Friday, February 28, 2014

Professor Layton And The Azran Legacy Launch Trailer

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy Trailer Direct Link

Ballpoint Universe Coming To Wii U On March 18th!

While retail releases may be slim on the Wii U, the eShop is seeing a flood of new games with many coming over the next couple months. Nintendo's HD console has become an indie darling with its inviting development environment, lack of competition from bigger third party's and dedicated fanbase willing to support these fresh new indie's who show respect to Nintendo's underdog console. In return, these indies are seeing quite a bit of success and fan support (thanks to Miiverse).

One of these new indie titles is Ballpoint Universe which blends unique hand-drawn graphics with a gameplay hybrid featuring both platforming and side-scrolling shooting stages. In the game you control Doodle, a little sketch who literally fights for creativity. Ballpoint Universe is being developed by Arachnid Games in the versatile Unity engine which has become the powerful backbone to many Wii U indie titles. Wii U fans can enter the sketchy world of Ballpoint Universe on March 18th. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LEGO The Hobbit Builds Its Way Onto Wii U & 3DS This April

WB Interactive Entertainment and longtime LEGO game develoiper TT Games have announced a release date for the next game in their long running movie licensed LEGO series, LEGO The Hobbit. Peter Jackson's vision of Tolkien's Middle-Earth will receive the brick treatment on April 8th in North America (April 11th in Europe). The game is set to cover the first two movies in the new Hobbit movie series (An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug). It is currently unknown how the third movie (There and Back Again) will play into the video game since the last film won't be released until December 2014. My personal speculation would be either a large DLC download to cover the last film or a potential LEGO The Hobbit Trilogy video game released in 2015. Either way, LEGO fans can look forward to revisiting Middle-Earth this April. Enjoy!

Nintendo Reveals 3DS Promotion For Free eShop Version Of Pokemon X/Y

Nintendo of America has officially revealed a new 3DS promotion that will allow new 3DS/2DS owners to get a free downloadable version of the latest Pokemon game through Club Nintendo when they register their system and an eligible game. The promotion will run for the entire month of March (March 1st to the 31st) and will require a Club Nintendo account. For those who purchase (or register) a Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL or 2DS system and one of the six games listed below, you will receive a free download code for Pokemon X or Y.
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
  • LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins
  • Yoshi's New Island
Once you have received your free download code, you will have until May 31, 2014 to download your free Pokemon game. This is an excellent promotion which gives 3DS/2DS owners access to one of the systems best RPG's. For those who already have a 3DS/2DS system and one of the qualifying games but have yet to register them on Club Nintendo, you will also be eligible for the promotion provided you register during the month of March (this is why I personally hold off on registering my system/games). Enjoy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

BLOK DROP U Coming To Wii U eShop March 6th!

Nintendo's Web Development Framework has become very popular and its use of the HTML 5 programming language is opening the doors to many new games coming to the Wii U this year. One of the first major examples of an HTML 5 game on the Wii U eShop is BLOK DROP U (developed by RCMADIAX) which has been submitted to Nintendo and is scheduled to hit the service on March 6. BLOK DROP U is a Wii U exclusive physics-based puzzle game that puts its focus on gameplay & concept over high end graphics. Better yet, the game will be priced at a very reasonable $1.99 which is reflective of the more experimental nature and high concept approach of many HTML 5 titles. Enjoy!

Batman Blackgate Coming To Wii U eShop This April!

WB Interactive Entertainment has announced that Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition will be making its way to the Wii U eShop on April 1 in NA (April 2 in Europe). Blackgate is a sequel/companion to Batman: Arkham Origins that takes place 3 months after the events in that game in Blackgate prison. Originally released on the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita in late 2013, the deluxe edition adds a variety of new upgrades including enhanced HD visuals & sound, a new mapping system as well as new skins for Batman. Newcomers can expect a 2.5D Metroidvania style game with a story told through very stylized comic book panel cinemas which will be fully voiced. The price for this new Batman adventure will be set at $19.99. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Introducing The Humble Indie Bundle 11!

The Humble Bundle is continuing its quest to bring the best in indie games to the 3 major operating systems with the Humble Indie Bundle 11. This means you will receive a selection of excellent titles for Linux, PC & Mac and best of all, they are all DRM free! The long running bundle is putting a focus on action adventure titles with its latest release. Currently there are 6 titles with more on the way for those who beat the average price (currently sitting at about $5).
  • Guacamelee! Gold Edition
  • Dust: An Elysian Tail
  • Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams
  • The Swapper
  • Antichamber (Beat the average to unlock)
  • Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine (Beat the average to unlock)
Indie game fans will also be getting the soundtracks for each game which has become a standard but welcome feature with these bundles. Steam users will be happy to know that your bundle will include Steam keys for every game. Enjoy and be sure to share!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Transformers: Rise Of The Dark Spark Coming To Wii U & 3DS!

Transformers has often had a hit and miss relationship with video games despite being perfectly suited to the medium. It wasn't until Activision's Transformers: War for Cybertron (2010) and its sequel Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (2012) that we finally got some titles that truly nailed the core appeal of the series. Unfortunately those games were too technically demanding for the original Wii and Nintendo fans were left with some pretty awful Transformers games such as Transformers: Cybertron Adventures.

I'm happy to announce that Activision is rectifying this with the recently announced Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark which looks to blend the previous games with a touch of the modern Transformers films. While some have shown concern at this blending, I have a feeling this is being done to satisfy fans of both series and the changes will likely be cosmetic with the core gameplay remaining largely untouched. For those who aren't familiar with the series, the game will allow you to play both Decepticon and Autobot campaigns while moving the battle from Cybertron to Earth in line with the series lore. It is currently unknown if the Cybertron series creator High Moon Studios will helm the project but considering that they don't have any projects currently listed in development, it is a good possibility. The recently released trailer looks very promising and could be the game to finally unite fans of both the old and new Transformers. Enjoy (and thank you Activision for bringing this to Wii U)!

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Launch Trailer

DKC: Tropical Freeze Launch Trailer Direct Link

Friday, February 14, 2014

Steel Diver: Sub Wars Brings Free-To-Play FPS Action To 3DS!

Leave it to Nintendo to take the generally reviled concept of free-to-play and make it work in Steel Diver: Sub Wars. Despite the constant bitching about the lack of new game IP's, Nintendo has in fact had quite a few over the last 3-4 years thanks to the 3DS and its eShop. One of those new IP's was Steel Diver, a launch title for the 3DS which many ignored (something that happens all the time unfortunately).  Steel Diver was actually a fun title that mixed a variety of gameplay modes with a focus on underwater submarine warfare.

Last year, Nintendo revealed their intention to introduce the free-to-play game delivery model to the eShop and Steel Diver would be the first game to release under this new pricing structure. Many expected Nintendo to simply chop up the 3DS original and charge for each piece of the game. Fortunately, the Big N is not your typical lazy cash grab publisher (-cough- EA -cough-) and opted to craft a new game in the franchise which focuses on tactical first person submarine combat and offer it up for free with the option to buy a more feature rich expanded version. The game is broken up into a Free version and a Premium version and offers 4 X 4 team battles through local and online multiplayer as well as a single player campaign as detailed below.

Free Version (Available Now)
  • 2 Total Submarines
  • Online & Local Multiplayer
  • Few Crew Members
  • Limited Customizable Submarine Patterns
  • Two Single-Player Missions
Premium Version ($9.99)
  • 18 Total Submarines
  • Online & Local Multiplayer
  • 30+ Crew Members
  • Fully Customizable Submarine Patterns
  • All Single-Player Missions
Honestly this is a pretty slick way for Nintendo to introduce players to a new franchise while experimenting with revenue generation that doesn't feel gimmicky or dishonest (the game doesn't hide the premium cost or trick you into spending your money). You can expect to see this expanded with future games on the eShop. Enjoy and be sure to download the Free version via your 3DS eShop.

Steel Diver: Sub Wars Trailer Direct Link

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Monolith Soft's X Battle Footage Introduces Real-Time Mech Combat!

Monolith Soft's Xenoblade Chronicles for the original Wii system is one of the best games one the system if not one of the greatest JRPG's of all time. Needless to say when Nintendo revealed a new game in the series last year, simply titled "X", and fans went crazy after seeing the gorgeous visuals, expansive environments and massive Mech-powered navigation (not to mention the hints of potential multiplayer). After that reveal over a year ago, things went quiet and RPG fans had to wait for more details.

Fortunately Nintendo has just revealed another tasty morsel and it comes in the form of some gameplay footage of the games battle system. While the basics look very similar to Xenoblade Chronicles (not a bad thing at all!), the show stopper was the revelation that the games Mechs are available at any point in the middle of battle! This means that if a particular enemy is giving you trouble, you can hop into your Mech in real-time and kick the crap out of said enemy. Taking things a bit further, you can also fight enemies that are many stories tall with your death machine and then hop out on foot to use special attacks seamlessly. This is a very impressive sight to behold (especially in seamless real-time) and shows a level of scale normally reserved for games like the upcoming Titanfall. The Wii U may not have Final Fantasy but in all honesty may not even need it after fans witness this epic RPG (A Wii U Exclusive!). Enjoy (and check out the creature in the background canyon at 30 second mark, simply MASSIVE)!

New Bayonetta 2 "Did You Miss Me?" Trailer

Bayonetta 2: Did You Miss Me? Trailer Direct Link

Game Boy Advance Virtual Console Springs Onto Wii U eShop This April

Nintendo has announced that Game Boy Advance games will begin coming to the Wii U Virtual Console service this April. Many fans are a bit confused about this move when you consider the 3DS would be the natural choice for GBA games. This is likely an effort to expand the Wii U eShop which is one area where the system has had quite a bit of success despite its low install base. While no pricing or specific release date (outside of the month) were given, Nintendo has revealed 3 games set to hit the service and they are some of the best games on the system.
  • Metroid Fusion
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island
These titles are a great start to a service that could potentially bring us an official English language release of Mother 3 given the massive success of EarthBound when it was released last year on the Wii U. Nintendo was also quiet on any additional features but you can likely expect restore points (save states), customizable controls and crisper graphics similar to the SNES Virtual Console. There is also a high chance that this will lead to an announcement of a GBA Virtual Console for 3DS at a later date after it's had time to establish itself on Wii U. On a personal note, I feel there is a chance that we may see a cross system feature between 3DS & Wii U in the near future that would allow games to be purchased once and transferred between the 2 systems similar to Sony's system for classic PS1 games. Just a thought.

There's Nothing Little About This New Super Smash Bros. Trailer

SSB: Champions of the Ring Trailer Direct Link

New Mario Kart 8 Trailer Introduces The Koopalings As Playable Racers (Plus Release Date)!

Mario Kart 8 will be a major system seller for the Wii U and Nintendo is pulling out all the stops. Today, they game us a new trailer which introduces 7 new characters in the form of the Koopalings. These devilish minions of Bowser made their debut back in the NES classic, Super Mario Bros. 3. Since then, they have been acting as world bosses for games in the New Super Mario series but this is their first time behind the wheel. Their introduction also means that Mario Kart 8 will no doubt have the largest roster of playable drivers in the entire series. Along with the shiny new trailer, Nintendo has also given an official release date of May 30th so expect a massive spike in Wii U sales this Spring. Enjoy!

Mutant Mudds Reigns Supreme On Wii U & 3DS!

Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham has revealed via Twitter that the Wii U eShop version of Mutant Mudds has sold more than the combined sales of Steam (PC), PS3 and PS Vita. This is quite noteworthy when you consider how small the Wii U audience is compared to that of those 3 platforms. This is great news for the mass of indie titles coming to the Wii U this year and proves the viability of the eShop for budding & established developers.

When questioned on the 3DS version of Mutant Mudds, Jools stated that the "3DS is king" in terms of sales numbers. While not quite as easy to develop for as the Wii U, the 3DS has proven itself a juggernaut in both digital & retails sales. Many indie developers have even proven that the 3DS eShop can yield higher sales than iOS and Android which is quite amazing when you consider the massive install base of those devices.


The Downfall Of Gaming Journalism As Told By The Rageaholic

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ubisoft Sabotages Watch Dogs On Wii U

Here we are again, a third party developer willfully sabotages a multi-platform release on a Nintendo console and will blame the fans when it sells like shit on the Wii U (if they don't tank it altogether for the console). That game is Watch Dogs and Ubisoft recently revealed their intention to delay the Wii U version of the game until "later this year" while PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, XBOne and PC owners will get the game simultaneously this spring.

This is a relatively new tactic (along with cutting game features) that is being employed by many third party publishers with projects released & still destined for the Wii U and it provides an easy out when the game sells poorly. This is very apparent when you consider that the PS4 & XBOne currently have fewer hardware units sold but are still getting game releases on schedule. As it stands, I would not be surprised if the game gets canned outright and Ubisoft drops almost all support for the console outside of titles like the Just Dance series which has always been a cash cow for them on Nintendo consoles. This year will mark a major shift for the Nintendo Wii U where first/second party and indie developed games become the driving force for the machine while the last ties to most non-Japanese third party publishers are cut completely. While this may seem dire, it is actually a great shift for Nintendo that will evolve the Wii U into a machine for fans of gameplay & fun. YouTuber Andrew Eisen sounds off on the delay and perfectly sums up the hypocrisy of the whole situation. Enjoy!

Club Nintendo February Rewards Update

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards for February and for the remainder of the month they are offering 4 titles across 3 systems (Wii games can be played on Wii U)The expiration date for this offer is now March 9 and the price is between 150-200 coins for each title. Be sure to check back March 10 for the next reward update.

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream - Wii U eShop
200 Coins (Available Until March 9)

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Wii Virtual Console
200 Coins (Available Until March 9)

Donkey Kong Jr. - 3DS eShop
150 Coins (Available Until March 9)

Art Style: PiCTOBiTS 3DS eShop
150 Coins (Available Until March 9)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Keiji Inafune Gives Mighty No. 9 An Early Test Run

Mega Man fans are hyped for Mighty No. 9 and with good reason when you consider its design pedigree and the lack of the Blue Bomber for many years. After its well publicized and highly successful Kickstarter run late last year, the team creating Mighty No. 9 have been hard at work getting the game up and running. All of this while also giving backers a steady flow of project updates and artwork which has revealed many of the supporting characters in the game. Mighty No. 9 creator and project lead Keiji Inafune has even revealed plans for an entire franchise including a possible live-action film which is great news for fans who wished Mega Man would've gotten a similar treatment.

This is of course getting ahead of ourselves and what the fans really want to see is the game actually up and running. Fortunately the game was recently shown in an early playable state to Keiji Inafune and he has given his enthusiastic approval (and as a longtime Mega Man fan, so do I). Honestly, Mighty No. 9 looks like a perfect blend of the original Mega Man and Mega Man X with that modern spin we've been begging for. While this clip is short, it's just enough to get us hyped all over again. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Free HTML 5 Games Now Available On Wii U

PlayBoxie has made its service available for Wii U giving players access to a variety of free games on the GamePad. All games are built in HTML 5 and utilize the native abilities of the Wii U web browser to play. This is an interesting service and could be a good springboard for small hobby game developers to test their games on Wii U. Currently, there are a variety of titles available including Cut The Rope, Doodle Jump and Pac-Man (all games are also playable on your standard web browser). Enjoy!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Moon Chronicles Debut Trailer For 3DS eShop

Moon Chronicles Debut Trailer Direct Link

Sonic Boom Is About To Make Some Noise On Wii U & 3DS

Sonic the Hedgehog has gone from Mario's rival mascot back in the late 80's/early 90's to becoming a major mascot for Nintendo, often starring in games alongside Nintendo's hard working plumber. 2010's Sonic Colors and last years Sonic Lost World for the Wii U & 3DS gave an idea of what could be achieved if Sega's blue blur settled down and focused on what makes him great as a character. While some were critical of Lost World, the game showed a major improvement over much of what Sonic starred in over the last 15 years. As major third party's jumped ship on Nintendo, Sega has cozy'd up to the Big N and offered their mascot as an exclusive across a selection of new games. It seems that the latest exclusive will coincide with a new CGI animated series set to premiere on Cartoon Network later this year. That new game is Sonic Boom and it is a major third party exclusive for the Wii U & 3DS! The game will act as a prequel of sorts to the TV series.

There are a lot of interesting details tied to Sonic Boom that is sure to surprise many Wii U fans. The Wii U version of the game is being developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, a new company who's experience includes work on Crash Bandicoot, Jak & Daxter and Uncharted which explains why Sonic Boom looks similar to games like Jak and Rachet & Clank (this is a very good thing). The 3DS version of the game is being handled by Sanzaru who recently worked on the PS3/Vita title Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. The Wii U version of Sonic Boom has also been in development for about 2 years which shows a level of investment in the game as opposed to a quick licensing cash grab to ride off the animated series. One of the most impressive details about the game is that it is running on the powerful CryEngine 3 game engine which explains the beautiful game environments. Ironically, the game was actually shown in the CryEngine 3 demo reel featured at last years Game Developers Conference (GDC 2013) in March 2013 but nobody knew that it was Sonic OR that it was for Wii U. Destructoid has reported that the game looks a lot like the popular Ratchet & Clank game series on PlayStation due to the games massive worlds and projectile combat system. It has also been confirmed that the Wii U version of the game will support co-op play. Any way you slice it, Sonic Boom is an impressive title that is sure to make a splash on Nintendo systems later this year. Enjoy!

Sonic Boom Trailer Direct Link

Final Fantasy IV Medley By On Being Human

Final Fantasy IV Medley Direct Link

Child Of Light Gets A New Trailer & Release Date

Ubisoft's beautiful turn-based RPG Child of Light, is set to hit the Wii U eShop on April 30th. Child of Light uses the same UbiArt Framework engine that powered the amazing Rayman Legends and the results are stunning 2D artwork that looks like a painting come to life. What's surprising about the game is the quick turnaround in development considering the game was only revealed in mid 2013. This type of development cycle is usually reserved for indie developers but will be a necessary change as the industry continues to loose its ability to maintain overly expensive triple A games. Be prepared to enter the world of Lemuria on April 30th ($14.99). Enjoy!

Child of Light Trailer Direct Link

Monday, February 3, 2014

How Well Do You Know Kingdom Hearts?

Kingdom Hearts DYKG Direct Link

A Deeper Look At 2014's Hyrule Warriors

The Legend of Zelda is gearing up for 2 new Wii U adventures. While the yet to be revealed "traditional" Zelda game is the most anticipated, the recent surprise announcement of Hyrule Warriors has caused many fans to sit up and take notice of this new action heavy game. Many gamer's see this title as completely unexpected but if you look beneath the surface of developer Tecmo Koei's relationship with Nintendo, things become a bit clearer. In reality, Nintendo and Tecmo-Koei have a very close relationship that has resulted in Metroid: Other M, Nintendo publishing Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for Wii U and Nintendo co-owning parts of the Fatal Frame franchise with Tecmo. This is a result of Nintendo's more recent attempts to forge closer relationships with noteworthy Japanese 3rd party's such as Namco, Sega and Tecmo which will result in even more games like Hyrule Warriors in the future.

The big question in regards to Hyrule Warriors is how it fits within the Zelda universe. The game is obviously birthed from the long running Dynasty Warriors series but seeing as The Legend of Zelda has such a rich tapestry in terms of lore, fans want to know how this will effect the famous Zelda timeline. Nintendo revealed that the game is not part of the "core" Zelda franchise and is more of a spin-off but that means that the game can still represent a part of the Zelda story that normally couldn't be explored due to limitations of the series adventure roots. The focus or action and themes of war in the Dynasty Warriors has led many to believe that Hyrule Warriors will in fact take place during one of the pivotal wars that has set the stage for games like Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past. YouTube channel GameXplain has actually taken the trailer for Hyrule Warriors and attempted to see what the story and gameplay of the new game will actually be. You can watch part 1 here but I highly recommend part 2 which I have posted below which shows off some possible secrets about the game. Enjoy!