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    Entries in nintendo (15)


    Will You Wii U?

    Written by John Rios

    Nintendo stepped out at E3 2011 and revealed their “next-gen” console, which is really a controller-centric device called the Wii U. From its early looks, the Wii U puts the focus on an oversized tablet controller, which features a massive 6.2-inch touchscreen. The overall bulk of the controller means that it’s going to be a bit of an unwieldy device, with a bit of a 'learning curve' for your hands. The controller incorporates many elements of a Wiimote, such as motion control. The Wii U tablet can be used together with Wiimotes and other accessories like the Wii Balance Board, to create some interesting combinations for gameplay. The controller is backwards compatible with all Wii games, however Wii U is no longer compatible with the Gamecube games.

    The actual console looks like a beefed up lovechild of the Wii and Xbox 360, without the Gamecube controller ports. Nintendo did tout a lot of third party support with a compelling sizzle reel of upcoming games. What Reggie failed to mention - until after Nintendo’s press conference - was the fact that the reel was culled from Xbox 360 and PS3 games in development. Reggie did state that Wii U’s graphical performance will be on par with the other current-gen consoles.

    The most intriguing element of the Wii U is that it takes the touchscreen tablet angle to its logical extreme: the device is a wireless window into the game console such that if the TV is otherwise occupied, the game can be played in full on the Wii U controller instead. This means that if someone else wants to use the main screen, you can keep playing your game on the console and access it via your touchscreen tablet. This takes a lot of the onus off being tied to the television set in the middle of the living room, and could open up a lot of different opportunities for social gaming in the same room, or around the house. This will depend heavily on the strength of wireless range that the Wii U is capable of maintaining.

    Nintendo has sold over 86 million Wii units across the world, so they’re confident that they have a giant consumer base to work from. The primary concern that hung over the Wii, and what kept several developers flagship titles from gracing Nintendo’s now last-gen console, has been the platform’s overall horsepower. That problem is being resolved with the Wii U, which has the processing power to produce 1080p HD video content, something that anyone more than a social gamer must be thrilled with.

    As an avid Nintendo fanboy, I always look forward to what the Big N brings to shows such as E3. The Wii U is no exception. I’m cautiously looking forward to the new console, and would love to see actual games harnessing the Wii U’s full power. Tech demos and footage from other systems can only go so far. A day after the announcement of Wii U, Nintendo’s stock saw a 5% drop to the lowest level it’s been in recent memory. It seems as if both investors and consumers alike may be skeptical of Nintendo’s direction. Currently, Nintendo is keeping tight-lipped with information such as launch date and price point for the Wii U, so there is still have a lot of details to look forward to. 

    But I want to know what you all think. Will you Wii U?


    Nintendo Wii Successor Project Cafe Gets Shot

    Here it is folks. Speculative, but the Dell Mini Tower look-a-like you see in the shot above is your Nintendo HD system, "the most developer friendly SDK the industry has ever seen," Project Cafe.

    Again, take the above with a grain of salt, however I would bet on the shot being an accurate representation of Project Cafe. In the past weeks the rumors have been increasingly accurate, and Nintendo has finally confirmed the upcoming console's existence and will be offering a playable model at E3 2011. Is it really that hard to believe that the image above is what it is? 

    There are some reasons for skewed belief. Nintendo doesn't do black at launch, they keep the party a white affair for the most part. Also, the box itself is too nondescript. Nintendo is known for their quirky design choices, whether or not they can be classified as gimmicks is another arguement, but the fact remains that Nintendo's design choices are eye catching. Granted these could be attributed to a prototype model that has little more than its guts fully realized of yet, but E3 is just over a month away. If what's been leaked is actually a prototype mock of what Nintendo's new baby, they better be hard at work getting it gussied up for the big reveal this summer. 

    Will you be buying Nintendo's HD console?

    via Destructoid


    REVIEW: Nintendo 3DS

    If there's one thing Nintendo is near untouchable at, it's portable gaming. Since 1989, Nintendo has virtually owned the portable handheld market, beginning with Game Boy. Technically superior competitors, such as the Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear, could not overcome it. Nintendo followed up the original Game Boy with the Game Boy Color, later the Game Boy Advance and then finally the DS. Every time, these handheld devices stood in the face of the competition and prevailed. Does the 3DS continue Nintendo's streak of handheld dominance? 

    Click to read more ...


    Kaiyodo's Revoltech Figure Line Flirting with Samus

    I try to squeeze in some talk about Kaiyodo's Revoltech figures whenever I can. The line outputs awesome, high quality, inexpensive, insanely articulated figures that wont make you feel like a complete lame for blowing your cash wad on a toy.

    A few weeks ago, pictures of a protoype Jehuty from Zone of the Enders was leaked. Hot damn, Revoltech getting it on with video games? Too good to be true, right? Apparently not, as the silhouette teasing an upcoming figure uncannily resembles Metroid's Samus Aran. Of course this is pure rumor, as that chalk outline with the words "Revoltech 2011 Lineup" emblazoned in Japanese is all we got to work with but come on, did you see the header image? 

    This could be the start of something big; Samus, Jehuty, and even Iron Man Mark VI. If Kaiyodo cotinues to use the Revoltech brand to release US comic and gaming characters, their market could balloon in the west.

    My Figure Collection via Tomopop


    Hands Off with the Nintendo 3DS: Facts and Opinions

    Yesterday, Nintendo was in our stomping grounds of NYC for their big 3DS reveal party, which we were not invited to, despite our polite approaches! So unfortunately, I can't give you any hands on impressions, but I can gloss over the piles of word-work my peers have dedicated to the groundbreaking handheld console, and put a touch of the ol' gangsta on it.

    Fact: For a number of months, there was endless speculation on Nintendo's 3DS release date and price point. Staying non-committal seems to have paid off for Nintendo, as it helped to build up the reveal jam. So after all the rumors and guessing, the hardware and information reveal seemed to spur a collective sigh of relief from us. The 3DS will stand in a whopping $250, releasing domestically on February 27th.

    Opinion: I suppose the price point is fair, considering the price of new technology these days, especially in the 3D area. When Nintendo debuted last generations DSi two years ago, its $170 price tag rebuffed me for some moderate upgrades to the DS model. A $70 bump for cutting edge tech in a neat little package doesn't seem like much to ask, but it's still worrisome.

    Fact: The 3D function is controlled by a slider on the side of the screen. Sliding it all the way down turns 3D off, as you slide it up, it keys different depths of the effect. Different games function at different depths, none of which have any sort of configuration, meaning it's your job to figure out what the proper setting is to get the full effect of 3D. It's being said that with 3D disabled, the angle of viewing on the device is spectacular, but when enabled, you need to be looking at it straight on or else the effect becomes muddled or lost.

    Opinion: If games don't start including a configuration utility, you waste precious minutes of play time and battery life trying to configure 3D correctly for each game you play. Drag. Also, while glasses-free, the tech seems to suffer some of the same drawbacks of most glasses-required 3D tech. Watch at the wrong angle, tilt your head a slight, whatever, and there goes the 3D effect. Arms are going to have to be held very still for each gaming session to make sure you don't phase between 3D and looks-like-ass-D. Also, people who used the device for a good chunk of the morning have reported headaches. 

    Fact: The 3DS will be available in two different colors, North America - like Japan - will receive aqua blue and cosmo black options. Of course more color options will be released every few months, and possibly different markets around the world receiving different colors.

    Opinion: Black is a safe default option these days, but the aqua blue is a bit of a head scratcher. Granted the color is nice, I just can't see any self respecting adult - young or old - playing with a shimmering blue high tech portable. A birdie tells me that red and purple colors will be available in June, with orange and green following in September. A perfect plan for the early adopter to go out and buy a black 3DS at launch, and trade it in for their true desired color when released.

    Fact: Everyone's favorite social system is held over from the Wii, friend codes! Thankfully, the dreadful system has been reworked a bit for ease of use. Instead of generating game-specific codes, the 3DS will have one code per system, which never changes. One add and you're done. Praise be! And along the lines of ease, playing multiplayer locally will not require friend codes to get involved at all.

    Opinion: Good riddance to the cumbersome and terribly designed Wii friend code system. For $250, I want some ease of use.

    Fact: The system will come bundled with a 2GB SD card as expandable memory for Nintendo eShop downloads and such. All downloads from the DSi are able to be transferred and used on the 3DS. In addition, Nintendo is launching a new 3DS Virtual Console marketplace where you can purchase Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance titles, some which will even be 3D enabled.

    Opinion: For $250, it would've been nice to have a 4GB thrown in, but it's cool. I'm sure the files won't be too large, so stretching the use of the 2GB is totally plausible.

    Fact: Also bundled will be a charging cable, which is the same as the DSi charger. The battery will hold a charge for 3-5 hours with 3D enabled, 5-8 without. 

    Opinion: No matter how you look at it, 3 hours of charge time is bad. You better keep that charger with you wherever you go, because you'll be out of juice before you know it.

    Fact: The 3DS will launch with 12 games out of the gate, with 30 altogether to be released between launch and early June. Bucking the trend of consoles launching with shitty games, the 3DS will have some heavy hitters available on February 27th, assuring fans of all genres are covered. Strong franchises such as Madden NFL, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, Dead or Alive, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, and Resident Evil: The Mercenaries bolster the 3DS' impressive lineup. Add to that your usual kid-friendly Nintendo titles like Nintendogs + Cats, Pilotwings Resort, and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, and you have something for everyone.

    Opinion: The games may be the consoles true strength at this point. You can't argue with the titles, many of them being well established franchises which made the jump to 3D. There are even more quality titles in the pool of 30 to be available before June, such as Kid Icarus: Uprising, Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, Star Fox 64 3D, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.

    Final Thoughts:
     Similar to the DS and the Wii before, Nintendo in trailblazing in the games industry with a technology that can be considered to be a gimmick. The DS and Wii proved over time that they were any but gimmicks, and now it's the 3DS turn to do the same.

    Glasses or not, the 3DS has not changed my opinion on 3D. It sucks. It's needlessly expensive, the immersion is borderline at best, and prolonged use will give you a splitting headache. Who knows, maybe years of use will require LASIK. It has been said that children under the age of 6 should not play the 3DS, so Nintendo has already alienated a nice share of the market. 

    While the 3DS has the backing of some strong titles, I feel like it is truly held back by some of its more glaring flaws, such as having to adjust the 3D depth for each game, and the steep price. I'm not an early adopter of new technology and hardware unless it's something very special, which I feel the 3DS is unfortunately not. Will I buy it? Probably, when the second coming works out some of its logistical flaws and drops the price. Until then, I'll play with floor samples at department stores, gaming conventions and friends' copies, and I'll try not to walk away with a headache.

    PS. Nintendo, now that the 3D is out of the way, please get started on the REAL next technological advancement: holography. Kthx!


    Nintendo Has "No Plans" For a Western Release of The Last Story 

    Sadness! With The Last Story just 10 days from release in Japan, in speaking with VG247, Nintendo states they have "no plans at present" to bring what looks like what could be the Wii's best game evar to the West. What the blud, Nintendo? Unaccepting of the vague "at present" crap, Destructoid dug a little further with developers Mistwalker, who countered with the equally vague "Thank you for your concern. More info to come." C'mon son, get we get some straight talk?

    Noble denizens of the interwebz are not going to take the lack of western release lightly, as an online petition with over 8,000 signatures has sprung up in an attempt to get some closure on the whole ordeal. I really doubt Nintendo passes on bringing The Last Story to the states, petition or not, but I could be wrong.

    After signing the petition, all that's left to do is wait. While you're waiting, why don't you watch this extended cut of TLS in action, then go cry to yourself in a corner as you lament the possibility of never being able to play the game? By time you're all done with that, check back here, and maybe we'll have word from Nintendo by then!


    Get Deep with The Last Story's Battle System

    With each passing day I become more and more enamored with Nintendo's The Last Story, and you should feel the same. I can't imagine why you wouldn't anyway. The latest details gives us an in depth look at The Last Story's battle system thanks to our Far East Side friends at Andriasang.

    Much like typical RPG battle fashion (perhaps more regularly found in MMORPGs) you can see the main character Elza utilizing moves such as pulling enemies, kiting enemies into area-of-effect magic spells, and holding enemy aggro while the teammates coordinate big damage attacks. Then we see some unusual, but welcome tactics, such as running through an allies fire spell area to imbue your weapon with an elemental upgrade, or sweeping a slash through a heal spell to disperse the effects to your entire party. That's thinking outside of the box, melikes.

    If you're thinking The Last Story's system is reminiscent of an MMORPG, you would be right. Creator Hironobu Sakaguchi has stated he feels the game plays a bit like an MMORPG in the sense that you undertake this long and involving quest with a party of six friends who are actively engaging in conversation. The difference, of course, being that your companions are computer controlled, and the conversations are most likely scripted.

    Still no western release date for what could be one of 2011's best RPGs, but rest assured Nintendo can feel the hype building here for what could be Sakaguchi-san's final masterpiece. 


    The Last Story Will Be Awesome, Book It

    Why am I such a fanboy for The Last Story? Probably because it looks incredible (for a Wii game), the battles occur in real time, the character design is fresh and interesting, it's headed by the legendary creator of the Final Fantasy series Hironobu Sakaguchi, and to add an extra touch of omgwtfawesomesaus, the equally amazing Nobuo Uematsu is handling the music. Yes, the same Nobuo Uematsu that's composed every almost damn Final Fantasy game ever released. I have an inkling that this game is going to be good. 

    Andriasang has a great round up of The Last Story's features and modes, including competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. They also talk story, skills, abilities, magic, and even the newly announced Wii bundle. If you're just hearing about this game now, or you're not completely sure about if it'll be a worthy purchase for your Wii, check the details and prepare to preorder. 

    Oh, my bad, did I say preorder? The Last Story hasn't been announced to Western release yet. Let's go Nintendo, you're making us fanboys a little nervous. 


    The Last Story Gets Online, Customization

    Wii-xclusive action RPG The Last Story continues to move toward its January 27th release date in Japan while periodically reminding us here in the West how awesome it's going to be.. And that we don't have a finalized release date for it yet! 

    Andriasang gives us a recent update on Nintendo's upcoming hotness, which will include 6-player online cooperative and competitive modes, orchestrated through the in-game "Raid Lobbies". The cooperative mode allows you to pick your favorite character, and face off against giant baddies with 5 teammates. The competitive mode allows you to pick your favorite character and face off against 5 of your teammates. Everyone is a winner! The implementation of online play in what already looks to be a kick ass adventure saddens me a bit that The Last Story wont make an appearance on PS3 or 360, though I suppose any reason to fire up the Wii is a good reason. 

    Customization will be a big part of The Last Story, as your character's appearance will change as you add different pieces of armor and new weapons. You'll even be able to recolor your equipment to put a very personal spin on the fashionable gang.

    That's pretty much all the details there are regarding multiplayer and customization thus far, but as the game is just two months away, I'm sure we'll be hearing more very soon. An English announcement can't come soon enough.


    Pokemon; Harder, Darker, Edgier, Still Lame

    I don't know what it is about Pokemon or why everyone loves it. Yet here we are, 14 years, 13 films, and 30-plus games after it's introduction and for some reason, it's still going strong. It's like the song that doesn't end, except it spans multiple mediums and has Nintendo's infinite funds fueling it.

    I could go on and on about my disdain for Pokemon, but a lot of geeks love it, and I can't go against my people. So, in support of the Poke-gangstas out there, I bring you the fairly well done live action Pokemon trailer, which thankfully, does not feature the abused and overused Inception theme. 

    Can you spot all your favorite Pokemans? You should be able to, since they stick out like sore thumbs. If you're able to name them all though, you have reason for concern.