Category Archives: Previews
I wanted Epic Mickey to work, I really did. This was a game I followed from when I first set eyes on the steam-punk concept art and got overly excited when I saw robot versions of Goofy and Donald. This game looked like it had it all mixing together the mischievous Mickey from the older cartoons to the friendly and helpful mouse that we all know and love.
As a game with so many ideas rushing around logic dictates that a second chance should be offered and that it was. “Epic Mickey the power of two” was announced just a couple of weeks ago for release on the PS360 as well as the Wii. Warren Spector (the games lead designer) has noted that the infamous camera problem is guaranteed to be sorted. Excited? I know I was but then it got better as another Epic Mickey game was announced for the 3DS.
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is currently touted for release at the back end of 2012 and is billed as a tribute to the famed illusion series that appeared on the Master System/Mega Drive. World, of illusion was one of my favourite games for the Megadrive which not only starred Donald and Mickey but it also covered worlds including the Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio.
Power of Illusion is of course a 2D platformer and looking at these screen shots it looks like a Game Boy Advance game. I think these were used as teasers to show us what the game will be like, I expect it to be a lot more crisper and offering a great nostalgia trip for the fans of the illusion series.
So what do we know about the game so far?
Release: This is currently touted as quarter 3 2012 release but expect it to be a bit later.
Format: Will of course be for the 3DS.
Starring: Mickey Mouse will be the main playable character but I wouldn’t be surprised if Oswald rocked up as well. From screen shots there have been sightings of Peter Pan, Hook, Beast and Scrooge McDuck.
Plot: The castle of illusion turns up in the Wasteland and Oswald informs Mickey that Minnie has been spotted in the area. Mickey sets off to save Minnie and the other illusions trapped in the castle.
Game play: It’s a 2D platformer but the touch screen can be used to draw certain items which will either attack enemies or you both. For example in the Neverland screen shot you can see cannons on the bottom and if the cannon is drawn perfectly then the cannon will attack enemies, if not you get it. This sounds an interesting mechanic to have.
Random fact: According to Spector this game will actually use hand drawn sprites.
I’m excited by both announced games but it does seem like the 3DS is about to get Epic.
With all the hidden gems that I spend my time playing there comes a point in time where you just have to stop whatever game it is and start the latest major Nintendo published title. This week there are two huge releases on the same day and seeing as you’re taking the time to read a blog about Nintendo I’m going to assume you know which games they are.
Super Mario 3D Land
New Super Mario Bros. was released in 2006 to critical praise and it was Mario’s first official handheld appearance since Super Mario Land 2 in 1993* so it was no surprise it went on to sell 26.21 million copies. Since 2006 the main console game have had Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and of course New Super Mario Bros. Wii. When the 3DS was announced so was the new Mario game.
The game is already out in North America and I’ve avoided any spoilers on this like the plague. The game itself is designed to bridge the gap between 2D and 3D Mario games as a lot of the older Mario fans were having trouble adapting. Add onto that the retro SMB3 feel including P-wings and Tanooki as well as Mario being his regular and Super Mario size. I’ve not played the game yet but I am rather excited for this, the week it was released in Japan 145,000 3DS’ were sold so it seems that it’s the first original A+ title for the console.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Zelda games are opposite to Mario games, we get more of them on the handheld consoles. Since Twilight Princess we’ve had Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks and a remade Ocarina of Time. As most know TP was a Gamecube game with controls added and a reverse map to make it a Wii launch title so the purist in me cannot wait for a Zelda game designed for this console. Just watch this video to get yourself hyped. I’ve only seen two trailers for the game as I want to keep everything a surprise as I play through. The game has had some very high review scores with Edge giving it a perfect score but remember you’ll need Motion plus for the game.
Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is released Friday 18th November in the European regions,
*European release date, the game was released in 1992 in Japan and North America.
Well I did write an article on Sony and Microsoft and what they have in store from E3, but due to technical problems I lost it. I’ll rewrite it in the next couple of days but I know the one you’ve been waiting for is my thoughts on WiiU. So let us begin.
The WiiU is the new console that will be released by Nintendo and is due out after April 2012 (I expect a more definitive date in the New Year). The reveal of it was quite weird and most people didn’t realise it was a brand new console, Iwata had to pose with both to show that. So what do we know? Lets look at the three things that were sort of shown.
The controller has two circle pads ala the 3DS, it has a D-pad, Home button, start and select buttons, ABXY buttons, shoulder buttons. It even has a microphone (which the original Famicom controller had), speakers, gyroscope, accelerometer, rumble and camera.
Oh and a 6inch touch screen in the middle, I forgot to mention that. To me the controller looks quite weird and really uncomfortable to hold, but from what most sources have said this is not the case and it is quite easy to get used to. It currently doesn’t have a name but I’m going with the Gateway as it is the portal to the WiiUniverse!
I think the Gateway has huge potential as a controller as was shown in this video (apologies for the annoying acting, but this video showcases the controller best).
Additional things include that the controller will let you play with the TV switched off, though it needs to be within a certain distance of the actual unit to carry on with this feature. It was also widely reported that only one Gateway could be used due to technical limitations and cost. However as recently as yesterday Iwata stated “Technically, it is possible for the Wii U to support multiple Wii U Controllers” so I guess time will tell.
Remember though this is still in the prototype stages and is likely to change. Miyamoto has stated that it will be white as it gets rid of the kiddy image that Nintendo has been stuck with (case in point N64/GCN consoles).
So what does it have spec wise? Taken from the Wii U fact sheet:
Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs. (Nintendo have stated that it won’t play DVDs or Blu Rays as most people already have the means to play movies one way or another.)
Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories
www.n-europe.com yesterday (17th June) reported that the development kits that were previously sent out (which put the Wii U at 50% higher spec than PS360) are actually being replaced with updated developer kits which would “be quite a bigger leap over current-gen consoles than many publications are officially suggesting at the moment” so simply put everything is subject to change!
I’ll be brief with this as not much is known yet, expect the usual Nintendo line up and we have had a lot of current PS360 games confirmed for WiiU (including Arkham City). Crytek and Epic Games have also thrown their weight behind the console which is actually pretty exciting,
What do I think? I think a bridge needs to be gapped between the casual and hardcore gamers, I’m more casual than hardcore but still appreciate just how much better third-party games are for the PS360. If Nintendo can get it to the point where it’s blowing them out of the water and actually make the jump to the 8th gen (not 7.5 like the N64 was with the fifth gen) then we are n for a treat. The next thing that is needed is third-party exclusives something the Wii is very much lacking (Where is Dragon Quest X?), if they could pull that off you would have a reason for the Hardcore market to take note in this. Visuals are good but they don’t sell a console, game play is good but it can annoy people if the visuals are lacking (Zak and Wiki is a case in point). I just hope the Wii U can deliver this, though I’m sure more will be revealed come the Tokyo show.
Sorry guys, a big delay for this as I’ve had quite a hectic week plus OOT came two days early so I’ve been pretty much glued to my 3DS for the past 36 hours. So while my unit is charging why not get onto part two of my four parter look at E3. There was quite a lot of E3 given to Zelda so why not have a look at what was instore for the Zelda fan!
5. The music in Zelda rocks my socks.
I’m going to do a piece pretty soon on video game music and just how important it is, but with regards to Zelda just watch this video and let it soak in!
4. Seriously the music does rock!
On top of that amazing video of the orchestra and the clips of 25 years worth of history three music based treats were announced. Firstly an Ocarina of Time CD soundtrack that will be available for the first so many people to register the game with Club Nintendo (I really am not sure of the practicality of the Europe version of this as Club Nintendo is currently down due to a phishing scam). In addition to this another CD will be released, this will be a recording of the third announcement: Zelda concerts. These will happen later on in the year and across Europe, North America and Japan. The Japanese dates I believe are in October but the Europe/NA dates have not been announced nor where they will be.
3. Four Swords
Four swords is the only Zelda game I’ve never played for the simple reason that I didn’t have another friend with the game to sit and play through it with. This game will be released as DSiware for free later on in the year. Hopefully I’ll get to play it through then!
2. Ocarina of Time 3D
Released today in Japan (16th June 2011), tomorrow in Europe (17th), Sunday in NA (19th) and the 30th in Australia this game will no doubt excite most people with fresh visuals and the Master Quest version also included. Expect a review of it from me in the next week or so.
1. Skyward Sword
Finally confirmed for a Holiday Season 2011 release my excitement for this game is very high. I think the music sounds brilliant and the cell shadedness of Wind Waker mixed with the adult design of Twilight Princess and the bright colours of A Link to the Past is a gamble that will probably pay off. Here’s the latest trailer.
Like this? Check out my look at five odd things about the series in Happy 25th Birthday to The Legend of Zelda
So E3 came and went, as a whole it was nothing special, nothing out of the ordinary yet it still filled me with excitement. My aim is to break E3 down into four chunks: What the competition did, 3DS, a look at all the Zelda announcements and of course WiiU. Today I’ll look at the 3DS and the five things that got me a bit excited.
5. Do a barrel roll!
That made me mark out just a little to hear that and it got quite an applause from those in attendance. Star Fox 64 3D should have gone with Lylat Wars 3D as there are too many numbers at the end, alas I digress. I’ve seen footage of this on a 3DS screen and it looks pretty impressive, there was nothing new to show us aside from a mode of taking photos of yourself and appearing in game.
4. From the highest of highs to the depths of the sea…
If you saw the footage you’ll have also seen that Mario Kart now comes with underwater levels and hang-gliding. This looks like a fun addition which most people said didn’t seem like a gimmick but natural. The thing I was most excited about though is that Retro Studios had some input on this game….Nice!
I got a bit excited when I saw this, though later reports indicate that this has replaced the racoon (sad times). Whilst most people don’t care much for the plumber (I’ll get to that in the WiiU write up) I, however, do. It was good to see a mix of the classic SMB3 feel and the 3D Galaxy combinations. I’m pretty excited for this game.
2. More AR? Yes please!
I’ve played two demo’s of Kid Icarus, I’m not a fan of the original two and I thought the 3DS version looks amazing. Though it seemed to suffer the weird mix that the original two had, is it a shooter? Platformer? Adventure game? All three? Well I was ready to switch off my brain whilst the Icarus stuff was being shown until the casually announced that you can play with AR cards too. Will they come with the game? Not sure but I think they’ll probably go down the Pokemon card route.
1. I’m a Luigi number one!
A surprise? Nice. A game with Luigi? Nice. A sequel to Mansion? Nice. Multiple mansions? Even better! I was quite excited but here’s the trailer:
All are due for release by year out aside from Luigi’s Mansion 2 which is due for early 2012.
For those who don’t know Project Café is the codename for the next generation console from Nintendo. That’s right an eighth generation console is about to be unveiled at E3 and Nintendo are apparently first off the starting block. As you see I’m refusing to call it Wii2 as it’s not the Wii2 but a brand new console.
You name it and it’s been rumoured, everything from blu ray to huge hard drives, to no hard drive to time machines (I made that last one up). So what can we expect?
Nintendo traditionally have something different with their controllers, whether it’s the revolutionary (but rather uncomfortable) N64 pad, to the great Gamecube pad (my favourite one to date) or the simple WiiMote Nunchuck combination that works so well. What does Café offer in way of controllers? Well if you believe the rumours it’s your typical pad in that it has the two analogue sticks, the ABXY buttons, shoulder buttons, oh and they’re throwing in a screen for good measure. That’s the rumour that it will have a tablet like screen on the controller, whether that works or not will be a different matter and I find it strange that they’ve gone that route when they have hand-helds with two screens that could just connect.
I could go into the ins and outs but I think this video by IGN covers it best. It shows that the graphics are slightly better than the PS3/360 going off their intel, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit better than what they say due to custom parts.
Do I really need to cover this? Expect a few launch titles to be revealed, probably something like Pikmin or one of the lesser known franchises, or even Skyward Sword to be shown on it. Also expect quite a few 3rd party announcements and sadly that will include another ton of Ubisoft ports.
I hope you like the new site layout, not much of a difference but a bit more crisper. Anyway lets get on topic:
Traditionally Nintendo have one bad E3 followed by a good one followed by a bad one, last one was a good one but there’s no way this one can be a bad one. What’s on offer? Wii, 3DS, DS and of course the elusive Project Cafe will finally be unveiled. What can we expect to see in action? Probably a lot of stuff, so let us begin.
Lets start at one of the dying consoles, I won’t mention the DS as frankly I can’t see it getting much time at all, the Wii however I can. I did a preview thing a few weeks ago about the future of the Wii with what to expect. This can be found here in my previews mention of the Wii future and I’m sure you can expect to see all of these: Xenoblade, Last Story, Vitality, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and of course Dragon Quest X. Vitality is 50/50 as it was shelved from last years show and we’ve seen glimpses of the others (Xenoblade and Last Story are already out in Japan and Pandora’s tower will be by E3) however Dragon Quest X hasn’t been shown at all. This is a Wii exclusive and it would really be a good end to the console if I’m honest, the franchise is mega popular in Japan and it has grown substantially in the UK over the past few years., that or we may just see it shifted over to Cafe.
Ah yes Nintendo’s little baby, that has huge potential but hasn’t really been tapped yet. What to expect?
Firstly the 3DSware and Virtual console go live on the day of E3 here in the UK (the day before for you Americans) so expect an announcement of plenty of titles. Hopes could only be this includes the ones fans have wanted for ages such as Super Meat Boy. Virtual Console would probably get a few names thrown out as well, it’s launched that week so you may as well plug it.
Secondly expect the non gaming side to be plugged, for the UK this is pretty much Eurosport, SkySports and probably some film thingy, for the USA this is going to involve Netflix. Rumours also abound that they will announce a video service too so look out for that.
Thirdly expect some release dates for the big titles: StarFox64 (Lylat wars as it was here on release), Kid Icarus, Professor Layton, Mario Kart and Paper Mario among others.
Lastly 3DS wise expect some new games to be announced. We’re already confirmed to see some more of the Super Mario 3DS game which is all but guaranteed to involve the Raccoon Mario. Also expect a Pokemon game to be announced because frankly a Pokemon game not getting announced is like Eastenders failing to end on the “dun-dun-dundundundundundun”
Ah yes Project Cafe. That’s what everyone is wanting from E3 from Nintendo. However I shall do my Project Cafe preview tomorrow, because I’m evil like that.
de Blob is easily one of the most under rated games on the Wii, released in 2008 it was one of the most fun non sequel games I had played for a long time. It’s hard to explain the premise of the game but it’s pretty much like the painting parts of the Epic Mickey games but actually fun. You’ll be able to pick it up at local game stores for pretty cheap (under a tenner!) so it was only a matter of time before we got a sequel.
In addition to it being a sequel de Blob 2 has also been given a cross-platform release which can only do wonders for the series. If you played the original you realise how relaxing it is, so by the looks of it the sequel is pretty much the same in that regard. From what I have seen online of the game (I’ve not played it) is they keep the same formula with an addition of 2D platforming elements as well as a co-op element.
Visually they seem to have made it better than the original and if the soundtrack is only half as good then it will be a brilliant mix. Add into that the charm and comedy of the original and you are definitely onto a winner. Without having played it though I can’t offer a full preview but reviews have been rather good online!
de Blob 2 is out today in the USA and 25th February in the EU.
I want to be the very best like no one ever was, aside from in Pearl/Diamond or Ruby/Sapphire or Gold/Silver or Red Blue. OK how about “I want to be the very best…again!” that works. Pokémon Black and White, for those who don’t know, is the latest incarnation of the franchise which has already sold five million copies despite only being released in Japan. So lets have a gander.
For those in North America you will get the game 6th March, for the UK we get it on the 4th March which seems rather silly as the 3DS is released on the 25th but oh well. Famitsu gave the game a perfect 40/40 but seeing as they also gave Nintendogs the same score it can be taken with a grain of salt. Most people have grown frustrated with the franchise with it being the same game just with a few extra Pokémon thrown in for good measure. All in all though this seems to be a bit different for three reasons.
Visually it’s different, it’s more like a stand up 2.5D than a top down 2D imaging, all in all from the screen shots and trailers out there this looks pretty good. Speech text is now in the manner of a speech bubble rather than the usual block of text and the Pokémon themselves are fully animated during battle. In addition to the Night/Day thing we’ve seen there’s also a Seasonal rotation (a season per month) on this which will surely give you some replay value.
We had the Poké walker with HeartGold/SoulSilver Black/White has something called “dream world” which I haven’t a clue about but it sounds almost like Animal Crossing or the Chao parts of Sonic Adventure. In addition to that is the C-Gear which tells you connectivity to other players, the feeling check (seriously) which tests compatibility between players which can give you higher experience points of money off at the Poké mart. There’s also something called Pokémon musicals and the less I know about that the better!
100% brand new Pokémon
156 Pokémon available in this game (I’m pretty sure 150 are available to catch initially) yet every single one is new (until you beat the elite four the the old classics return). This I think is brilliant in that it gives you the magic of the Red/Blue games in not knowing how good each Pokémon is, taking the gamble on Snorlax etc. as you adapt your team of six to be the best. Once you got to third generation you knew full well who would be on your team and now you’re forced to start afresh on a neutral level…I like that.
Pokémon Black and White is due for release on 4th March in all good stores.
The thing I love about Kirby is how simple he is, he is essentially just a round thing with hands, feet, eyes and is really good at sucking….kinda like (Nintendo Lee is a mother joke free zone) erm something that’s a pink ball, yeah that’s it. Now a thing about Kirby is that it has never been difficult at all, and that I think is a good thing for two reasons. First of all it lets new gamers in on the scene to a level where they don’t feel bad about dying every couple of minutes the second is to help gamers who have been brought up on RPG’s, FPS’ and sandbox games into the classic realm of platforming that is a staple for any gamer over the age of 20, but I digress.
Kirby’s epic yarn has already been out in the USA for a few months, and I’ve not heard many bad things at all. Again a simple plot involving Kirby eating a sock (seriously!) of some bad guy and is then transported into a land where he is made of wool. Sew (sorry!) how does this game look?
Visually this seems to have some sort of magic about it, it’s bright, colourful and is different in that you’re made of wool. My initial reaction to this is that it has the charm of the fantastic Paper Mario series which doesn’t take itself serious at all, from what I’ve seen you can remove stitchings to interact with the background or change the scenery. Other things include Kirby’s random power ups including a digger, a boarder and even a UFO.
Gameplay on this is the typical Wii platforming controls, on the side like a NES pad. It looks like a fantastic blend of visuals with really simple gameplay that I think would be great fun when you just need to chill for a couple of hours. I’m not usually a fan of the Kirby series but I am very excited about this game which is due out in the UK on the 25th February.