up at the end of the first sector of the the sewer area.  The sewer area also allows you to preview the new wall grip item which is reminiscent of Mega Man X.  Passwords and the map are obviously disabled to prevent spoilers.  Oddly, I find it ironic that I am more excited for this game than a lot of the "major releases" coming out this year. Also, check out the reaction of the Angry Video Game Nerd to the upcoming release of Battle Kid 2.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Little Inferno Burns Up Wii U This Fall

2D Boy, developers of the sublime WiiWare game World of Goo, have announced their newest game Little Inferno.  While details on the actual game are scarce, information has surfaced about the game's development along with a delightfully twisted teaser trailer for the game.

  • The game seems to focus around burning everything you can find in your fireplace known as the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace in order to keep out the invading cold.  Your fuel includes flaming logs, screaming robots, credit cards, batteries, exploding fish, unstable nuclear devices, and tiny galaxies.  This early description seems to point towards a puzzle/adventure style of gameplay with a humorous edge.
  • Allan Blomquist and Kyle Gabler (2D Boy, Creators of World of Goo) are being joined by Kyle Gray, creator of the amazing Nintendo DS game Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure.  This new 3 man team will form the development team of Little Inferno known as Tomorrow Corporation.
  • The game will be release Fall 2012 on PC/Mac/Linux and will be console exclusive to the Wii U, no doubt a nod to their huge success with World of Goo on the WiiWare service.
  • The PC/Mac/Linux versions of the game will be DRM & IAP free meaning that there will be no copy protection, spam, upselling or ads of any kind.  This is a nice bonus for computer gamer's who hate all that pesky DRM that infests most commercial releases.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Club Nintendo July Rewards Update #2

    Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards today replacing Electroplankton Rec-Rec with the strategy title Starship Patrol which was developed by Q Games.  The expiration date for this offer is now July 29 and the price is 150 coins.  As suspected, this new rewards setup encourages members to visit the site more often to check on new rewards instead of just checking once at the beginning of each month.  Be sure to check back July 22 for the next reward, most likely for WiiWare or Wii Virtual Console.

Starship Patrol - Nintendo 3DS
150 Coins (Available Until July 29)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Last Story Gets Its Final Date

The Last Story has been given its official US release date care of publisher XSEED Games.  The Wii's final epic will hit North American shores August 14.  The game will have some nice bonuses at launch as well.

  • All "launch copies" will be limited edition, which includes an art book and exclusive packaging.
  • All pre-orders with & Gamestop/EB Games will receive a premium soundtrack CD with 7 tracks.

As usual for the excellent XSEED Games, they are are stepping up and showing that they are a company who knows how to treat true game fans very well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Move Over Wii, Xbox & PlayStation, Meet The OUYA!

Have you ever wanted to have a hand in getting a home video game console made?  I know that sounds grandiose but that's exactly what's happening right now on Kickstarter.  The console is the OUYA (Pronounced "OOO-yah") and the POTENTIAL to turn the game industry on its head is staggering.  I emphasize potential because of past home console "failure to launch" stories such as the M2 & Phantom.  One thing to note is that those past failures never had anything like Kickstarter to assist in their creation.  In essence, the company gets to show upfront that there is an audience who wants the machine with both investor and monetary numbers.  Not only have they reached their $950,000 goal in the first day, they have shot well past 3 million dollars with 28 days to go.  The machine is designed to be completely open for developers and even users encouraging everyone to open the machine and hack it for their own desires.  For the $99 price tag, the specs and what you get are impressive:

OUYA Specs

  • Tegra 3: Quadcore ARM CortexA9 + GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal flash
  • HDMI connection to the TV at 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • Enclosure opens with standard screws
  • No disc drive
  • Wireless controller with 2.4Ghz RF
  • Standard game controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button)
  • Touchpad, for porting mobile games more easily
  • 2x AA batteries
  • Enclosure opens with standard screws 

OS and Software
  • Android 4.0
  • Custom TV UI
  • Integrated custom game store — find and download games (and other apps)
  • Includes SDK for game development
  • Ability to root device without voiding warranty

Monday, July 9, 2012

Battle Kid 2 Blasts Onto The NES This Month

Anyone familiar with the current state of gaming on the original NES will probably know about Sivak Games brilliant and brutally difficult NES game titled Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril.  Released in 2010, it was the first new NES cartridge of its kind released in over 15 years.  The game sadistically mixed gameplay elements of Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden and Metroid creating a challenge that would make the hardest of hardcore gamer's run for the hills.  Battle Kid's quality of gameplay and presentation even rivals some of the best games ever made for the classic NES.  I'm happy to report that this month will mark the released of its sequel titled Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment.  Much like Mega Man 2 compared to the original Mega Man, Battle Kid 2 improves upon the original's formula in almost every conceivable way including the addition of new block types, wall grip upgrade & death counter.  The game also features:

  • 650 Rooms
  • 25 Enemy Types
  • 13 Boss Battles
  • 42 Music Tracks
  • Password System

Both games play out like a Metroidvania game complete with continue points, ability upgrades & a large interconnected map.  Battle Kid 2 now features a more fleshed out story with a new intro stage, dialogue between characters and larger world.  If you're a retro gamer & collector, I highly recommend picking up this beauty when it releases later this month at RetroZone.  If you need more convincing, here is the official trailer that just released today as well as links for the official demo's of both Battle Kid and Battle Kid 2 which are playable on your NES emulator of choice.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Club Nintendo Rewards Now Live

Nintendo has put up the rewards list for Club Nintendo members who achieved Platinum/Gold (P/G) status.  The rewards are as follows:

P - Platinum Mario Playing Cards
P - Limited Edition Platinum Poster Set (3 posters featuring Skywards Sword, Luigi's Mansion 2 & Kid Icarus Uprising)
P/G - Club Nintendo Calender 2013

And if you don't want physical prizes this year, Nintendo is allowing members to choose a digital download this year:

P/G - Super Mario Kart (Wii Virtual Console)
P/G - Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (Wii Virtual Console)
P/G - Metroid II: Return of Samus (3DS Virtual Console)
P/G - Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again! (3DS eShop)

Personally, I went with the nice looking semi transparent Mario Playing Cards.  I won't lie, this has been another disappointing year while still offering a greater number of choices than previous years.  I would recommend contacting the Big N and requesting better rewards in the future such as exclusive games, soundtrack CD's or anything even remotely as cool as what Europe and especially Japan get for their rewards.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kirby Gets A Delightful Soundtrack CD For His Birthday

With Kirby turning 20 this year, Nintendo is releasing an anniversary disc for Wii this September featuring a variety of his past adventures.  Also planned for the collection is a music CD that will include a selection of Kirby's classic tunes, some of which will be fully orchestrated similar to the music included with Skyward Sword.  A video recently popped up on YouTube showing a recording of one of the featured medley tracks.  I don't know about you but this Kirby collection just seems to get better by the day.  Enjoy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Slick Mini Documentary Chronicles The Last Story

The Last Story will FINALLY see its american release later this month care of XSEED Games. To celebrate its release, a french YouTube channel known as sidekickfr has created a rather nice mini documentary chronicling its development from the beginning when it was known as Last World and starred a blind female lead.  Released 2 months ago in french, sidekickfr recently re-released the 15 minute doc with an english language narration which is a nice bonus for american fans of this final epic for the Wii.  Make sure you show your thanks to XSEED and pre-order this amazing game as it's sure to become a classic like Final Fantasy.

Also, for those who pre-order, The Last Story will come in a Limited Edition that will include a 44 page artbook and special collector's box.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Atlus Shows 3DS Owners Some Love With Code Of Princess This Fall

Not only has Atlus decided to bring over the beautiful Code Of Princess from Japan, which I am personally thrilled about, they are doing it in style.  Atlus is bringing this slick 2D/3D game over with some awesome bonuses in the form of a sweet looking Soundtrack CD & Art Book, showing that Atlus much like XSEED Games knows how to treat us game collectors well.  Code Of Princess is an action/brawler/RPG in the same vein as the brilliant Guardian Heroes for the Sega Saturn.  Loaded with content, the game features:

  • Gorgeous Handrawn 2D Sprites On Multi-Layered 3D Levels
  • Over 100 Quests
  • Over 50 Playable & Customizable Characters
  • Online Multiplayer Featuring Co-Op Quests & Versus Multiplayer

Outside of the indie community, Japan continues to be a welcome source of original games that are not mired in the glut of FPS' and unoriginal sequels that plague many american made games. Code Of Princess is one to keep an eye on when it releases this fall.

Club Nintendo July Rewards Are Live

    Today begins Nintendo's subtle reworking of its Club Nintendo program.  First up are the new coin values being applied to both physical games as well as digital titles.  Oddly enough on the 3DS, Nintendo seems to be rewarding people who purchase actual cartridges vs. 3DS Ware with greater coin values.  It's pretty nice that Nintendo is taking small steps to to reward fans & collectors who love hard copy gaming.
    Next up are the Platinum/Gold Elite rewards which are currently listed as coming soon.  I try not to get my hopes up but every year I secretly hope for something such as an exclusive game cartridge or soundtrack.  To this day, the two exclusive Nintendo DS Game & Watch Gallery's rank among my favorite rewards for the US Club Nintendo program.
    Finally, the last update comes in the form of the digital games you can purchase with earned coins for your Wii & 3DS.  While the selection is light with only 2 games, Nintendo has changed their availability to only about a half of the month.  This move seems to indicate a shift to encourage fans to return to Club Nintendo more often to see whats available.  The games are:
      Mario Tennis - Wii Virtual Console
      150 Coins (Available Until July 22)
      Electroplankton Rec-Rec - Nintendo 3DS
      100 Coins (Available Until July 15)
These moves, while subtle, seem to indicate a shift in Nintendo's attitude towards its online space which makes sense considering the upcoming MiiVerse community they hope to build between the 3DS and upcoming WiiU this fall.  Stay tuned for any new updates on the Club Nintendo front.