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gta_chinatown_boxart

System: Nintendo DS
Category: Sandbox, Action-Adventure
Players: 1
Release Date: March 17, 2009
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar Leeds

When Grand Theft Auto originally released for the PlayStation, the title completely redefined what sandbox gaming meant for the industry. Then with each sequel came another innovation that raised the bar for the genre. The most recent entry in the series, “Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars”, differentiates itself from more recent Grand Theft Auto games, and in doing so, takes many key steps forward for not only handheld versions of the game, but also for the series and genre as a whole.

Some would argue that comparing Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars to console iterations in the series is unwarranted due to natural limitations of the DS. However, the truth is that in many ways, Chinatown Wars surpasses even the likes of Grand Theft Auto IV in terms of content, playability and gameplay, something that nobody would have expected from such an underestimated system. The biggest and perhaps most impressive feature that the game boasts is the engine.

New 3D images: MadWorld

Posted on 8 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Features, Wii | 6 Comments | 0 Likes

Our 3D images section took a hiatus for a couple of months, but now it’s back with a bang. And what game could possibly be reviving this feature? We choose the Wii title MadWorld, which has been out for about a month now. The best aspect of converting screenshots of the game into 3D is that since the the visuals are already in black and white, the color doesn’t take a big hit during the transition.

Nintendo fans keeping vigilant eyes on Satoru Iwata’s Game Developers Conference keynote were in for a surprise. A number of gamers were predicting that a new Zelda game would make its debut. Others meanwhile, were more specific and believed gamers would see Link return to the Nintendo Wii. This was not the case, though. Iwata did indeed choose to save his last announcement for a Zelda title. However, he announced The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for the Nintendo DS rather than for the Wii.

Call of Duty: World at War review

Posted on 8 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Reviews, Wii | 4 Comments | 0 Likes

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Game Info

System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: First Person Shooter/Action
Players: 1-2
Release Date: November 11, 2008
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch

The plethora of Wii games has grown ever since the console’s release, but one genre more than any other seems to have suffered on a system where it should have benefited from the unique control scheme: Shooters. From Metroid Prime 3 to Medal of Honor Heroes 2, the Wii has seen many attempts at making a quality shooting game. With the Wii, however, when developers excelled in one area, they lacked in another. EA’s Medal of Honor Heroes 2 had some quality online multiplayer, but felt all over dated in comparison to more current shooters. Retro Studio’s Metroid Prime 3 had great story, control and graphics, but it lacked online and multiplayer options – though it should also be remembered that Prime 3 is an adventure at heart. The newest installment in the shooter genre on the Wii is Treyarch’s “Call of Duty: World at War”, which, utilizing the Call of Duty 4 engine, has proven itself to be one of the best shooting options on the console to date.

There is no one thing that stands out about World at War because the game is so well rounded. From the graphics to the controls to the online, each and every aspect of the game trumped nearly every predecessor on the system to date (with the exception being the story and graphics of Metroid Prime 3). One thing players will notice upon first glance, are the visuals.

The DSi launched late last year in Japan and now other territories have had a chance to get their hands on the system. Not everyone is a complete fan of the handheld, though. Those struggling with the decision to make a purchase are probably considering what makes the system a must-buy. Well, here are our top 5 reasons.

Physical changes

It’s amazing to see how far the DS had advanced cosmetically. The DS Phat was a monster of a system – It was bulky, unstylish, and downright unattractive. The DSi continues to make improvements in terms of physical appearance with advances such as bigger screens. The system also weighs a little bit less than the DS Lite and comes with a slightly larger stylus. Other changes include a relocation of the power button so that you don’t turn the system off accidentally and a matte finish so that fingerprints are less noticeable.

MadWorld review

Posted on 8 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Reviews, Wii | 14 Comments | 0 Likes

madworld_boxart

Game Info
System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Beat em up
Players: 1-2
Release Date: March 10, 2009
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Sega

Ever since its launch, the Nintendo Wii has served as the pinnacle of casual gaming for the modern industry. People who once overlooked video games were playing Wii Sports and working out with Wii Fit, and those who already played games were drawn in by the intuitive controls and party-style gameplay. For the more mature gamers, however, the novelty soon wore off and countless Wiis were found gathering dust in closets and on unused TV stands. While Nintendo continued to release and re-make more and more casual-style games, hardcore gamers abandoned Wii altogether, often selling their systems in order to purchase another. The lack of more mature and hardcore titles on the system has served to be one of its major catastrophes, and also its biggest pitfall. But of course, with a new year comes a new mentality, and game developer/publisher Sega has strayed into all but untouched snow with their stylized black and white beat em up, Madworld which has proven to be not only the Wiis first big blockbuster of the year, but also the most fun I have had playing video games in a long time.

Animal Crossing: City Folk review

Posted on 8 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Reviews, Wii | 12 Comments | 0 Likes

animal_crossing_boxart

Game Info
System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Social Simulation
Players: 1
Release Date: November 16, 2008
Publisher: Nintendo

In the gaming industry, there are many genres that fit an individual title. From shooters to RPG’s, each game has a category it can properly find itself in. Over the years, however, many games (while becoming increasingly more advanced in terms of hardware) have lost a very simple, yet very important aspect: Charm. “Animal Crossing: City Folk” has revitalized that aspect of gaming and has succeeded in bringing to the Wii the single most charming title that I have ever played. From the graphical animations to the terrible but cute one-liners, City Folk keeps things simple; and in this case that is a good thing.

4 wishes for Wii in 2009

Posted on 8 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Features, Wii | 5 Comments | 0 Likes

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Let’s face it: 2008 was far from a perfect year for the Wii and left much to be desired. However, 2009 is on the horizon and it’s time to look forward to what next year has to offer. At the same time, we should remember the happenings of 2008 and years past so that the same mistakes will not be repeated. So, without further ado, here are four Wii wishes that, if they come true, could make 2009 one of the best years for the Wii.

Better third-party support

2009 will be an unquestionably standout year as far as Wii third-party titles go. The Conduit, MadWorld, House of the Dead: Overkill, Deadly Creatures, Sonic and the Black Knight, and Little King’s Story – just to name a few – look very promising and will be releasing in the early months of 2009. However, I can’t help but wish for more third-parties to step up for the Wii in 2009. Even with the amount of spectacular products that were released on the Wii in 2008, there were mounds of shovelware and downright uninspired games that were also being placed on store shelves. Some companies still seem to focus on the Xbox 360 and PS3, leaving Wii on the backburner. Though, now that the Wii has proven itself on the market and third-party games such as Boom Blox and Guitar Hero have performed fairly well, will companies take notice and change their ways?

Peripheral support

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Wii MotionPlus could arguably end up as the most useful peripheral for the Wii. True 1:1 motion control will finally be possible and therefore, developers will be able to take advantage of the added accuracy when creating new games. Still, even with the benefits of MotionPlus, there are two other Wii accessories which should not be forgotten: The Wii Balance Board and the Wii Zapper. Nintendo initially backed these two products heavily but have since left them for third-parties to explore. Even with that in mind, there are only a few decent Balance Board and Wii Zapper compatible games. As much as Link’s Crossbow Training and Wii Fit are enjoyable, it would be nice to see Nintendo produce another title or two that take advantage of either of the add-ons. Nintendo, after all, has proven in the past that they can reach the best results with their own products more than any other company.

New 3D images: The Conduit

Posted on 9 years ago by (@NE_Brian) in Features, Wii | 1 Comment | 0 Likes

As I promised last week, I have something original to present to you guys this week. Stay tuned for the next few weeks to see what else we have in store!

The future is anything but bleak as far as Nintendo gaming goes. Wii and DS owners can look forward to The Conduit, Punch-Out, Sin and Punishment 2, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and a few dozen other titles over the next few months. After E3, however, the months ahead did not look so bright. Even though E3 was no longer the beast it used to be, and in spite of the fact that the summit has lost much of the glory and flare that it’s been known for, hardcore gamers had very high expectations in terms of Nintendo’s conference. Regrettably, the company’s entire event was, more or less, a big letdown. It wasn’t until this October, with two separate conferences in Japan and North America that Nintendo was redeemed in the eyes of their fans. The company had a complete turnaround and more than made up for their mistakes at E3. Below are just a few of the reasons that Nintendo’s October conferences, well, to put it bluntly, kicked the crap out of E3.

Game montages/trailers

Video montages/trailers of Wii and DS titles were pretty much absent from Nintendo’s E3 media briefing this year. It is unfortunate that the company largely ignored video content, as visual representation of games could have definitely complimented some of Nintendo’s scarce announcements by adding some actual substance to their media presentation. In Japan this month, new trailers of highly anticipated titles such as Monster Hunter 3 and Dragon Quest IX were shown (although in private), while montages of DS and Wii games were on hand as well – both of which included fresh footage of titles. Visual pizzazz is more than appreciated by gamers at conferences to help break up sales-talk monotony and to give fans something to drool over and analyze for a few months while they wait for new products. Please Nintendo: At your next E3 conference, show us game montages or trailers in order to temporarily satiate our gaming appetites.

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