Articles tagged with nintendo

Posted by Mark at 19:11
There's been an amount made about the state of the event at this year's EGX- and while I'll be trying to focus on the games played, there are a few things that can't be avoided.

First, and the one which created the most noise was Sony's handling of Horizon: Zero Dawn- only available to play in a closed-off area, the 30-minute demo meant that formal queuing was abandoned early on in favour of booking sessions, all of which were filled up by 11AM each day- completely shutting out anyone who didn't have an Early Access ticket to the event.

Sony are not the first people to underestimate the demand to see a title at such a show, but questions have to be asked as to why so few consoles were made available considering the length of the demo, more so when the games immediately next to it on Sony's booth were Overwatch and Uncharted 4- both well-marketed games that have been out for some time, the former of which had its own dedicated booth.

The other two platform holders were also conspicuous by their absences- Microsoft's presence being limited to showing Gears of War 4 in a corner of the 18+ area and Forza Horizon 3 making an appearance on the Twitch booth, and Nintendo not showing up at all.

Microsoft's decision not to showcase the XBox One S and let Sony hog the limelight with PS4 Pro seems like an own-goal, but at least one of their flagship series made an appearance, to an extent doing what Nintendo did at E3 with Breath Of The Wild.

The next Zelda game, like its developer, didn't make an appearance at EGX, beyond a glancing mention in the show magazine (this year just an advert for Amazon rather than telling you anything about the games being exhibited), not even in a closed-off Horizonbox or as a developer session.

Nintendo not being present is almost inexplicable, especially when you consider that in the much less-attended Hyper Japan earlier in the year, Nintendo had a not insignificant showing, including integrating BotW's UK premiere into its stage show and creating a Pokémon showcase, capitalising on the back of the then-new Pokémon Go.

Despite what that event's name would suggest, Nintendo's showing there wasn't entirely niche titles with little appeal outside the otaku market, so it probably wouldn't have been too difficult to simply pick up that show and drop it into EGX, maybe adding a bit of Super Mario Run if they really had to.

Mainly appealing to otakudom still probably wouldn't have hurt, if Square-Enix' booth was anything to go by, showcasing World Of Final Fantasy- one of three FF games exhibited (four if Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 counts), a dungeon crawler whose gimmick seems to be that the characters can transform into cute chibis at will, a mechanic which seems to exist solely to sell Nendoroid figures.

More interesting was the adjacent Dragon Quest Builders, the Minecraftalike that Ben has already posted the trailer of.

(And if you were waiting, this marks the first appearance of a game I actually played)

The notion of Minecraft with story and objectives appears interesting, and advanced platformer-y tasks could be seen played on Sony's stage, although the playable demo didn't seem to last long enough to reach that point. The move to third-person, despite certain control changes to accommodate, makes placing blocks slightly harder than it could be, which is likely to cause frustration.

The rest of Squeenix' booth was made up of Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Hitman, promoting their PS4 re-release and latest episodes respectively.

Possibly as a factor of the absence of Microsoft and Nintendo, aside from the usual iterative titles (This year's CoD, FIFA, WWE, Pro Evo and Battlefield) the only other meaningful showing- save for Sega settling nicely into its strategy niche, and Sniper Elite 4 helping Rebellion continue to punch above its weight- from a AAA developer was Bethesda, showcasing Dishonored 2.

The level shown in the demo featured a mansion whose rooms could shift into different configurations at the pull of a lever- meaning in order to complete the level's two objectives (saving a colleague from the first game and taking down this game's antagonist) the player has to creep around the crawlspaces under the floors- a little like a Victoriana latter half of Portal.

The enemies shown, rather than the humans which made up the previous game, were all robots, which added an extra element of strategy to combat. Decapitation causes them to attack anything that makes a noise, meaning they can be used by the player to take down other enemies.

Sniper Elite 4, incidentally, was pretty much Sniper Elite 3, but bigger. Which is absolutely fine by me.

That feels like a nice cut-off point, tomorrow I'll recap the better indie and smaller games of the show.
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Posted by Ben at 02:02
When I posted about Kerbal Space Program coming to Xbox One and PS4 the other day James, our Nintendo die-hard, mentioned the WiiU version, that it not being on the announcement was a pretty strong hint that it was cancelled.

Well Squad have today announced that the WiiU version is still on the way, due this winter

The PS4 version is out to download on the 12th July (today), with the Xbox version following on the 15th. The WiiU version is pencilled in for "winter", presumably this year but it could slip, there's nothing more concrete than that currently unfortunately
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Posted by Ben at 04:42
Have you ever dreamed of working in a convenience store? No, of course you haven't, why would you, but if you wanted to try out a bright, colourful version of working in a shop Circle have you covered with Conveni Dream

Conveni Dream is by Arc System Works and looks not unlike the kind of themed management games Kairosoft (Game Dev Story etc) put out

We don't have a price yet, and the European date is currently 'TBD', we've asked, and there's no price, but Circle tend to price their 3DS eshop games fairly low. For the folks over in the Americas, you'll be able to download Conveni Dream on the 26th May

trailer below

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Stella Glow
Gameplay Video
Mar 10
Posted by Ben at 02:06

First things first, I recorded this Stella Glow gameplay video on my phone so it doesn't look great, but unless you, yes YOU, want to buy me the means to capture 3DS games directly we're all SOL.

Stella Glow is a strategy rpg from Atlus, not entirely unlike Shining Force, you pick your team to best suit your play style or the environment. There's different classes with different strengths, weaknesses, and so on

What makes Stella Glow stand out is that it pulls in ideas from its Atlus stable-mate Persona. It's simplified, but after fights you'll have some free time to go and spend with your team, and as your relationship grows closer, so their abilities increase. Similarly you have to 'tune' the witches in the game, which really just means talk to them or fight their darker thoughts. It's the bit that's maybe a little eyebrow raising if I'm honest, but still, so far Stella Glow is a pretty good game

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Legend of
Feb 17
Posted by Duane at 07:56

It often feels to me that despite the current love for all things retro (especially graphically!) there's a distinct lack of old-school JRPG's missing from the market. I've said this to others and have been told that Bravely Default is what I'm looking for, I'll have to admit I've still not got around to grabbing a copy of that. However, for all intents and purposes Atlus' Legends of Legacy looks like it could be the plug for that hole. Or is it?

Things are a bit odd in Legends of Legacy, it definitely ticks the boxes for being old-school. It encourages exploration, has a fantastic looking land to explore, feels traditional and has an excellent turn based battle system (more on that in a moment). However, developer FuRyu have made some notable alterations to that familiar formula. There's very little in the form of structure, you're given the basic outline of a story and then left to your own devices to go and explore, you don't acquire additional party members, the entire troupe is available to use within the first couple of hours and levelling up has now been assigned to the battle systems formation system. It makes for an odd but interesting experience.

That battle system is the games focal point, you'll head off to a new location intent on exploring and opening up the entire map (which can then be sold), battling rather bland enemies as you go. Aside from the beasts, which mostly appear as a variety of shadowy blobs, the game looks utterly gorgeous, so the lack of imagination in the appearance of enemies when you're battling is a huge let down for an area you're going to be spending a lot of time in for a couple of reasons. The first is that its actually rather interesting, even if its not really explained particularly well by the game itself. Your party members can occupy one of 3 places in battle which then defines how the battle goes. You can change the formation at the start of each turn and experience is applied to your character's stance within that formation once the battle has finished. This in turn enables you to acquire move sets for each weapon you're wielding which also allows you to balance some of the more traditional style jobs for the genre (which aren't named within the game but its pretty obvious once you're beginning to progress that you're developing a tank, a healer etc. based upon your approach to each and every battle). The battle system is most definitely Legend of Legacy's saving grace, if it weren't for the fact that you will definitely find yourself having to be in battles far too often just to be able to be strong enough to head to new areas then it'd be almost reason enough to stick at the game.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, its been applied to a game that doesn't really want you to progress. There's a decent script with some very basic but likeable characters here, but they the lack of any thorough plot or hook just leaves any potential that they or the games stunning world have utterly wasted. Its one thing to have an excellent battle system, after all its the one part of these types of games you always have control over, but there's nothing here to really tie it to. Which is an utter shame, there's the building blocks of something really promising here, and FuRyu should be commended for trying something different whilst trying to appeal to traditionalists but Legends of Legacy is, sadly, a failed experiment where I cant help feel like the creators lacked a bit of direction and just maybe needed to be reeled in just a little in order to tie the whole thing together.
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Posted by Ben at 15:29
Basically this is just a declaration that I'm going to buy Detective Pikachu. Nintendo aren't going to send it to us for review, and I'm not going to not play it, so, assuming Detective Pikachu gets a European release it's getting bought

I don't actually know what the game is, other than a 3DS eshop title due in the next week, I just like subversions of established franchises.

Granted I can't see detective Pikachu having a drinking problem, estranged from his wife after their child went missing, a case he's never solved, but just having a normal man's voice while all the other pikachus don't is enough for me tbh

There's a trailer below is you want to see what's dividing the gaming side of the internet

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Posted by Ben at 11:34
Ok, it’s that time of the year again. Well, it’s about a month after that time of the year given than most sites put their Game of the Year articles up just before Christmas. We here at Bitparade like to give ourselves a bit more time with games. We don’t get to do nothing other than play games all year, more's the pity, so that extra few weeks, after some sales and a week off work, gives us some time to finish up some games, and pick up some others. we also work with a rule that no game can be mentioned twice, so if James, to pick an entirely random and non-resentful example, picks Box-Boy, I (Ben) can’t

So that’s why we’re posting in January. Personally the extra month didn’t really alter my list, but it very nearly did. Undertale didn’t quite deliver the way I hoped, but Until Dawn very nearly snuck on to my list. Truth be told, outside the first couple I could have switched around my other games, bringing in Until Dawn, The Music Machine, Blazblue Chronophantasma Extend, and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. All of which are very good games, all of which are worth your time, and were I editing this piece tomorrow rather than today, emminantly likely to be included.

There’s also a lot of games that we didn’t play to even be considered. Again, speaking just for myself, I’ve got Metal Gear Solid 5 sat with a whopping 2 hours played, Mario Maker sat on a shelf, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines sat on a digital shelf, Batman Arkham Knight was a shambles, and Mad Max a disappointment. There’s a whole host of games, and genres I guess, that just wouldn’t even show on the site’s radar. Not that we actively try to avoid things, but there’s only so much time in a year, we only get sent so much stuff to review, and everything else is what we’ve chosen to play. Bear all that in mind as you disagree with our picks!

I know this is a stupid thing to say, but Witcher 3 seems like a Game of the Year Game of the Year. I think I may have picked Witcher 2 as my game of the year a few years back, but that was that was some janky ‘little’ rpg that was better than it had any right to be. Witcher 3 on the other hand is a huge, stunning, big budget, hyped rpg, you don't really feel obscure for picking it.

I know people have issues with Witcher 3, the one I'd concede is the levelling up system, I'd like to feel a bit more difference in my character than you do currently. The combat though I love, playing on the right difficulty even low level enemies can mess you up if you get swarmed. Witcher 3 is a dangerous world, grim but often funny, and packed with so much content, that I still want to play, I probably won't be done with it by this time next year.

I played the first Disgaea way back when, then replayed it on the DS, not finishing it either time. So when I was tasked with reviewing Disgaea 5 I was more than a little apprehensive. The games are daunting, too long, overflowing with systems, borderline impenetrable grind-fests. Or not as turned out to be the case.

Disgaea 5 still has a lot of systems on the go, but they’re presented more piecemeal, the story mode drip feeds them to you. And more so than in the first game, you don’t really need to engage with them if you don’t want to. You might need to pick up and throw every now and again, tower attacks aren’t the worst idea, and chaining attacks should become 2nd nature, but there’s a lot else that I never needed to master. Granted, Disgaea 5 is another Disgaea game I haven’t finished, but it’s one that feels eminently doable once everyone stops releasing videogames for me to play

I quite liked Wolfenstein The New Order, as a reboot for the series it played as a fantastic, over the top, single player fps, that, for me, out stayed its welcome. Wolfenstein The Old Blood is a more condensed experience. It's still not short, and it does feel a little 'built' at times in the way it reuses scenarios, but it's also paced much better. There's some great bad guys, the scene on the train is a particular standout, some ludicrous weapons, and some memorable set pieces to use them in. It also manages to mix some fairly dark themes and violence with moments of humour and absurdity. Honestly, I'm amazed Wolfenstein The Old Blood didn't feature in more Game of the Year lists.

This might be a slightly strange pick because I had some issues with Lost Dimension in my review. My problem was the game exists outside its story, it doesn't justify itself, at least not without seeing the true ending (and even then…). As a strategy rpg though it's great, breezy and light in a way that makes it accessible, with plenty of depth there if you want it. If anything Lost Dimension could do with pushing that more, but not knowing who's still going to be alive hampers that somewhat I guess.

Gunman Clive 2 split the site a little bit. I, correctly, rate it as one of the best games of the year, a refined, fun, action platformer. The WiiU HD port wasn’t quite as good, I think because Gunman Clive 2 on 3DS does benefit from some depth, despite largely being played on a 2D plane. It’s basically more of the same as the first game, but it’s tighter, fewer frustrating deaths, just generally a better, more varied version. It’s fun, simple as that really

This is a bit of a cheat, Prison Architect was in Early Access for what seemed like forever but was finally released in 2015 with some excellent additions and an extra mode that tasks you with escaping from prison rather than trying to keep inmates contained. Introversion have injected a great sense of humour into Prison Architect and it reminds me of the early Bullfrog "Theme" games. I've sunk more hours into Prison Architect than any other 2015 release, and for good reason!

Dungeon Crawlers are everywhere on handhelds now, but Etrian Mystery Dungeon is, in my humble opinion, the best example of the genre (although Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God is certainly up there for the top down variant of the genre). The reason for this is that whilst Etrian Mystery Dungeon is constantly challenging, its never unfair and the idea of shaking your approach when it comes to the games boss fights means the gameplay never gets stagnant. I said this in my review, but I want to reiterate it here, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is Dark Souls but for the 3DS and that's a great thing.

Some say its light on content, with far too much potentially locked away for the Season Pass, and some say its far too approachable. I disagree with both of those parties, the game modes in Star Wars Battlefront are different enough to keep things interesting and the fact you can pick it up and put it down at will means you never really feel out of your depth. Unlockables are fed to you at a decent rate and it scratches that nostalgic itch of acting out such battles in the play ground. Although I'm bloody awful when it comes to using the Heroes and Villains.

Its more of the same, and yet different. Its as bloodily and brutal as ever but brings an intriguing puzzle element to its levels. There's an organised chaos to Hotline Miami 2 which makes it utterly compelling, which tied into the visuals and (once again) excellent soundtrack, creates an oddly addictive yet disturbing environment that'll test even the most patient of players.

Okay, okay it was actually released in 2014 but let's face it Driveclub was pretty horribly broken until 2015, and for that reason I include it in my GOTY entry for said year. We'll dust over the fact that I didn't actually play it until later in the year. Driveclub is an example of how many developers, or at least their publishers a treating "Triple A" games this generation, adopting a "release it now, patch it later" method of creating games. Its rare that such titles become excellent examples of their genre though, but Driveclub achieves that by making its racing both fun and challenging whilst obtaining a sense of realism and, importantly, community. Evolution have manage to out Forza Forza in this regard, and whilst its missing some of Microsoft's top line racer it more than makes up for it by tying its challenge aspects together seamlessly. Plus let's not forget those weather effects!

BoxBoy! is a great example of when good game design triumphs above all else. Made within the constraints of Nintendo Web Framework, developer HAL Laboratory managed to squeeze as much as possible out of what initially appears to be a very simple 2D puzzle platformer.

The main gist of BoxBoy! involves producing chains of boxes from your character, Quby, to traverse environments and solve puzzles. This initially appears in a simple form that has very little going for it, but what’s impressive is the way HAL takes this mechanic and runs with it, forcing you to think out of the box (ha…ha) in each new world you encounter.

While many wanted a straight up sequel to Xenoblade, what makes Xenoblade X all the more interesting is its wildly different take on the RPG, despite it having a few skin-deep similarities to its Wii cousin. With Xenoblade X, Monolith Soft nails open world RPG design, implementing a structure that not only gives you an immense amount of freedom, but the curiosity to explore its vast world in the first place.

There are of course a few trade-offs associated with the move to a truly open world game – some of the missions feel like filler material designed to lead you around the environment – but taken as a whole, you can’t help but admire how well the game’s vast world, NPCs, narrative and systems link together.

Splatoon is just a delight on so many levels. There’s the most obvious one: Nintendo knocked it out the park in designing a genuinely different and validated take on the shooter genre. Painting the map with ink complements the ability to swim in the stuff extremely well, and there’s nothing quite like it, despite it feeling so instinctively right to play. But it’s also worth remembering some of the other things it did, all of which helped make it feel fresh and compelling. It focused on emphasising playing for fun over the need to accumulate levels or perks. Its lobbies allowed players to express themselves through Miiverse drawings, often to comedic effect. And the inclusion of a single player campaign complemented the multiplayer proceedings well.

And the consistent rollout of new content, either purposefully locked away on disc or downloaded, turned out to be a masterstroke that kept the game fresh for months, while also giving us all a good excuse to sink a few more dozen hours in.

If Splatoon is a proof of concept for Nintendo’s garage developer programme – it initially came about from developer experimentation in an internal “Game Jam” event – Grow Home is Ubisoft’s equivalent. Developed by the unlikeliest of teams, Ubisoft Reflections, Grow Home serves up a refreshing slice of 3D platforming action that most brings to mind Super Mario 64, which of course is a Very Good Thing. It’s easy for 3D, open world platformers to become sprawling, incoherent collectathons, but Grow Home avoids this by focusing on traversal over collecting objects – just like Super Mario 64. So where does the “refreshing” part come from?

Well, there haven’t been many games like Super Mario 64 given how hard it is to follow up on a piece of game design and programming that nailed every aspect right down to the nuances in the controls, so it’s great to have a 3D platformer that resurrects a forgotten genre. There’s that, then, but Grow Home feels so refreshing because it has its own identity. You could say the game is characterised by its use of procedural animation for its lead character, BUD. You’re given control of his arms and legs, all independently, which lets you traverse the sides of the environment, manipulate objects or a manner of both simultaneously. Or you could look at how the game handles traversal itself – you spend most of its six hour running time growing a giant beanstalk, and gawping at the distance you’ve made along the way. It’s a real treat, and I suspect it will feel just as fresh when fellow 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee is eventually released.

Simogo are always constantly trying new things, from stealth rhythm action platformers to horror adventure games. You can never quite guess what’s coming next, and SPL-T turned out to be no exception. Released out the blue, SPL-T is a puzzle game that recalls simpler times. No online leaderboards. No social media links. No data analytics. Just a well-crafted puzzle game that reveals layer upon layer of depth the more you play it.

To explain the game itself would be to spoil it – it’s best experienced when you know nothing about it, when you naively prod the screen at first and try to figure out what exactly is going on. And then it all clicks moments later…
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Posted by Mark at 18:33
Also Cloud and someone from the new Fire Emblem.

In the final Nintendo Direct not only of the year but also for the current Smash Bros. games, Nintendo have revealed the final three characters to be added as downloadable content- all three of who will be getting an Amiibo at some unspecified point in the future.

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First up is Corrin from the forthcoming Fire Emblem: Fates, who, like other FE leads has a selectable gender and for reasons which will probably be better explained in his/her native game, can transform in whole or in part to a dragon.

Next on the list is Final Fantasy VII protag Cloud, putting recent rumours to bed as to his inclusion.

The very final character to be included, right at the end of the presentation after revealing a new stack of hats for Team Fortress 2 Mii Fighters, was Bayonetta's Bayonetta.

What's interesting about the presentation is that Sakurai goes to great lengths to explain the unique aspects of each character.

Corrin's weapon can be stuck in the ground, indefinitely stunning its recipient allowing the player to take a second to decide what to do with them. Cloud has his Limit Breaks, and Bayo her Witch Time.

The reason this is interesting as they've shown you all the tools you'll have at your disposal when you download the characters ahead of time, allowing the player to roll straight into using the characters to their full potential rather than spend ages working out how to operate them properly- and of course, let those who are playing against them what to expect.

Cloud should be available to download now- assuming the news hasn't just left a smoking crater where Nintendo's servers used to be- and the other two are out in February.
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Posted by Ben at 16:19
The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind looks a fairly interesting game. It's a puzzle box of sorts, where you must move around the rooms of a mansion to make a route, so that items, keys and the like, can be recovered. It's a simple idea, but a fairly sound one

It's also nice to see, as The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind is a game developed in Spain, that the game is voiced in both English and Spanish. It's always nice to see developers able to cater to their own country like that

The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and His Square Mind is due out on the Nintendo 3DS eShop on the 17th December, and will be priced around £10 (or whatever $13 equates to).

For a bit of a look at the game there's a trailer below

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Flesh Of
Beasts Edition
Posted by Mark at 17:53

I've been playing Pandora's Tower which, as one of the Wii's hidden gems, is an annoying game to play.

It's a perfectly 'core' game, which uses the Wiimote/nunchuck combo meaningfully. Much like Super Mario Galaxy, the player character- Aeron- is mostly controlled traditionally with the analogue stick, and the remote is used as a pointer for aiming the chain used as the game's main weapon and means of interacting with the physical environment.

This is a good example of using motion control intelligently- rather than simply being a gimmicky 'something to do' (as in Galaxy) or being waggle for the sake of waggle (although the game isn't completely free of that) it's being used because it's better than the traditional control alternative, which would be some kind of inevitably faulty auto-aim or first-person section.

It's annoying not for any design-y reasons one might expect to see in a review, but because it's a glimpse of a alternate future where people didn't overlook the Wii for being casual-focused, where Nintendo didn't reject the hardware arms race and made a console which could handle PS360 ports well, and where the company didn't shit itself in the face of tablets, creating the misguided chimera that is the GamePad.

Perhaps, one where people didn't smell blood in the water after Microsoft backtracked over the xBox One DRM thing and bullied them into making Kinect optional.

Given that Nintendo have similarly blinked and all but confirmed a 2016 launch for NX as well as properly kicked off their mobile initiative in earnest, it's a future we've probably lost forever.
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