Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Skull Kid" Film Acts As An Excellent Majora's Mask Prequel

Majora's Mask is quite possibly one of the most underrated yet polarizing games in the long running and legendary Zelda game series. It was one of the few games that attempted to try something truly new and different yet often receives harsh criticism from fans for its trouble. Funny thing is, those fans who have really given it a chance were rewarded with an excellent game with a rich cast of characters and a deep somber story to tell. The core of that story stems from the mischievous Skull Kid and his misguided actions that unleash the titular Majora's Mask and drag Link into the fated world of Termina. Machinima has recently released a live action fan film titled Skull Kid: A Zelda Legend which gives a deeper look into the ill fated Skull Kid as well as his actions that kick off Link's quest. The film is quite well done and manages to bring The Legend of Zelda to life in a way that is respectful to the source material, something Hollywood manages to screw up all the time with live action video game films. Enjoy!

Gunman Clive Sells 250,000 Copies With A "Vast Majority" Coming From 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS has become home to a wide variety of excellent indie games and some of those games have managed to do really well on Nintendo's portable. Nintendo themselves have even started to use their eShop to introduce a LOT of brand new games/franchises despite the constant bitching from the naysayers. Happily, one of the bigger successes on the 3DS comes in the form of a western plaformer known as Gunman Clive. Developer Bertil Horberg has revealed via his Twitter that the game has sold more than a quarter of a million copies which is pretty impressive for a game designed by one person. What's even more impressive is that the game has seen "the vast majority" of those sales from the 3DS eShop (not too shabby considering it was available for Android and IOS first). For those who haven't played this little gem, be sure to download it ASAP considering it's only $2.


"Croft" Fan Film Is A Surprisingly Gritty And Truly Bad Ass Take On Lara Croft

The recent Tomb Raider reboot gave fans a much darker and more serious take on the nearly 20 year old franchise as well as its main character, Lara Croft. Honestly, the series needed this move as the character was becoming a bit of a joke through her film and later game representations. This new Lara has moved beyond her rather clunky roots and has grown into a gritty bad ass with actual depth and character.

A group of fans on the YouTube channel CanCinema has taken this new direction for the character and crafted an excellent film which acts as a prequel of sorts. The film is titled Croft and through its 20 minutes manages to lay the roots and early motivations behind the young Lara. In a surprising twist, the film is dark, dramatic and quite action packed with a style usually reserved for feature film. This is backed up by some really good acting that manages to be just as good as the fight choreography. Even if you're not a fan of the Tomb Raider series, you owe it to yourself to view this stunning fan film which upstages a lot of what Hollywood is crapping into cinemas in recent years. Enjoy and be sure to share!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Super Smash Bros. Trailer Is Out Of This Galaxy!

The new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS is hands down one of the biggest games coming in 2014 and its character roster gets fans more excited with each new reveal. Today's Nintendo Direct showed off the latest character addition in the form of Rosalina & Luma from Super Mario Galaxy. Since her debut back in 2007, she has become a very popular character in the Mario universe and Nintendo has responded by adding her to new games such as Mario Kart 8, Super Mario 3D World and now Super Smash Bros.

It's nice to see the Mario universe continue to expand and Rosalina marks a distinct change for Mario princesses as she is a strong female lead that does NOT need to be rescued. I would not be the least bit surprised to see her eventually star in her own game considering her popularity. Rosalina & Luma's inclusion in the latest Super Smash Bros. also brings level(s) and music from Super Mario Galaxy which should prove very interesting. Enjoy!

Nintendo Gets Epic With Bravely Default Demo!

The new 3DS RPG epic Bravely Default is quickly shaping up to be the Final Fantasy game many fans have been begging for. Everything from the world to the gameplay strikes the right notes and fans are very much on board. With the games upcoming February 7, 2014 release date, Nintendo is giving fans something truly special to sweeten the experience.

On January 2, 2014, the Big N is releasing a special eShop demo that will change the perception of how a company should let fans experience a game. The Bravely Default Demo will actually be its own unique side story with hours of content which isn't included in the main game essentially making this a full featured mini RPG. In other words, the demo will literally expand the experience beyond the main story and keep everything fresh and new when you purchase the full game. You will even have access to the Streetpass function in BOTH the Demo and Full Version which the game uses to expand the experience. To add even more incentive, you will be able to transfer special item packs, 20 Streetpass tags and any registered 3DS friends into the main game. The icing on the cake is the fact that the demo is 100% FREE! Lesser companies would nickle and dime gamers for something like this but Nintendo is once again showing why fans love them so much. RPG fans are in for a real treat next month. Enjoy!

Yoshi's New Island 3DS Teaser Trailer

Yoshi's New Island Teaser Direct Link

Chibi-Robo! Is Back In A New Augmented Reality 3DS Game

The adorable Chibi-Robo! is back in his latest adventure for the 3DS. The cute little robot made a name for himself on the GameCube and DS with a series of adventures based around helping people. For those who have experienced Chibi's adventures on both the GameCube and Nintendo DS, there is no denying the series charm and his new 3DS eShop quest adds in the underutilized AR (Augmented Reality) function of Nintendo's popular portable.

In Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder, you are tasked with helping a Curator who needs exhibit's for his Museum. As the tiny robot you must seek out real world objects and photograph them with the 3DS camera which turns the items into in-game objects called NostalJunk to display in the Museum. It's a brilliantly simple concept that makes perfect use of the system's unique abilities while giving fans a fresh new adventure which will be available January 9, 2014. While many complain that Nintendo doesn't create new IP's, this is a perfect example of that Nintendo magic at work with something fresh and new. For those unfamiliar with the adventures of Chibi-Robo!, I urge you to seek out and experience at least one of his adventures as he is one of Nintendo's more charming new characters (The Nintendo DS game Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol is the easier game to get your hands on and it's 100% 3DS compatible). Enjoy and be sure to try the Demo on the 3DS eShop!

NES Remix Challenges Players In 16 NES Classics

Nintendo just announced a new challenge based game for the Wii U titled NES Remix. The game takes its inspiration from the WarioWare series by offering gamers a new way to play 16 classics from the early days of the original NES. Challenges include playing through Donkey Kong as Link, completing Super Mario levels in reverse and Excitebike racing in the dark. To coincide with the games reveal, you can download NES Remix on the Wii U eShop today for $14.99. Enjoy!

Get Cranky With New Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Trailer

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is poised to be Nintendo's next big title for the Wii U when it hits the system on February 21, 2014. Its frozen levels will be a perfect fit for the cold winter months but Nintendo is heating things up with the inclusion of a new playable character in the form of Cranky Kong. The crotchety old Kong has only played a supporting role in previous games dolling out advice and berating Donkey Kong because he feels the games were always better in his day. Early videos and descriptions show Cranky handling in a similar fashion to Scrooge McDuck from the DuckTales game series with his cane allowing him to hop across various obstacles that would stop Donkey, Diddy and Dixie dead in their tracks. It has also been revealed that the Kong's have new team super moves that will devastate enemies when fully charged which is sure to add a strategic element to the combat. Enjoy!

New Mario Kart 8 Trailer Takes To The Skies With New Levels

Mario Kart 8 Trailer Direct Link

Zelda Meets Dynasty Warriors In Hyrule Warriors For Wii U

Nintendo dropped a surprise announcement today during with the news of Hyrule Warriors (name not final) for the Wii U. The game looks to take the popular Dyanasty Warriors style gameplay and give it a Hyrule makeover with Link cutting through hundreds of Moblins and other Hyrule monsters with his trademark Master Sword. The game is being developed by Tecmo-Koei who are the makers of the Dynasty Warriors series with Nintendo overseeing the project. To be clear, this game is not part of the core Zelda series and more of a spin-off like Link's Crossbow Training was for the Wii. The early trailer looks quite promising and offers a new action heavy take on the beloved franchise. Expect the game to hit in 2014. Enjoy!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Nintendo Universe Gears Up For Battle In Mario Warfare Part 5!

Mario Warfare Part 5 Direct Link

See What Wario Land: Virtual Boy Could Look Like On 3DS

For those who have experienced the Virtual Boy, the Wario Land that was crafted for the unique system is hands down the best game on the console. Unfortunately, due to the systems failure it is the one game that deserves a rebirth yet has been lost to time. Many fans have wanted to see the game brought onto the Nintendo 3DS seeing as it would be a perfect fit but Nintendo has shown no desire to port the game and colorize it from its original red and black roots. It turns out that there are even game developers who would like to see this happen and Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham has crafted a single screen of what the game could look like and shared via his Twitter account. Jools has even included a QR code which you can scan with your 3DS and see what the screenshot would look like in 3D. Personally, I hope Nintendo takes notice of this and hires the wizards at Renegade Kid to finally give Nintendo fans access to this lost classic. Enjoy!


Metroid Inspired "ReVeN" Planned For Wii U

Indie developer Varia Games has confirmed that their new action adventure platformer titled ReVeN is coming to multiple platforms including Linux and PC with a Wii U version planned. The game does not hide its inspiration which includes Metroid, Deus Ex and Crysis with its heavy sci-fi setting and action gameplay. While the game is currently in alpha, the team is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign once the game hits beta next year which will include a beta demo. One of the most interesting features of the game is the planned level builder which will allow gamers to build custom levels and campaigns to share online. While we wait for some more info, be sure to check out the alpha trailers for ReVeN. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nintendo Renews Metroid Prime Trademark

Nintendo recently renewed the Metroid Prime trademark which is sure to please longtime fans of the amazing series. While this is in no way a confirmation of a new game in the series, it does open the door for a return to the franchise which is a child of the core Metroid series. The Prime series is comprised of 5 games and takes place between the original NES Metroid and the underrated Metroid II: Return of Samus for Game Boy. Many Nintendo fans are desperately wanting to see a return to the Prime series on Wii U after the relatively ill-received Metroid Other M despite that game being much better than people give it credit for. It should be noted that while the gaming press believes the Metroid series would move consoles, that is a gross misconception as the series rarely sells more than a couple million copies per game despite being much better than other first person games like Halo. Here's hoping we see the return of Samus soon.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Rock The "Expansion Pack" With Metroid Metal!

Expansion Pack Direct Link

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Knytt Underground Explores The Wii U eShop On December 19th

Metroidvania fans can rejoice as Knytt Underground finally has an official release date for the Wii U. The atmospheric title is a must for Metroid fans searching for a new action adventure fix. While the game has seen release on multiple platforms, the Wii U version is set to be the definitive console version with the inclusion of previously PC exclusive additional content as well as some features only possible through the Wii U GamePad. Here is an excerpt from the games press release:
  • Over 1,800 intricately designed rooms to explore
  • Even more secrets to discover, quests to embark on and rooms to uncover!
  • Exclusively to Wii U on consoles, the Infinity Hype update brings improvements and changes based on fan feedback from Reddit
  • With new graphical effects and flourishes, the Wii U version is the best looking console version of the game
  • Thanks to the Nintendo Wii U GamePad, you can view the map easily, seeing where you've explored & where you have yet to venture
The game should fit well with the Nintendo audience due to its obvious inspiration taken from Nintendo's famous bounty hunter. Be sure to check the game out when it drops on December 19th and for those on the fence, take a look at the games latest eShop trailer. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Club Nintendo December Rewards Update

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards for December and for the remainder of the month they are offering 4 titles across 3 systems (Wii games can be used on Wii U)The expiration date for this offer is now January 12 and the price is between 100-200 coins for each title. Be sure to check back January 13 for the next reward update.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels - Wii Virtual Console
150 Coins (Available Until January 12)

Balloon Fight - Wii U eShop
200 Coins (Available Until January 12)

Mario's Picross - 3DS eShop
100 Coins (Available Until January 12)

Starship Defense 3DS eShop
150 Coins (Available Until January 12)

Are Microtransactions Ruining The Game Industry?

It's painfully obvious that the game industry is about to go through some major growing pains in the next few years. Everything from massive development costs to an economy that has no way to "recover" threatens to bring radical changes to an industry that once seemed invincible.

One of the biggest points that could make or break the industry is the implementation of microtransactions in full priced retail games. Originally a concept utilized in "free to play" games and MMO's, microtransactions where meant to offer access to game content through real world money. While many gamer's seemed to either love or hate the concept, the idea has caught on in the mobile market and been successful due to the low costs usually associated with it. To be clear, this is a different issue than downloadable content (DLC) which actually has a level of merit and value when implemented properly.

The XBone and PS4 are the first major home consoles to implement microtransactions into their full priced retail games right out the gate and people are not happy. Instead of overexplaining this issue, I will direct you to a couple of videos from YouTube user boogie2988. Some of you may know him better by his alter ego Francis who expresses his nerd rage through pure emotion and is the perfect representation of the typical American reaction to a problem. Boogie2988 himself is a rather level headed individual who does a great job of explaining a particular issue within the industry. Please watch both videos and be sure to share your feelings on microtransactions below (Warning: Check your volume for the Francis video as he tends to get a little loud). Also, I recommend reading a fascinating article about Boogie2988 himself which was recently posted on Kotaku seeing as the man behind Francis is quite interesting. Enjoy!

Francis HATES Microtransactions and In App Purchases

On Microtransactions and In App Purchases

Child Of Light Developer Walkthrough Explores This Beautiful New RPG

Child of Light Developer Walkthrough Direct Link

Super Ubie Land Hitting Wii U eShop In Early 2014

Notion Games has announced that Super Ubie Land will be coming to the Wii U eShop early in 2014. The cute little platformer is now in its final Wii U testing stages and should be completed before the end of 2013. It has also been stated that the game will see yet another name change before its Wii U release although the details of this new title have not been revealed (so it could just have a "Wii U Edition" tacked onto the title). It's interesting to note that Wii U owners are beginning to see a lot of great indie titles storm the eShop with December kicking off with quite a few new games. Many of these titles are even Kickstarter projects which has been an excellent source of software support for Nintendo's HD machine.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Epic Lorule Castle (A Link Between Worlds) Cover

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a sublime experience that is sure to go down as one of the best Zelda games ever produced. It has refined everything that is great about the Zelda experience while trimming the fat to craft the best overhead Zelda to date (yes, this game officially bests its source material, the legendary "A Link to the Past"). Of the many great aspects of this game, its music is an amazing high point. A Link Between Worlds brings back many of the classic themes we love with amazing compositions while crafting some rather memorable new themes. This is very apparent in the theme for Lorule Castle which now has an excellent guitar cover by YouTube user DSC. If you haven't experienced this game and all of its glory, you are doing yourself a disservice as a gamer. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

LEGO Blues Brothers Mall Chase Is A Sight To Behold

YouTube user Bricktease has crafted a 3 minute film which provides a shot for shot remake of the famous shopping mall chase scene from the classic film, The Blue Brothers. It is an amazing piece of work that will surely bring a smile for any fan of Lego or the excellent Blues Brothers film. The volume of work is truly impressive and made even more impressive when you watch the making of video as well as the comparison video which pits the finished product against the film original. Please share this stunning video with friends and family. Enjoy!

Shopping Mall Chase Scene Direct Link

Side by Side Comparison Direct Link

Making Of Lego Blues Brothers Direct Link

Suit Up With "Varia Suite" Album By Metal Metroid

Varia Suite Direct Link