Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Is Sonic The Most Overrated Game Ever?

Sonic the Hedgehog is an interesting case study in whether his popularity is due to the character and marketing or actual good game design. It is also quite curious that a video game franchise with such a random collection of hits and misses has survived for so long, especially when you consider how rough his ride has been over the last 15 years. Personally I have always been split down the middle where I find some of the Sonic games enjoyable but that enjoyment is often derived from the overall package as opposed to the core gameplay which is often painfully average.

YouTube channel Previously Recorded has decided to sit down and examine the original 16-Bit Sonic titles and try to establish if Sonic is the most overrated game ever. It is an interesting breakdown of the games design and a great view for aspiring indie game developers. It should also be noted that the video is trying to view the early Sonic games objectively while not attacking the series overall. I say this because Sonic fans are some of the most fierce and blindly loyal video game franchise fans ever. Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nintendo's Mysterious Murasame Castle Is Coming To 3DS This August

Nintendo fans who played the underrated Nintendo Land on Wii U may have been confused by the inclusion of the seemingly out of place Takamaru's Ninja Castle which had you battling endless waves of Ninja's with throwing stars from the Wii U Gamepad. It turns out that much like Marth & Roy's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Melee before the English release of Fire Emblem, Takamaru's Ninja Castle is in fact based on a Famicom (the Japanese NES) action adventure title named Mysterious Murasame Castle. The game came out in 1986 for the Famicom Disk System and featured an overhead adventure style similar to The Legend of Zelda yet its gameplay was far more action oriented and linear.

Like Fire Emblem before, Nintendo is bringing Mysterious Murasame Castle to the US (this time through the 3DS Virtual Console) on August 7th (the game hit Europe in May). The game was officially revealed at San Diego Comic-Con where Nintendo has had an impressive showing even revealing a few surprises. This is interesting as it shows that Nintendo is opening up their import catalog which has largely been ignored until this latest generation of consoles. Actions like these are also bringing us ever closer to an English language release of the ever elusive Mother 3.

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate English Trailer

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NES Remix Pack Getting A Physical Disc Release On Wii U This Fall

NES Remix came out at the end of 2013 as a surprise eShop release that managed to revitalize many lesser known NES games and introduce them to a new audience. Its WarioWare "microgame" style of gameplay mixed up games like Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda with titles like Pinball and Wrecking Crew and the results are highly addictive and quite fun. Needless to say, the game was a success and a sequel titled NES Remix II dropped a few months later and brought even more beloved NES classics into the fold. As a bonus, if you owned both games you would be rewarded with even more playable content in the form of Championship Mode which features a new online leaderboards system.

Earlier this year in Japan, Nintendo decided to pack both games on a single disc and release the collection as a physical retail package (a huge bonus to fans who prefer physical to digital). Wii U fans in the US were eagerly awaiting a North American release but were surprised to hear nothing at E3 2014. It turns out that Nintendo was saving that tidbit (as well as other goodies) for Comic-Con where they officially announced that NES Remix Pack will be released Holiday 2014. Pricing and exact release date were not revealed but the game will likely see release around December. Having put quite a few hours into the first game, I highly recommend this collection for Nintendo fans both young and old. Enjoy!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Skylanders Trap Team On Wii Comes With FREE Wii U Download Code!

Skylanders continues to be one of the most successful new franchises since its release in 2011. The funny thing is that, despite the Wii largely being declared dead by mainstream "journalists" in 2011, Skylanders has always sold best (by a wide margin) on Nintendo's little white box (even with Skylanders Swap Force in late 2013). Realizing the potential to move that audience to Nintendo's rising Wii U, Activision has put together a rather brilliant promotion that aims to make the upgrade from Wii to Wii U even more enticing for fans.

Skylanders fans who purchase the new Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack for the Nintendo Wii will find a FREE download code for the Wii U version of Trap Team. Since Skylanders hardware (figures, portal, etc.) are universal across all systems, this means that fans are getting 2 complete games for the price of 1. While many third party's should be blasted for treating Nintendo and its fans like garbage, Activision should be commended for this move which makes the Wii version of Skylanders Trap Team the absolute best value for fans. Honestly, I would have expected some kind of discount coupon but to give the game away for FREE says a lot about Activision's support for the Big N and its fans. Hopefully this also opens the possibility of Wii U owners getting the HD Wii U version of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure which was only released in Japan.


Hyrule Warriors Features Trailer

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trine Gets Enchanted On Wii U This Fall

Trine 2: Director's Cut is one of the best indie experiences on the Wii U with its jaw dropping visuals and unique focus on puzzle platforming. Despite being one of the earliest offerings on Nintendo's eShop, the game continues to stand out as a must have experience for the system. Its success led many Wii U fans to to beg developer Frozenbyte to bring the series first game to Nintendo's HD system. Sadly, Frozenbyte couldn't bring the game over due to first game using a different engine which was simply too complicated and costly to port to the Wii U.

Happily, Frozenbyte didn't let that stop them and has announced Trine Enchanted Edition which is set to launch on the Wii U eShop this Fall. To sidestep the engine issue, the game is being rebuilt (and greatly enhanced) in the superior Trine 2 game engine which runs like a dream on the Wii U. The Enchanted Edition will feature mid-level checkpoints, improved visuals and the ability to play online with friends. Considering Trine 2: Director's Cut is one of the best versions of the game available, expect Trine Enchanted Edition to shine when it launches later this year. If you haven't experienced the wonder and beauty of Trine 2: DC yet, run the the eShop and grab a copy for 7.99 (60% off the normal 19.99 price) until August 12th as it is a truly incredible game. Enjoy!

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Pokemon Red & Blue Honest Game Trailer

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New Details On Bayontetta 2 Online Multiplayer Mode

Bayontetta 2 is the game that keeps giving as more details surface on the games online multiplayer mode which is titled "Tag Climax". The mode will allow players to either invite friends directly or be matched up with random players online (similar to how Resident Evil Revelations works). Taking into account that you may not want to play online in these exclusive challenges, you are even given the option to play with a CPU partner.

Tag Climax stages will range from having you fight massive bosses to battling hordes of enemies. You will be given the option to bet currency known as "Halos" and challenge other players to a high score battle. The money earned can then be used to unlock weapon variations, new techniques and accessories. Accessible stages are tied to "Versus Cards" which you earn through playing the core game. Your character selection and customizable weapon loadout is based on progression through the story mode which means that your Tag Climax performance will be tied to your single player experience. It's a nice way to encourage players to experience all the game has to offer instead of making the single player mode an afterthought like certain other games (-cough- Call of Duty -cough-). Needless to say, Nintendo and Platinum Games have made Bayonetta 2 a wet dream come true for action Gamers and an irresistible value for any Wii U owner so be sure to grab a copy when it launches this October.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Mighty No.9: The Animated Series Teaser Trailer

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Feast Your Eyes On Fatal Frame V For Wii U!

Fatal Frame is one of the best survival horror franchises ever made with it's terrifying atmosphere and unique take on fighting spirits with the Camera Obscura. The series may have started on PlayStation 2 but has since taken up residence with Nintendo who is now co-owner of the franchise. This is the result of Nintendo's excellent relationship with series creator Tecmo Koei who has worked with Nintendo quite extensively over the last console generation.

Earlier this year, Tecmo Koei and Nintendo announced a bit of a revival for the Fatal Frame franchise which has been fairly silent since the release of the underrated portable spin-off Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir for the 3DS in 2012. The latest entry in the series titled Zero: Nuregarasu no Miko (translated as Fatal Frame: The Black Haired Shrine Maiden) is set to launch exclusively for Wii U in Japan on September 27, 2014. Interestingly, Nintendo is not only publishing the game but also co-developing the game with Tecmo Koei which will likely result in one of the most polished games in the series. The game is said to feature a more open world design compared to previous entries and will utilize the Wii U Gamepad as the viewfinder for your only form of defense, the Camera Obscura. It is currently unknown if the game will see release outside of Japan but fans are hopeful seeing as Nintendo published Spirit Camera in the US 2 years ago and has shown an increased willingness to bring many of their new second party titles to the US (Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101 & Devil's Third are perfect examples of this). To showcase the new game, Nintendo has released a trailer which showcases both the beauty and horror of this new game. Enjoy!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Under-appreciated Nintendo 3DS Games

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Source: Nintendo Enthusiast

Nintendo Minute @ EVO 2014

Nintendo has made some serious changes over the last year resulting in a better, more focused version of the Nintendo we know and love. A key change has been their larger focus on their fans and embracing the many communities fans have created. I know some will piss and moan about Nintendo's handling of the YouTube community but anyone who can read and has half a brain will realize what Nintendo has been trying to do with content creators. Most of the negative press stemming from that situation (and there has been a lot) comes from people firing off their ill informed mouth from a purely emotional viewpoint while failing to actually research the facts. The truth is that Nintendo loves its fans and wants to support them in the best way it can. The key thing the fans have to realize is that Nintendo is still a business and has to protect itself and make good decisions that don't compromise Nintendo as a whole.

To this end, Nintendo has begun to shown a remarkable amount of support for the fighting game community. Nintendo made it clear last year that they wanted to take a more active role in the competitive fighting scene with their upcoming release of Super Smash Bros. Wii U. It began with Super Smash Bros. Melee during last years EVO 2013 tournament and has expanded greatly with the very successful E3 2014 Super Smash Bros. Invitational and EVO 2014 where Nintendo is a full on sponsor of the event. In support of the even, Nintendo Minute was on hand to interview fighters who took part in the E3 Invitational to get more insight on what they thought of both the 3DS and Wii U versions of the game. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Amazing Banjo-Kazooie Main Theme Cover

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New Super Smash Bros. Trailer Adds Some Serious Fire To The Roster!

Nintendo has been rolling out a seemingly endless collection of new fighters to its legendary Super Smash Bros. series. While some fans feared that Captain Falcon and his trademark "Falcon Punch!" would skip the latest game, a new trailer put those fears to rest. What was a bit shocking however, was the impressive addition of not 1, but 2 new characters from Nintendo's increasingly popular Fire Emblem series.

Both characters are from the recent 3DS hit, Fire Emblem Awakening which has become a favorite among fans of the series. The first new addition is Lucina who looks like a leaner and quicker version of Marth (it's nice to see Nintendo continue to expand its roster of female fighters). The second character named Robin is a bit interesting in that the character is literally the player's avatar in Fire Emblem Awakening. To that end, you will be able to make the character either male or female to suit your tastes (this is similar to the Animal Crossing Villager and Wii Fit Trainer). Don't be surprised to see even more faces join the fight in the coming months. Enjoy!

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Witness The Epic Conclusion To The Amazing Mario Warfare Series!

The Mario Warfare series has been one of the most entertaining fan films based on a video game with amazing fight choreography and a surprisingly heartfelt story. Its 8 episodes are littered with sly references to Nintendo's vast legacy while managing to keep you engaged with its unique take on characters such as Mario, Luigi and Peach. Best of all, BeatDownBoogie has given us one of the best depictions of Princess Peach ever created giving the character true emotion and depth while showcasing the type of badass attitude normally reserved for characters like Samus Aran. Nintendo should consider making a Princess Peach game based around this idea, it would open up a lot of new possibilities for their famous franchises.

Mario Warfare Part 8 brings the entire epic to a close and does an amazing job with the source material. Like earlier episodes, Part 8 is littered with awesome fight scenes, excellent music and some great storytelling. The biggest surprise was how the final scenes tie the series to the video games (I won't spoil it but it's quite brilliant). In the end, Mario Warfare proves that Mario can be adapted into live action as long as Hollywood keeps their filthy hands off of it and leaves the job to the fans who are both more passionate and way more talented. Enjoy!

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And for those who missed out on earlier episodes, here is the entire series in one convenient location. I recommend sharing this with as many friends and family as you can seeing as it transcends a fan project and works as a collective whole. Enjoy!

Mario Warfare Part 8

Mario Warfare Part 7

Mario Warfare Part 6

Mario Warfare Part 5

Mario Warfare Part 4

Mario Warfare Part 3

Mario Warfare Part 2

Mario Warfare Part 1

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nintendo Confirms Bayonetta 1 & 2 Will Come On Separate Discs!

During E3 2014, there was quite a bit of confusion over how the original Bayonetta would be packaged with its sequel when it launches this October. Due to some poor wording in press releases and a confusing post on the games official website, many came to believe that the game would be offered only as a digital download through the eShop. This saddened many Collector's who hoped to have a complete physical disc collection of the entire series on the Wii U. Fortunately, Nintendo has issued a statement to clarify the issue and it is sure to please any gamer eagerly anticipating this epic action series Wii U release. Here are your choices for Bayonetta 2 and how you will receive Bayonetta HD with your purchase.
  • Bayonetta 2 Physical Retail Version: Will include a separate free Bayonetta HD Disc in the Bayonetta 2 package.
  • Bayonetta 2 eShop Download Version: Will include a free eShop download of Bayonetta HD at no extra cost.
This should put to rest any confusion over the release of Bayonetta 2. It's nice to see that Nintendo is going the extra mile to ensure the Wii U as the only place to experience the entire Bayonetta saga while giving the best possible choices for owning the games. Fans will also be please to learn that a fourth Nintendo themed costume will be included in Bayonetta HD in the form of Daisy. Daisy's costume will look and act similar to Peaches costume but will come in a yellow color scheme. Lastly, Bayonetta 2 will also include a 2 player co-op mode which is the cherry on top of this already beautiful cake. Enjoy!

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Club Nintendo July Rewards Update

Nintendo has updated their downloadable Club Nintendo rewards for July 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 August 3 and the price is between 200-250 coins for each title. Be sure to check back August 4 for the next reward update.

Donkey Kong Jr. - Wii U eShop
200 Coins (Available Until August 3)

Paper Mario - Wii Virtual Console
250 Coins (Available Until August 3)

Metal Torrent - 3DS eShop
200 Coins (Available Until August 3)

3D Classics: Kid Icarus 3DS eShop
200 Coins (Available Until August 3)

Why Mario Is Secretly A Dick With A Moustache!

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Strike The Earth For The Shovel Knight Arranged Album!

Jake "Virt" Kaufman has already released the amazing Shovel Knight soundtrack to eager fans and anybody would say that was enough. Fortunately that wasn't enough for Virt who has released an 18 track fully arranged album titled Strike The Earth! Shovel Knight Arranged. This new album takes many great tracks from the brilliant original soundtrack and cranks the dial up to 11 resulting in an excellent compilation. Once again, the album is being offered with a "name your price" option that includes FREE so you have no reason to pass up on this excellent set of tunes. Enjoy!

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Download Shovel Knight Arranged Now!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Captain America Sums Up Why America Sucks!

America has become a pitiful shadow of what it was intended to be. While the uneducated or willfully ignorant masses love to throw around idiotic phrases like "The land of the free" or continue to believe we live in a Democracy, the reality of our country is a far cry from what many believe to be true. Our country is actually a Corporatocracy which is run by private industry and corporations who have systematically stripped away just about everything that our country is supposed to stand for. The results of these actions are seen and felt on a daily basis including everything from our illiteracy rate to climate change.

Sadly, the only way for many to cope with this is with humor and Fox's ADHD program has recently put out a video which pokes fun at just how much America sucks. The video, titled Captain America Statistics Song, humorously points out a sobering set of statistics which illustrate why Americans should pull their heads out of their asses and stop believing they are something special. Personally, I hold onto a glimmer of hope that the country will collectively wake up and actually take America back for the people. Happy Independence Day!

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Transformers Fan Animation Crushes The Insulting Michael Bay Films!

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Prepare Thy Eardrums For The Shovel Knight Soundtrack!

Shovel Knight has one of the best "8-Bit" soundtracks outside of games like DuckTales and Mega Man. Hell, it even bests those classics in many ways but that's to be expected when you have Jake "Virt" Kaufman (Composer of DuckTales: Remastered) and Manami Matsumae (Composer of the original Mega Man) teaming up to assault your ears with this games excellent soundtrack. Much like the music for Mega Man, the Shovel Knight soundtrack will burrow into your skull and burn itself onto your brain leaving you begging for more.

While Shovel Knight is digging its way through the industry as one of the best games of 2014, the Composer (Jake Kaufman) has blessed fans with a full download of the entire soundtrack on his Bandcamp page which is an absolute MUST DOWNLOAD for any fan of video game music. Best of all, the entire album is offered up with a "name your price" option which includes FREE! Enjoy!

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Download The Shovel Knight Soundtrack Now!