06/29/2015: E3 2015: 9 Exciting Things You Need to Know About Super Mario Maker.
A single player-made stage can somehow defy established Mario logic and still remain true to the rigid rules of Nintendo’s flagship platforming series at the same time. Lakitu can toss Cheep Cheeps? Wigglers can swim? A mysterious new power-up, called the Mystery Mushroom, turned me into a Goomba and pulled the rug out from under me. It’s enough to make you wonder what happened to the gods that controlled order in the Mushroom Kingdom, if they ever existed at all.
Despite the topsy-turvy antics, what's really going to make Super Mario Maker special is the way you create and share stages online. Here's what we learned about it.
Generation Collide, But They Have Different Rules
Multiple generations of Super Mario Bros. come together in one game, but they blend together in unique ways. Some of Mario's platforming abilities are split between the four different skins. To recap the list, that's Super Mario Bros. (NES), Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES), Super Mario World (SNES), and New Super Mario Bros (Wii, Wii U).
For example, you can't pick up and toss Koopa Shells in the original Super Mario Bros. There is no Butt Stomp move in Super Mario Bros. 3. Designers can use these limitations to mess with the player and setup challenging stages. How can Mario take out a Chain Chomp without a butt stomp? The answer could surprise you.
You Can't Upload Unbeatable Levels
In order to share a stage, a player must be able to complete it. This appears to be a smart move by Nintendo to curtail any unpleasant contributions from the community. Every course that is uploaded will have a 16-character identifier that can be shared on social media. Nintendo would not specify if a player could also discover new stages and creators through Miiverse.
What If I Buy Super Mario Maker and I'm Not Online?
There will be sample courses on the disc. (Editor's Note: There's 100 courses in fact!) So if you don’t have a Wii U connected to the Internet, you still have content to play and see what’s possible. But for the best Super Mario Maker experience, you probably want to hook up your Wii U to the internet.
Nintendo Wants to Protect Your Creations
Players can download, play, and even alter stages made by other players. But you can't re-upload those altered stages to Super Mario Maker's online servers. Nintendo wants cultivate creativity, but they don't want you to outright steal.
You Can Only Upload 10 Stages… to Start
Yup, you read that right. You can only share 10 stages on Super Mario Maker's online servers, but you can earn the ability to upload more. If players recommend your levels, you can share more. How much more? “It’s a large number, but we’re not sharing that just yet," a representative for Nintendo said.
100 Mario Challenge
Nintendo wouldn't tell us too much about this, but… 100 Mario challenge is an area of the game where you can play randomly selected levels from people all around the world. We're uncertain if the 100 is tied to the number of stages you have to clear or a pool of lives, if that's even a factor at all.
How You'll Find the Best Mario Levels
Super Mario Maker is not just about creating levels but playing lots of stages that are constantly being added everyday. We were shown a build of the game that was logged into an online server. We downloaded several stages, and Nintendo showed us how users can follow creators and receive updates whenever these makers share new levels. You can also search through a list of featured stages (curated by Nintendo) or levels sorted by popularity. Additional filters can sort by global, regional, weekly, or all-time.
Stars are the social currency that drives the visibility of a stage. The more people that give your level a star, the more visible your level becomes and the more medals you’re going to get. Medals are described as simple milestones or badges of honor that show off how much the community likes your stages.
Stage Difficulty Isn't Assigned By the Creator
A maker is only responsible for creating a stage; the difficulty category for it is assigned dynamically depending on how many players complete it. You can tap on a level to see stats that determine how difficult a stage can be. In one example, the stage we examined was cleared 12 times out of 192 attempts, which is a 6% completion rate, so it falls into the hard difficulty category. Conversely, if 100% of players finish it, it’s going to be assigned an easy rating. Levels can be filtered by difficulty.
Behold, the Power of the Mystery Mushroom!
The Mystery Mushroom is a new power-up that can transform Mario into other characters. During my demo, I was turned into a Goomba the first time I encountered one. The transformation is only cosmetic -- Mario still moves and jumps the same speed and height he normally would -- but a player can unlock more of them with amiibo.
During my demo, I was transformed into Wii Fit Trainer and Kirby, but Nintendo hinted more amiibo support -- Link, Marth, Isabelle, Yoshi, and Luigi were all shown -- in its E3 2015 Digital Event.
Veteran Mario Maker Takashi Tezuka hopes that anyone that uploads a level will have their stage played just once. The sharing tools Nintendo showed us look smart, and we hope the final game can make good on this ambitious goal.
06/29/2015: Sakurai Considered Cutting Pac-Man From Smash if Forced to Use His Ghostly Adventures Design.
It was recently uncovered that Masahiro Sakurai considered cutting Pac-Man from the Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS roster if he was forced to use his design from the cartoon Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Here’s what he said.
Pac-Man’s design was updated in a 2013 CGI cartoon titled, “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.” This new design has been used in a variety of products. But in the end I felt that his old-school design was better, and used that in the design plan. If that was rejected, I thought about dropping Pac-Man altogether.
Sakurai also talked about the bonds between Nintendo and Namco, and what other video game characters were considered for the roster.
There were none [bonds]. We basically thought of all the characters at the start of development. We decided on characters we knew we could make. However, there were a few in consideration, such as Heihachi from “Tekken.”
06/29/2015: Miyamoto Talks About Amiibo Usage in Star Fox Zero.
When asked about amiibo usage for Star Fox ZeRo in a recent interview, Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that content wouldn’t be locked behind the popular $13 NFC figurines. Instead, amiibos will be used to unlock in-game extras such as visual changes and so on. Here’s what was said:
“In terms of being able to unlock content, I don’t really want to go down that path. For this game, I think of it more as, for people who have the Amiibo, they’re going to get a little something extra and that’s how I’m planning on it with this game. So rather than actual abilities or things like that changing in the game, it would be like getting a different skin for the Arwing or something like that.”
When asked about drawing the line on what should be in-game and what should be unlocked with amiibos, Miyamoto replied with the following.
“So, I don’t really want to talk about Nintendo in general today, but in terms of what I’m doing with Star Fox, I’m really not thinking about there being locked content or there being a mode that you won’t be able to play if you don’t have one. Since we already have the existing Smash Bros. Amiibos I basically want to put in something so if you already have those Amiibos, I imagine people will try and tap them on Star Fox anyway, and I want to make sure there is something that gives them a nice charge when they do that.”
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water trailer is J-horror to the core.
Fatal Frame fans have probably kept tabs on the series’ upcoming instalment for the Wii U, and yesterday Nintendo’s livestream showed a trailer for the game, which will be released in North America and Europe this fall.
The game certainly looks promising for J-horror fans; creepy foes abound in the trailer. The heroine is able to bring people back from the ‘shadow world’ and is asked to find a girl who has gone missing in the area around Mt. Hikami, where people commit suicide during the witching hour to avoid being trapped as ghosts. We can see how well that goes for them.
The water in the area is cursed and coming into contact with it or getting caught in the rain weakens you. Then there’s the Fatal Frame gameplay: attack ghosts by photographing them using the Wii U gamepad as a camera. There’s a side-story as well, which features Ayane from Dead or Alive.
The game is a Wii U exclusive. Budding ghost-photographers can get their hands on it this fall.
Shadow of the Eternals still in the works, team has "big plans for the future".
Shadow of the Eternals is a new passion project from Eternal Darkness creator Denis Dyack. Dyack, along with the rest of his team, hoped to achieve funding via Kickstarter. Two campaigns launched in 2013, but both unfortunately failed to reach their funding goals.
We last heard about Shadow of the Eternals last October. The project is now in development at Quantum Entanglement Entertainment Inc., which was founded by Dyack. Other than that, things have been pretty quiet
However, Dyack once again commented on Shadow of the Eternals while speaking with Niche Gamer. When asked about its funding status, he stated:
"Well, we can't talk about that right now. But there will be announcements in the future. The bottom line is we're really excited on where we're going, things are very quiet, and probably will continue to be quiet but they're going well. Please stay tuned, and we'll update everyone as soon as we can. I wish I could say more, but you know the drill with the industry, right?"
Additionally, when asked if a potential re-reveal is planned, and whether we’ll see the game soon, Dyack said:
"Well, it all depends on what your definition of soon is. [laughs]
Rather than tease, I would just say that we believe in the project and we're doing everything we can to see this project and other projects some of which are really great as well, get out there. We've got some big plans for the future, and we're being very aggressive on some things, and we're really looking forward to see how things roll out."
Project CARS Studio Lead Admits Problems on Wii U Version.
Project CARS has already launched on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC platforms, but the Wii U version has suffered from delays time and again. Many have wondered what the situation is, and now the studio’s boss has taken to the game’s forums to explain why. According to Ian Bell, the problems are technical. Trying to run the game’s engine on Wii U has proven harder than expected, and he would like new Nintendo hardware at E3 to alleviate the situation.
OK I’ll come clean. At the moment we’re running at about 23FPS [at 720p] on the WiiU.
We’re awaiting/hoping for more of a hardware announcement at E3…
…Honestly, unless we really cut the looks back I think we’re looking to Nintendo’s next console.
…I suppose if they don’t announce something at E3 or soon after we will have a go at it.
It is curious that Ian Bell would look to new hardware this soon, as Nintendo has clearly stated that their NX platform won’t be shown until next year. Until then, Ian added that certain rumors have prompted this leap of faith.
…We could reach a fairly solid 30FPS [on Wii U] but it might take a hell of a lot of work. On the other hand, about halfway through us finishing, Nintendo might announce a new console (I have zero knowledge on this BTW but I’ve heard ‘rumours’). Our work might just be the best thing that ever hit that new console in the driving sim genre.
So we’re playing a waiting game at the moment and yes, economics do come in to it.
Nintendo Teams Up With DeNA To Bring Games To Smart Devices.
In a somewhat unsurprising move, Nintendo are teaming up with mobile gaming giant DeNA in order to bring their intellectual property to smart devices.
While analysts have been urging Nintendo to delve into the mobile arena, it was always poorly conceived advice. Nintendo are at their core a toy company, adapting that for a mobile market was never going to realistically work.
As such, it’s nice to see Nintendo being shrewd and teaming up with a company that clearly understands the mobile market instead. Effectively outsourcing their mobile solution almost entirely.
This new setup will have DeNA take Nintendo franchises and develop games on their behalf, though under Nintendo supervision, for smart devices. This will also include mobile apps that tie into Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U games as well, so as to help with community for upcoming games most likely.
The latter will be part of a paid membership service, which likely explains why Club Nintendo was phased out recently.
To show that this isn’t a trivial arrangement, Nintendo will obtain 15,081,000 treasury shares in DeNA, this being 10 percent of DeNA’s total outstanding stock. Likewise DeNA will acquire 1,759,400 treasury shares in Nintendo, or 1.24 percent of Nintendo’s stock. To give a bit of context to those numbers, both companies will equally spend 22 billion yen ($181 million) on each other’s treasury shares.
Considering that Nintendo had to resolve their mobile gap in the industry, this seems like the best option and one that leaves them open to pursue console games as well. It also is a relationship skewed more towards Nintendo holding the strings, so that should help to assuage any concerns fans may have.
What’s curious is that Nintendo chose DeNA, as they recently partnered with GungHo for a Puzzle and Dragons 3DS release. As GungHo is owned by SoftBank, Nintendo likely wanted to have a more mobile development specific partner and not a monolithic service provider (that would probably eat them alive at some point).
Either way, DeNA are a very experienced mobile provider so this should hopefully work out well for both parties.
New Nintendo Hardware Platform Codenamed NX.
Following the announcement that Nintendo are partnering with DeNA to bring their franchises to mobile devices, they are also working on an all new hardware platform codenamed NX.
While Nintendo is having trouble shifting the Wii U, the 3DS has been doing very well indeed. So it’s no surprise that Nintendo are working on another hardware platform to replace their current line-up.
Despite the inevitable progression in dealing with mobile gaming, Satoru Iwata has assured fans that Nintendo is still pursuing the “dedicated video game system market” in a recent press conference where the NX was revealed (notes in Japanese are here).
Whether this will be a new portable device or a home base console is unclear at this point, just that we’ll have a more thorough announcement regarding the platform next year.
It’s clear this DeNA partnership was something Nintendo thought about carefully. This announcement of the NX was also intentionally meant to help calm fears about Nintendo becoming a solely mobile focused company.
That is clearly not going to happen anytime soon.
What is interesting though is that in the past Iwata has said the next system they make will share its operating system and architecture across their family of devices. So the successors to the 3DS and Wii U will be more directly compatible with one another.
So the NX will likely take this route, which is an interesting one. As parity between hardware has often been a difficult and contentious area in gaming. As the Dreamcast tried it with arcade games, sharing broadly the same architecture with the Naomi board, and that didn’t end entirely well.
Regardless, fans should be rightly happy that Nintendo are working on yet another hardware platform. Next year’s announcement cannot come soon enough.
The prices for rare NES games have been sky rocketing to the point where the fun of buying NES games is getting boring. Don't get me wrong, I'm still keeping my games. But games like The Flintstones: Surprise At Dinosaur Peak has went from $40.00 to 2 or 3 hundred to a thousand dollars now. Why are these sellers hungry money greedy. The Nintendo World Championship game cart is selling for 15,000.00 dollars. The Gold cart goes for 20,000.00 dollars. Why charge so much for a game cart when you can just get the emulator for free... I still want the game cart. But what is the point of spending your entire life savings for a Game Cart that no one else that you know gives a crap about? The game Stadium Events price is 3,000 something dollars. Why charge for a high price for a game cart? You are taking away peoples hard earn money that they have been working their hands to the bone, for what? So you can get rich, Is that part of your get rich quick scam? These carts might be rare. But there is a limit of how much people can spend. You are NOT the only ones that need to pay bills or put food on the table. Those games are worth $50.00 USD. Stop trying to profit off of them so you can have your own private jet. So you bought a game that you found in the attic or the basement. and you went online and found out that it is a rare NES game. So you thought that you, can make a profit off the game for extra cash. Maybe you wasted your money at the casino, and your mortgage is way over due. So you want to sell the NES game for a very high price so you can use someone else hard earn money to fix your mistake. This is why collecting NES games isn't that fun has it used to be. Sellers are selling these games for way to much. Even people that are wealthy don't want to spend that much. If you have a rare NES game that you don't want, Don't sell it online for a extreme high price. It's not other peoples fault that you messed up your life for your taxes not being paid. or your mortgage of your house is way over due. Other people need that money to have a roof over their head and food on the table. Even if you can afford the game.. The price out of whacked.. Think about it. A thousand dollars for a game is way to much for anyone, Not even Donald Trump will pay 20,000 dollars for a rare NES game. This is what really grinds my gears.
N64 Virtual Console Games Coming To Wii U Soon
Some of the best games ever coming soon to Virtual Console
It took them long enough, but it seems that finally Nintendo 64 games will be coming soon to the Wii U Virtual Console. The official Wii U Virtual Console page has been updated and it mentions Nintendo 64 when referring to future releases. No release dates have been given as of yet but it can’t be too much longer we have to wait to play some classic N64 titles on Wii U No actual games have been revealed either, but you can already imagine some of the games that will be releasing, titles such as Super Mario 64, which was the first N64 game to release on Wii Virtual Console way back in 2006, Ocarina Of Time, Mario Kart 64, F-Zero X, the list goes on. We expected Nintendo 64 Virtual Console games to be available when the Wii U launched, but it never happened, we never actually got any Virtual Console games at launch. But it now seems like they are finally coming.
Project CARS Delayed (Yet Again) to Mid-May
Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco Games Europe today announced that Project CARS has been delayed. This is the second time this year the game has been delayed, and third time in the past six months. The developer claims that this new delay is due to the teams continued dedication to polishing the game.
Despite our long heritage and pedigree in making critically-acclaimed racing games, Project CARS is by far the grandest and most intricately detailed of them all. Despite therefore the game being 99.9% complete, the remaining 0.1% attending to small issues and bugs has been tricky to anticipate. We’re absolutely dedicated to delivering a ground-breaking experience and by targeting mid-May fans can be assured that’s what they’ll receive” said Ian Bell, Head of Studio at Slightly Mad Studios. Again, we want to thank our fans for their support and patience on this matter. There’s a high expectancy from racing fans around the world that Project CARS is going to be an exciting new contender in the simulation racing space and we firmly believe gamers deserve it to be in its most complete and polished state when they come to play it on day one. And since the gaming community is our primary focus and has always been at the heart of the project during development, we would like to offer some free content to all players as compensation for this short delay and as acknowledgement of how grateful we are. This gift, that we’re sure is going to excite fans, will be available from day one and revealed shortly. Keep an eye on our website for more info.”
The news only pertains to the Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC versions of the game, as with last time the Wii U version (still confirmed to be in development) was not mentioned. It is expected that the studio will release the Wii U version several months after the other versions have launched, this is likely so they can focus on Wii U specific features such as making use of the Wii U GamePad.
Use your brain for once:
I find it weird that most M Rated games are on the xbox, while most of the xbox sales are preteen kids, who play M rated games. While old Gamers like me who have been gaming since the 1980's still play Nintendo. But we get the short end of the stick when it comes to great games. Also I don't understand why EA,Capcom,Ubisift etc, is making all these great games only for the PS4 & Xbox One, when it's mostly kids that use the system. While older gamers like myself play Nintendo. I still have my old NES hooked up.. I take it that 3rrd party publishers are brain washed by these fanboys, stating that The Wii U is for kids, when the kids actually play xbox or playstation consoles. Also Nintendo has great games on the Wii U that are NOT cartoony. like AC3,AC4,Mass Effect 3, Watch Dogs, Splinter Cell, Bayanetta 1 & 2, DEUS EX: Human Rev. Director's Cut, Dark Siders 2, Zombi U, Resident Evil: Revelations, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.. It's that these kids don't know anything about gaming. I keep asking kids when will you learn that better graphics do NOT make better games? You can have a game with the best graphics in the world that runs on 1080P/i and the game can be worst then E.T. for the Atari 2600. And games that don't have good graphics, end up being more fun & addictive to play, Look at Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Wii U. The graphics are older. But the game is fun, Plus there is always people online. So many people that it's hard to find a room to go in. Since the rooms are always getting filled up. Plus the online gaming is free. Kids think that you get better online play if you pay for xbox live, etc. But you don't. Xbox live is brain washing these new gamers, telling them that online is better if you pay.. I've written many letters to Ubisoft,Rock Star, EA & Capcom, That there are more older gamers who play the Wii U. And we demand more games. They need to to make more games for the Nintendo consoles. They have no idea how much money that they are losing.. And they can get more profit for making games for all 3 gaming consoles.. I own two Nintendo Wii U's. One is the basic 8GB the other is the delux 32GB. And the games are great!!! Right now I'm play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Metroid Prime Trilogy that I've downloaded from the Nintendo eShop. I'm not a fanboy. I play other consoles & I also do PC gaming. But I only have enough room in my house for Nintendo games and consoles. And I have tons of them. What I don't get is why Nintendo gets dumped on, while Xbox consoles lack in hardware or software? People go and buy a brand new xbox one, and a new $60.00 game. they bring it home just to find that the new xbox one eats their brand new game. So what they do is get another console from microsoft thinking that the console that they bought was just a minor flaw. But when the new console comes in the mail. It does the same thing. There is no point for these 3rd party publishers to make games for a console that won't play them. And I never had 1 single problem with my Wii U, Wii, Gamecube, N64, SNES & NES. My NES is 30 years old and it still works. even my 1989 Original Game Boy still works. And the new cutting edge PS4/Xbox one doesn't? There is something very wrong here.. The Wii U has great downloadable content from games, to media, to apps. And it's very underrated. ubisoft mad a bad move by not making more Assassin's Creed games for the Wii U. Also Capcom made a bad move for NOT releasing Resident Evil Revelations 2 on the Wii U. These companies will be losing millions of dollars.. the CEO's are blind. They need to open their eyes and wake up.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker Joins New Nintendo 3DS at Peak of Japanese Charts.
Wii U hardware sales dip a little further
As per normal on a Wednesday the Media Create charts in Japan have emerged, with this week's results bringing a few new releases and a subtle shift in the hardware battle in Nintendo's homeland.
To start with software, Atlus RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker has made its début at number one, holding off Ubisoft's Far Cry 4 on PS4. Yo-kai Watch 2 continues to accumulate solid sales along with a host of other evergreen 3DS releases, though the updated Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ from Bandai Namco had a particularly underwhelming release with just 5,851 sales. As for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, it's still in the top 10 but not setting the chart alight - the results are below, with lifetime sales in brackets.
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker – 53,264 (New)
[PS4] Far Cry 4 – 36,239 (New)
[PS3] Tales of Zestiria – 29,487 (370,377)
[3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Shinuchi – 27,566 (2,431,812)
[3DS] Yowamushi Pedal: Ashita he no High Cadence – 20,510 (New)
[PS3] Far Cry 4 – 18,366 (New)
[3DS] Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire – 14,108 (2,488,766)
[Wii U] Kirby and the Rainbow Curse – 12,867 (45,005)
[3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – 10,832 (2,451,205)
[PS4] Bladestorm: Nightmare – 10,219 (New)
[3DS] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS – 8,878 (2,131,311)
[PS3] Bladestorm: Nightmare – 7,621 (New)
[3DS] The Legend of Legacy – 6,514 (60,488)
[Wii U] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U – 6,398 (576,112)
[PS3] Ukiyo no Shishi – 6,184 (New)
[3DS] Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ – 5,851 (New)
[3DS] Yokai Watch 2: Ganso / Honke – 5,425 (3,093,812)
[PSV] Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly – 5,319 (New)
[Wii U] Mario Kart 8 – 5,103 (906,468)
[3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf – 4,910 (3,909,169)
Moving onto hardware, the New Nintendo 3DS XL - LL in Japan - remains on top following a small increase, with the smaller New model and older systems also contributing. A bump in PS4 sales - and dip for the Vita - means that Sony's home console claims second place; the Wii U continues to struggle in four figures. The numbers are below, with last week's sales in brackets.
New Nintendo 3DS LL – 21,880 (20,065)
PlayStation 4 – 17,392 (13,793)
PlayStation Vita – 11,871 (14,991)
New Nintendo 3DS – 7,700 (8,028)
PlayStation 3 – 7,211 (8,600)
Wii U – 6,807 (7,088)
3DS LL – 3,641 (3,882)
3DS – 3,187 (3,287)
PlayStation Vita TV – 521 (589)
Xbox One – 222 (259)
Nintendo 64 Titles Heading to the Wii U Virtual Console.
As pointed out and checked on our system, Nintendo 64 games were mentioned way back when the Virtual Console launched on Wii U, in a system notification. To break into first person, this was a result of a short memory on my part (I thought this was new text), so my apologies.
The Wii U Virtual Console has had its critics, justifiably, though since April has at least served up some fresh content in the form of Game Boy Advance titles; when you throw in the attractive scanned manuals and features to adjust the visuals, they've been a welcome addition. The platform is still lagging behind its Wii contemporary, however, and is taking a good while to catch up.
One missing system is the Nintendo 64, home to some all-time classics and a favourite of retro gamers, in particular. Its arrival has had an air of inevitability, and it seems that the official Nintendo of America website, namely on the Wii U Virtual Console page, has let slip that the system will be added; we're not even sure whether this text is new — especially due to the GBA reference — yet it seems like the most solid confirmation we've seen that this platform is coming in the reasonable future. You can see the paragraph in question below.
It may not be the GameCube line-up that some of us are dreaming of — we still hope the upcoming Wii U controller adapter will pave the way for that — but we suspect this would be a well-received update to the roster of systems on the Wii U's VC. The system's games can already be accessed via the Wii Mode, of course, though there'd be greater convenience to have these titles available on the newer store, along with GamePad functionality.
Would you be pleased to see Nintendo 64 games on the Wii U Virtual Console?
Hackers flood Pokemon GTS with profanely-named Pokemon.
Pokemon games block players from naming their creatures anything offensive under most circumstances. But unfortunately, hackers have circumvented these restrictions and are now flooding the Pokemon Global Trade Station with profanely-named Pokemon.
Fans are trying to improve the situation by doing things like grabbing the poorly-named Pokemon from the GTS, renaming them, and redistributing them online – which requires its own hacking methods ironically enough. Hopefully official action will be taken in the near future.
10% Off Every Nintendo eShop Card At Best Buy.
Retailer Best Buy is back with another big Nintendo eShop card sale. Earlier this year, Best Buy offered 20% off all Nintendo eShop cards. Starting today, for a limited time, all eShop cards have been reduced by 10% off the regular price. Best of all, shipping is free for each card.
According to the Best Buy website, four Nintendo eShop card denominations are available: $10, $20, $35, and $50. eShop cards can be used to apply credit to both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS eShops. Order yours online or stop by your local Best Buy to take advantage of this year-ending offer.
Black Wii Remote Plus Controllers Are $11.99 At Sears.
Make no mistake about it: black Wii Remote Plus controllers are not to be confused with shiny lumps of coal. Not this year. Arriving just in time for Christmas, retailer Sears is offering black Wii Remote plus controllers for only $11.99 each — a savings of $28 off the current retail price of $39.99.
Each controller features built-in Wii MotionPlus technology, offering players a more natural and fluid gameplay experience with enhanced sensitivity and better button control. Each controller is also fully compatible with both Wii and Wii U systems.
Parents Allegedly Sold Children to Buy Virtual In-Game Items.
A young unmarried couple in China are accused selling not one, but two of their children to human traffickers. The money they got was used for gaming. 1
As reported on Guangdong TV (via Sina Games and Games in Asia), the young parents' first son was unplanned. Instead of supporting the child, they allegedly sold the baby boy to child traffickers in Fujian.
The mother got pregnant again, and, in an interview, explained that the father "likes buying items in online games, and he likes staying out all night at internet cafes." Because the couple was apparently using their money for the father's gaming, the parents then allegedly sold their second son to traffickers to avoid a financial burden.
As Games in Asia points out, child trafficking is very much a problem in China, where it is illegal. Kids are apparently sold to other parents or street gangs or even to people overseas. 4
The grandfather of these children eventually reported the couple, who are now awaiting trial, to the police.
Club Nintendo Updates its Game Rewards for November 2014.
Club Nintendo has come under much fire this year, namely for cheapening on Platinum rewards this past summer as digital only. That said, the rewards loyalty program does continue to provide digital downloads every month in exchange for coins. This month sees eight classics that have been available for some time, and a few of them hail from the Wii and DSi era. The eight games include:
Pilotwings, 200 Coins, Wii U
Vegas Stakes, 200 Coins, Wii U
Tokyo Crash Mobs, 200 Coins, 3DS
Kirby’s Pinball Land, 150 Coins, 3DS
Nintendo Reveals Quarterly Profit as Wii U Sales Double
Some good news for Nintendo – particularly their investors – as the gaming giant revealed a profit in their quarterly sales numbers for the July-September 2014 period.
Nintendo made a 215 million yen profit (US$2 million), which is a complete turnaround from last year’s 18 billion yen loss for the same period.
Although many analysts were expecting another loss, Nintendo hope to continue this strong performance. With strong sales of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS already, the Wii U version on the way, and amiibo ready to launch in time for the holiday season, Nintendo are looking towards finally bringing an end to their four-year run of annual losses.
The Wii U is the surprise of the quarter, with more than double the sales over the past six months. During the six months to September, Nintendo sold 1.1 million Wii U consoles worldwide; last year, it had only sold about 460,000 units during the same period.
Conversely, 3DS hardware sales are significantly down. Nintendo moved 2 million 3DS systems between April and September, compared with 3.9 million during the same period last year.
This leaves the lifetime sales for the Wii U at 7.29 million, and the 3DS at 45.42 million.
Let us know your thoughts on the latest sales – do you think Nintendo can maintain or build on their momentum and make a profit at the end of the financial year?
Nintendo President Considers an End of Region Locking
Back at the helm of his company after recovering from surgery, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has responded that the company must address one of the biggest glaring missteps of its current two consoles: region-locking.
Iwata tackled the subject at a Q&A on the company’s recent financial reports, pointing the finger at decisions made to support local retailers rather than its audience abroad.
“The game business has a history of taking a very long time with localization among other things, such as having to deal with various issues of marketing in each particular country, or games that have made use of licensed content that did not apply globally, and had all kinds of circumstances, so to say, that region-locking has existed due to circumstances on the sellers’ side rather than for the sake of the customers. In the history of game consoles, that is the current situation.
As for what should be done going forward, if unlocked for the benefit of the customers, there may also be a benefit for us. Conversely, unlocking would require various problems to be solved, so while I can’t say today whether or not we intend to unlock, we realize that it is one thing that we must consider looking to the future.”
The Wii U remains the last region-locked console on the high end market, unless you want to count Steam, but the shocker remains the Nintendo 3DS. Prior Nintendo handhelds have always been a champion of region-free gaming, allowing players to import unlocalized Japanese games and play them with no issues, but the company has been infamous recently in stonewalling this generation.
Previous attempts to get any information out of Nintendo were a polite request to adhere to “each region” and its “cultural acceptance and legal restrictions.” Like I mentioned before, that can be read as Japanese retailers want to sell video games for $70, $80, or $90+ without the fear of its audience importing cheaper American copies, cannibalizing Japanese sales figures.
The fact that Iwata has hinted Nintendo is finally reconsidering this anti-consumer misstep brings a new hope to fans of Japanese games everywhere. Hopefully, if Nintendo follows through, I’ll be able to play Dragon Quest VII and the recent Fatal Frame games without needing to mod my platforms or buy a second one for my crowded apartment shelves.
Child Gunned Down by Cop for Answering Door Holding Wii Controller (VIDEO).
A Wii Remote In No Way Resembles A Firearm
I know this is old news. But I just found this out.
EUHARLEE, Ga. — A Euharlee police officer opened fire on 17-year-old Christopher Roupe while serving a warrant for probation violation on the child’s father, claiming the boy pointed a gun at her.
But when neighbors ran up the home, they instead found a Wii remote in the boy’s dead hands.
According to the attorney for the family, Cole Law, “The eyewitnesses on the scene clearly state that he had a Wii controller in his hand. He heard a knock at the door. He asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest.”
The victim, a student at Woodland High School, aspired to join the Marines and participated in his school’s ROTC program.
The officer responsible for the shooting is currently on administrative leave.
How much longer will Americans tolerate the shield of “qualified immunity” that allows police officers to put their lives before those of the citizens they are allegedly sworn to protect? This shooting comes on the heels of the decision to put the eight Los Angeles police officers responsible for firing 103 shots at two women in a pickup truck delivering newspapers back on the streets with no punishment.
According to the district attorney in that case, the police officers “honestly and reasonably believed” that an armed suspect was driving the truck. Just like this police officer probably “honestly and reasonably” believed that this 17-year-old child’s Wii remote was a gun.
So much for “protect and serve.” Welcome to “shoot first, justify later.”
Five Reasons Smash Bros. on the Wii U Will be the Real Deal.
If sales figures released last week show anything, it's that a lot of people have bought Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS. And so they should, as the game is great. But for many, Smash on the 3DS is but a starter to the main course that is Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Even Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai, in a column in Weekly Famitsu, said that the Wii U version would show off the new game’s "true potential." With that kind of a lead-in, what will we see next month when Smash for the Wii U releases? If Smash Bros. for the 3DS was your first experience with the franchise, in what ways will be playing on the Wii U be different? With a Nintendo Direct event planned for later this week that's focused solely on Wii U Smash, we'll soon have more details, but in the meantime, check out our list below of the major ways playing Smash on a big screen will be different to playing on a handheld.
That Extra Stick on the Wii U Gamepad Will Change Everything
Since the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee, players have been able to use a second analog stick for certain commands. Typically, it can allow for slightly faster attacks than you’d be able to get just with the buttons. That doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if there’s one thing Smashers are really good at, it’s pushing these games to their limits.
Brawl was known to have a few… balancing issues on release. Meta Knight garnered a reputation for being completely broken and far and away superior to every other character. Except for one: the Ice Climbers. The Ice Climbers are actually two characters that fought together. Typically, one would do the exact same thing as the other, but it’s always been possible to desynchronize them so you can cover more ground.
The second stick (on either the GameCube controller or the Classic Wii controller) made desynchronizing them and managing the two characters much, much easier. It’s difficult to stress just how powerful the pair was, but Meta Knight was so broken as to be effectively unbeatable in many tournaments except by Ice Climbers.
Why does this matter now? After all, the Ice Climbers aren't confirmed for the Wii U, right? Well… there is another character that could prove to be as interesting as the Climbers. Rosalina also has a dummy character that helps her out in battle, Luma. And even on the 3DS, some players are already abusing Luma's abilities for some cheap wins. When the Wii U is released, we can expect that trend to get much, much worse. But even if you’re not a professional player, the added stick is almost certainly a good thing. Pulling off combos will be easier, and the controls will be a bit more accessible.
Sakurai has publicly stated that they had to cut a few corners to get Smash Bros. running smoothly on the 3DS, and one of the biggest casualties were stages. Given that Sakurai had to give up 3D models for pixel art in some stages to avoid straining the 3DS hardware too much, the lack of a really big, free-for-all friendly stage like Hyrule Castle or New Pork City isn't surprising. But it's still disheartening.
Larger stages allow players to better embrace the true spirit of Smash Bros. The open spaces leads to all kinds of cat-and-mouse style of play, with players chasing down the items they need to turn the tide in a close fight. When I’m playing some casual rounds of Smash with friends, I love my big stages. When I was 13, my friends and I had different rules that we came up with for the different parts of Hyrule Temple in Melee. If you and another person landed on some of the lower areas, you’d have to bow and have an "honorable duel", with the loser being whomever got knocked out of the small area first. That kind of fan-driven play is something that very few fighters can even support, limited as they are to being for competitive and tournament play only.
Perhaps more enticing is the return of the level editor, another feature of Brawl that lead to countless hours of stupid fun. There’s so much variety available even with the few tools we had, that I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to do this time around.
You'll be Able to Use a Gamecube Controller
If you ask anyone who’s really played a decent amount of Smash Bros. which controller is the best to use, they’ll say they prefer the original GameCube controller.
Demand to use GameCube controllers for Smash Bros. Wii U was so high that Nintendo’s releasing yet another peripheral "to honor the devoted loyalty of fans." While the PS2 and Xbox both had their four main buttons arranged in a diamond pattern, the GameCube’s layout looks more like a sideways Y. The benefit of that is that the most commonly used button was huge, and you could more easily shift between the other three. The controller was remarkably comfortable, despite it’s odd appearance, and it’ll be much nicer than the boxy, cramped design of the 3DS' controls.
More Characters (maybe)
While it’s been solidly confirmed that the Wii U release of Smash will have all the same characters as the 3DS version, there have been a few rumors floating around that connecting the two consoles will unlock four new fighters. At this point it’s impossible to say with any kind of certainty whether or not that’s true, but it is possible that the Wii U version could bring in characters that people have long suspected would show up (like Ridley, for example).
Easier to Play with Others.
By far the biggest selling point of Smash Bros. is the multiplayer. While I’ve had a great time playing with some friends with the 3DS version of Smash, it’s not quite the same as getting some friends huddled around a big screen TV. It’s been the highlight of every Smash Bros. game I’ve played to-date.
Playing a song over the car radio and having everyone in the car isn’t nearly the same experience as those same people listening to the same song on their separate headphones. In the same way, having a bunch of people on a couch all staring at their 3DS screens isn’t quite the same as being focused on one large TV. It may not seem like a huge shift, but when everyone’s focused on the same thing, it ties them together. And at its heart, that’s what Smash Bros. is about bringing people together to have a good time.
Platinum Games Has Secured a Golden Wii U Legacy.
Bayonetta 2 joins the brilliant Wonderful 101
We argued, right at the start of our Bayonetta 2 review, that the "Wii U library is small, but also diverse and exciting". The reason we opened with that point is that, despite lazy comments often shared online — increasingly irrelevant with each passing month — stating that the Wii U has 'no games', that's rather far from the truth. The body of fascinating, enjoyable and varied games exclusive to the hardware is decent and still growing, while the eShop tops up playtime with a host of unique games or appealing multi-platform efforts. While Nintendo's home console is largely left out of the third-party triple A scene in retail terms, it has major releases of its own that are a delight.
This week Platinum Games is bringing Bayonetta 2 to the Wii U as an exclusive; let's make one thing clear, too, it is exclusive. Some continue to assert that we'll eventually see it on other hardware, and while not impossible that's dependent on Nintendo actually agreeing to that very prospect — SEGA owns the IP, Platinum Games is the developer and Nintendo is the publisher, with the big N's money making its development possible. So let's just puncture that right away and say that, in all likelihood and barring surprising deals in the future or ports way down the line, Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive.
It'll be Platinum's third game on the Wii U, counting the port of Bayonetta — out on the same day as the sequel — and system exclusive The Wonderful 101. Considering the fact that even hurried development cycles of major games can be 2-3 years long, the attention of Platinum is now likely to be on Xbox One exclusive Scalebound, announced during E3 this year. The company does work on multiple games at once — including the disappointing licensed effort The Legend of Korra — but there are currently question marks over whether it'll divert attention elsewhere. We certainly aren't without hope that more Nintendo projects are in the works — the studio has been relatively prolific since it was founded in 2006 — yet by the same token Platinum has generally hedged its bets across all platforms over the years.
If Platinum Games were to never produce another Wii U exclusive, which we hope won't be the case, its two main titles on Wii U — and to some degree that Bayonetta port — stand up as among its finest releases, and certainly rank high in the Wii U library. While its releases often struggle to hit sales projections at retail, there's little mystery to why publishers and platform holders keep going back for more — this is a company that delivers wonderful games.
Let's start with The Wonderful 101, which arrived in late Summer / Fall 2013. Its lack of notable sales success is a real pity — not helped by the Wii U being in the lowest of its doldrums at that particular point — as it fulfils various requirements to be a hit. It has bright, colourful characters along with an extravagant series of environments and spectacular robotic and alien enemies. Like much of the studio's work it's also rather demanding to play, with upgrade systems and items to grasp and a hefty level of difficulty even in some of the lower settings. It's also an experience that won't immediately click for all players, with plenty of controls to master and group-management mechanics with which to grapple.
Yet when it 'clicks', when the pieces come together, it's arguably one of the most exciting and ridiculous games available. Of course, there are those that never quite connect with it, and that perhaps helps to explain why this title's mixed reception — among critics and consumers alike — didn't help its chances. The Pixar-esque art design, combined with a few cheeky moments, also brought some contradictions into play in that it look 'kiddy', but came across mainly as a game for adults and committed gamers. These can be wonderful strengths and explains why we're in the camp of praising it as one of the Wii U's best, but these mixed approaches no doubt alienate some.
While the Bayonetta port is a fine effort — including some Wii U features such as touch controls and Nintendo outfits — it's Bayonetta 2 that means, when we look back on Platinum's contribution to the system, we'll confidently say that it truly delivered excellence. Critically acclaimed and about to hit stores, in our view it takes the highly praised original and improves in multiple areas, serving up one of the sharpest, most intense and visually arresting action games of recent times. In typical Platinum style there are brief moments where solid gameplay takes a back seat to cinematic extravagance, but for the vast majority of the experience it combines bombast and tight controls to terrific effect.
Commercially it's not had a great time in Japan, yet we're clinging to hope that the hype that was seen during its announcement in 2012 — and the improved positivity around the Wii U in general — will help it along to reasonable sales in the West. It truly deserves it.
For long-time Platinum fans, this isn't any kind of revelation; its library is often praised for its flamboyant style, particularly with action releases. The studio also supported Wii — with the super-violent MadWorld — and the DS — Infinite Space — while many of the team were part of Capcom's Cover Studios, producing memorable releases such as Viewtiful Joe and Okami. Without the intention of being elitist, these are what some would surely consider to be 'gamer's games'.
So, if Platinum's journey with the Wii U were to end with Bayonetta 2, we're confident that in a few year's time we'd still consider it one of the finest development teams to grace the system, producing games that we wouldn't want to give up. It may not be done, of course, especially as there's clearly a solid relationship between the studio's senior figures and their Nintendo contemporaries. Money and business will come into play, but in our dreams we like to think that Hideki Kamiya's oft-stated love for Star Fox and Nintendo actively planning to "enlist an external developer" to secure a 2015 release could bring the perfect synergy for that upcoming title. Platinum Games may not be finished with Wii U yet.
As Bayonetta's 2 long awaited arrival is here, however, we thought we'd take stock and acknowledge that, for all of Nintendo's excellent efforts with the home console, the Wii U would be a lesser machine without these titles in its game library.
Are you a big fan of Platinum Games, and do you want more of its games on Wii U?
Watch Dogs Companion App Updated For Compatibility With Wii U.
The dog's been given a bone
Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs for Wii U is due out next month, and new details about the long-awaited release continue to surface. After a series of ongoing promises, an eventual confirmation that the game was in fact on its way to Nintendo’s latest home console, and follow-up news that the Wii U entry would not include any downloadable content, the latest update reveals surprisingly positive information.
The Watch Dogs companion application has recently received an update making it compatible with the Nintendo version of the game. By using this app, players will be able to play the game with friends on the Wii U or any other console / PC. Race and Free Ride modes are both supported as well.
Watch Dogs for Wii U is due out in North America on 18th November and Europe on 21st November. Let us know in the comments how you feel about this latest news, and if you will be picking up the Wii U iteration of the game on release.
NoA PR: Embark on a Journey, Live the Adventure and Get a Life in Fantasy Life .
New Game for Nintendo 3DS Lets Players Shape Their Own Experience
REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Imagine a role-playing game in which players can become much more than the traditional sword-wielding hero. Imagine stepping into the shoes of a cook, or a miner, or a tailor, or even the blacksmith that makes the swords equipped by the classic hero. Well, imagine no more. Fantasy Life launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Oct. 24. The game lets players experience their dream lives with more than 12 different Life Classes that offer new ways to play and completely transform the role-playing game experience.
Fantasy Life launches exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Oct. 24. (Photo: Busines ...
“Whether crafting, casting, hunting or battling, Fantasy Life offers an experience for all types of players,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “With so many different ways to play, all members of the family, as well as players of all skill levels, can find a Life that’s right for them.”
Fantasy Life represents a refreshing mashup of role-playing game and life simulator. Players forge their paths through a fantasy world full of paladins, pirates and dragons to save the world of Reveria from destruction. Along the way, they can choose from 12 different Life Classes and start the Life that best suits them. Each Life Class, like the combat-heavy Paladin, resource-gathering Woodcutter and crafting-focused Carpenter, comes with a separate set of skills to learn. Once learned, players can switch Life Classes at virtually any time to master more skills and abilities. All Life Classes are equally effective at progressing through the game, and players can use all skills learned in a previous Life Class. This encourages players to switch Life Classes as often as possible, resulting in a robust and interesting journey.
Each Life Class in Fantasy Life has its own gear, items and Quests, as well as an accompanying storyline. Completing Quests helps advance the story, as players explore a vast open world with distinct areas like a castle town, grassy plains, vast desert and dark caves. Players that traverse an area as one Life Class can return later with another Life Class to access new items and resources. In Fantasy Life, players’ choices help shape their adventures, not just their in-game jobs.
While Fantasy Life can be completed solo, players can team up with friends to tackle difficult enemies and areas through local wireless or online with people who have a wireless broadband Internet connection. There’s even an in-game communication system in Ally mode that allows players to chat in the game with their registered Nintendo 3DS friends. By activating the StreetPass feature, players can even share character data with other players and encounter visiting characters in their in-game worlds.
Fantasy Life launches on Oct. 24 in stores, on Nintendo.com and in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS at a suggested retail price of $39.99. For more information about the game, visit http://fantasylife.nintendo.com.
Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.
About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii U™ and Wii™ home consoles, and Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ families of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 4.2 billion video games and more than 670 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™, Nintendo GameCube™ and Wii systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at http://www.nintendo.com.