Articles tagged with nintendo


Nov 02
Posted by Ben at 13:27

Rpgs are notoriously difficult to demo. How do you present a game all about progression in a bite sized chunk, taking something out of context, late enough in to the game to be interesting but early enough that it's not throwing too many systems at the player? With Bravely Default, and now Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Red, there's been a couple of examples of building a small taster game, a standalone piece of content using game assets, with rewards that feed back in to the game. It's a smart idea, particularly with something as much of a known quantity as Pokemon is, a demo for Pokemon is just an advert, a bit of build up hype for the game's release, no one is discovering the game.

We do learn a few things though, mainly from a technical point of view. Pokemon X and Y, while fantastic, fresh feeling Pokemon games (if a little on the easy side), didn't run anything like as well as they should have done. The 3DS isn't exactly a powerhouse, no one can deny that, but Pokemon X and Y had framerate problems all over the place, a problem massively exasperated by turning the 3D on. It's not like it was an amazing looking game either, it wasn't bad, but you didn't feel like the dropped frames were 'earned'

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Red is seemingly a better looking game now too. I guess it's hard to say without seeing more of the game, and maybe running both side by side, but it looks sharper to my eyes, more pleasing at least. What is noticeable is how rarely the 3D is available to you, as though rather than managing to solve the technical problems Gamefreaks have instead removed the problem altogether. As someone who likes and uses the 3D function of his 3DS, and with the promise of the New 3DS on the horizon, it's something of a shame, but knowing that I'd be unable to resist the temptation of using it, maybe not having the option to make the game, and my experience, worse is for the best.

I touched on it earlier but if you play through the Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Red demo you're rewarded with items to take in to the game. First up is the pokemon Glalie, a level 40 pokemon that can mega-evolve, it'll be interesting to see when they introduce him in to the retail game, because he's way too powerful to be given to you early on, too late though and you won't find a use for him, a problem the Pokemon games I've played have had when letting you bring in pokemon from previous games.

Of more use early on will be the pokeballs I got for beating the demo for a third time. Which is indicative of a nice touch in the demo, each time I played through the demo I had a played through a different area with a different goal. It's for the best too, as the core demo is pretty short, especially as you've got an overpowered pokemon at your disposal.

I went in to the Pokemon demo not really needing another Pokemon game, at least not this year. I loved X but it was only last year I played through it. However, the demo has done it's job, I'm open to playing another Pokemon game again, that's pretty good going considering there's absolutely nothing surprising in there
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Oct
22
Posted by Ben at 15:40
It's been out for a fair old while in America (and Canada etc), and it's been out a fair old while on Steam, but European WiiU owners will finally be able to play the highly regarded Shovel Knight in a couple of weeks

Due for release on 6th November and priced at e14.99, which, if they match Steam, should translate to £10.99
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Oct
16
Posted by Ben at 02:08
... is coming soon!

Poor John Hardin, he's been doing his best to keep people updated wit the, ahem, "protracted" European release of Shin Megami Tensei IV, but it does seem that he's fighting against the current.

The latest news is that we should be hearing something concrete soon, like, the next couple of days soon

SMT IV EU status update: Things are looking good! We are waiting on a few confirmations and will have THE EXACT release date!

Confirmations hopefully by Friday, and we are still confident in October.

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Oct
08
Posted by Ben at 02:06
I've been walking around with this date in my head for weeks and I've no idea where I got it from, it was only last week I found out it wasn't common knowledge. I'm starting to wonder if, in a spate of cost-cutting measures, Nintendo are running their operations from inside my head. If so I'll be getting a redesign some time next year.

Anyway, Super Smash Bros U for WiiU releases on the 5th December


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Oct 03
Posted by Ben at 01:55

Hyrule Warriors is a game that carries a lot of 'if' with it. If you've played a Dynasty Warriors game before then you'll know what to expect. It's a novel take on the Zelda formula if you haven't played a Musou game before. If you like both franchises then you may well love Hyrule Warriors. And there's an enormous amount of content in the game, if you don't mind doing the same thing over and over.

The core gameplay of Hyrule Warriors doesn't really change. You start on a map with a small army behind you, and a huge number of enemies ahead of you. To increase your presence on the battlefield you can take over keeps, these are represented by square rooms on the mini map. Defeat enough enemies in the keep and the keep boss appears, defeat him and the keep is yours, producing soldiers for your army rather than the enemy. Sometimes this is core to beating the mission, other times its just for your own sake.

The keep bosses may not be up to much but there's plenty of enemies that require quite a bit more of you. These enemies play more like you and your compatriots, and in fact are either playable or soon will be with dlc. That means they can do a bit of damage to you, and while you can just mash away at them in an endless grind, the 'proper' way is to wait for them to leave themselves vulnerable, then whittle down their counter meter, launching a powerful combo attack.

Similarly there's enormous bosses for which you must use some of Link's iconic sub-weapons. Just got the bomb in the same area as a huge fire breathing boss? Well if this was a Zelda game that might be a hint. It's indicative that there has actually been some thought put in to Hyrule Warriors, dismissing it as simply a reskin is unfair.

Another nice touch is the alternative playable characters. Granted a couple of them are lost on me, but I had favourites to play as. The way the missions are structured means pretty much all of them get their chance in the spotlight, a smart move as they play just differently enough to bring some variety, as chances are left to your own devices youíd always play as Link. The changing of characters allows them to bring in more aspects to the story, develop a few key personalities and storylines, meaning the story isnít just rescuing the princess. In fact the story continues past the point youíd expect, feeling more like an epilogue by the end.

If thereís one thing you can say about Hyrule Warriors, and the Dynasty Warriors/Musou games in general, is that you get a lot of game for your money. Thereís the lengthy story mode, Free mode, plus an adventure mode where you must conquer tiles on a retro map by fulfilling conditions in mini levels. Itís a nice addition, but itís one that relies on one key factor; you wanting to keep playing the same Musou gameplay.

Hyrule Warriors doesnít ever look amazing, and thereís plenty of slowdown, more than youíd expect given the graphics (although there certainly is a lot on screen), but its biggest problem is always itself. The core gameplay is fine, but itís not much better than that, stages can last 20 minutes or more, and then thereís another one right after it thatís virtually the same. I quickly found doing more than one level a session a chore, despite quite liking the game, thereís just too much of the same thing.

Thereís something to be said for having a regard for the source material, I enjoyed Fist of the North Star: Kenís Rage more than it probably deserved simply because Fist of the North Star is one of mankindís greatest creations. While Iíve no animosity towards the Zelda franchise, I donít have the kind of reverence that some do. However, Hyrule Warriors will be too easily dismissed by some, thereís more to the game than simple button mashing, even if it never requires too much dexterity or thought.
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Sep
28
Posted by Ben at 05:46
We should be writing a review for Hyrule Warriors this coming week, so I'll save any thoughts on the game until then. I will say though that there's a decent amount of content in Hyrule Warriors, so long as you're down with the core concept at least.

If you are into what the game is then good news, Nintendo/ Tecmo Koei will be releasing some new playable characters for free. You'll be able to play as the bad guys Cia, Volga and Wizzro from the 16th October

There's more dlc planned, with a season pass up on the eshop (£13.49), it needs 1.6gb of space, which is a bit worrying for those of us with the 8gb WiiU. The paid dlc will include new scenarios, characters, costumes, and another map for the Adventure mode
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Sep
11
Posted by Ben at 14:14
Well, this trailer might have won me over a bit. I've only ever played the original Fatal Frame game, but I've a huge amount of respect for the series based on that one experience. They're very J-horror, and the mechanic of having to face your fear made Fatal Frame/Project Zero dread-inspiringly brilliant.

This new trailer for Fatal Frame 5 looks to not only nail the ghostly happenings, but also uses the WiiU gamepad exactly how you'd want

Let's hope Nintendo are desperate enough for content that this makes its way out of Japan

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Sep
03
Posted by Ben at 02:06
I've been looking forward to Shin Megami Tensei 4 for a while, as Europeans we've not had a lot of choice other than to look forward to it. Well good news, we get to look forward to it for a little longer as John Hardin, Atlus' PR Manager, has posted on Twitter that the European version is now delayed until October

I dare say the delay itself isn't an issue for most people, we've waited this long, more that it's gone from being up against Destiny, to being up against everything that isn't Destiny in October, we only have so much time

SOURCE
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Aug
18
Posted by Ben at 13:43
For some reason I thought this was old news, I think because I saw it on a retail site over the weekend.

Anyway, Fantasy Life, the 3DS RPG from Level 5, is getting a retail release on September 26th

In Fantasy Life you pick a job and play that role, for example playing as a miner, then play as a blacksmith, then a warrior, using the materials the miner found, crafted by the blacksmith to forge a weapon for the warrior.

The trailer is below, it looks like quite a charming little game

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Jul
30
Posted by Ben at 14:09
We've been waiting a while, but Atlus have confirmed that Shin Megami Tensei 4 will be coming to Europe in September.

There's no more exact date than that currently, but we do know it will cost £17.99 from the eshop (Ä20) as it's only available as a download. Hopefully this will be the Shin Megami game I actually manage to finish!


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