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New 3D images: The Conduit

Posted 9 years ago by 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.

DS Review: Kirby Super Star Ultra

Posted 9 years ago by in DS, Reviews | 4 Comments | 0 Likes

A few days ago, Nintendo released Kirby Super Star Ultra for the Nintendo DS handheld console. When I had no clue what type of game it would be, I decided I would actually take the time to check it out. So, I started reading a lot of Nintendo websites, including Nintendo Everything and was surprised to see no review of the game! Of course, I know most Nintendo websites on the Internet are pretty much news reporting websites, some reviewing games that are supposed to be big, but really…what’s not so big about Kirby?! Okay, okay; sure, he’s a little pink puff ball, but IGN gave this SNES remake a 7.9. Only a 7.9?! Totally underrated.

Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. I’m actually a big classic Nintendo fan. Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby; whoever the classic Nintendo character is, I’m totally a fan of it. I haven’t seen a good Kirby game in ages since the last N64 Kirby game. So, let me tell you, I was pretty excited that a Kirby game was released on the DS. Sure, there has been racing Kirby games and what not, but really, that’s not the real adventurous Kirby that I know and love!

So, after reading a couple reviews on the game and stopping by my local video game vendor, I totally realized that this game is an old school, retro game of a SNES Kirby game! Ever heard of Kirby Super Star?! It has 8 games in one! YES. YES, I SAID IT. EIGHT GAMES IN 1! Really. Really, really.

Now, I know a lot of Nintendo fans and video game fans and I totally never heard anyone talk about this classic game; and if you haven’t got the point that I’m surprised by this, then really, I don’t know what else to say besides say, “I am surprised!” AGAIN.

I remember playing Kirby Super Star on my Super Nintendo with my cousins when I was a kid. It’s seriously one of the best games for the Super Nintendo and I really, really enjoyed it. Sure, maybe not all the eight games that come within the overall game are awesome, but the majority of them are pretty fun and hard. I think half of the games within the game are just challenges and event type of games which test how fast you are and how smart you think. Though, the game modes that are adventurous are pretty amazing. If you’re a fan of Kirby64, The Crystal Shards, then you will def. love this 2D platformer.

The best part of both the SNES Kirby Super Super Star and the DS Kirby Super Star Ultra is the fact that Kirby has so many powers that you won’t know what to pick. Like I said, if you like Kirby64, then you remember the fun powers you could use to go through the game. Just imagine doubling, maybe even tripling the powers of that game, hell, I can even say go four times the powers and safely state that there’s that many powers! That was the best part of Kirby, he could go on and on with the amount of powers he had and none of them ever got old! The DS version Kirby Super Star Ultra is a remake which kept those many powers to help Kirby on his many adventures. Although, what kind of adventures can Nintendo possibly create for Kirby? Well, going after King DeDeDe and Meta Knight are def. the many unforgettable battles that I can think of. Especially all their baddies whom you battle throughout your adventure. I’m sure I can list all of them, but you know, that takes out the excitement of you wanting to play the game!

I know there are a lot of people who play any of the Super Smash Brothers games for whatever console they like, but Kirby really, really is underrated in those games. Especially with these new Kirby games which don’t even keeps the full potential of Kirby being a major game character in the Nintendo world! Though, I can say, if you love Kirby from how he is presented now, then you will seriously fall in love with the retro Kirby.

I can promise you among the many, many powers that Kirby has, there is also many games modes, game styles, and an overall amount of characters and stories which will keep you playing the game for hours and hours. It’s really a fun, great adventure. There’s also a load of secrets which you will be dying to find out throughout the game. Don’t worry; I’ll shhh so you can find out what they are!

So, what’s the difference between the SNES and the DS remake? Well, there’s not much. They upped the color of the game. The graphics are a lot better than what there were back in the day (duh!). If you like happy hardcore music, then you will rock out to just listening to the game as you play it. And really, whether it’s the SNES or DS Kirby, they both have awesome music. Sure, maybe not as good as Gusty Gardens from Super Mario Galaxy, but almost! The difficulty of the game isn’t too bad. It’s actually fairly simple, but it’s long and challenging at some parts. You really have to have good timing because Kirby is easily pushed around in the game. Though, don’t fear! You have a “helper” who will keep you in order. Oh, oh! I won’t give more information away on that so you can figure it out for yourself! I guess the best part is the fact that you can really make more out of the game with the amazing Kirby powers; like…just playing around with them and causing things to happen. But, as I said, the game isn’t too hard (even though it seemed really, really hard when I was younger). Now, there might not be a huge difference compared to the Mario remake for the DS, but it’s just a semi-ported game because I guess the original SNES version never became popular. Though, really…Nintendo wouldn’t release a DS version if they didn’t think it would be worth it. And really, it is worth it.

Really, I could go on and on for awhile, typing what I think of this classic game, but real Kirby fans will know and remember. It’s been a decade, maybe even longer since a lot of us have seen a REAL Kirby game and I promise, this game is def. not one to upset you. Please, please; try the game, look at screenshots and/or videos and experience how Kirby really is. You will fall in love with Kirby and I’m sure maybe Nintendo might notice once again how much potential Kirby has.

Go buy and try Kirby Super Star Ultra for the Nintendo DS! Experience the awesome, real puffy pink experience today!

I don’t know what to rate it, but I surely will rate that it won’t keep you bored and unhappy! It will satisfy your need and urge for a good Nintendo game.

To most, this year’s E3 was the most disappointing Nintendo conference over the past three years  – even more so than last year – due to Nintendo’s increasingly blatant focus on the casual audience. How exactly did Nintendo’s most recent press conference stack up to its previous two years though? Well, over the past three years, the total of games the company has decided to present – for both Wii and DS – have declined considerably. Believe it or not, this applies to third-parties as well. Overall, E3 2008 saw the biggest shift in Nintendo’s attention and also saw a big drop in titles. It will be very interesting to see how Nintendo approaches next year’s E3 if they continue on this pace – if there is another E3, that is. Below are a number of statistics that compare different categories for Nintendo’s three latest press conferences.

Total number of games discussed

E3 2006 – 43
E3 2007 – 28
E3 2008 – 11

Total number of Wii games discussed

E3 2006 – 29
E3 2007 – 19
E3 2008 – 7

Total number of DS games discussed

E3 2006 – 14
E3 2007 – 9
E3 2008 – 4

Good vs. Wiivil

Posted 9 years ago by in Features, Wii | 0 comments | 0 Likes

Since it was introduced, the Nintendo Wii system has been hailed as a revolution in video gaming because of its motion-activated controls that allow a player to participate physically. That’s all well and good when the motion is a tennis stroke. But what about when it’s a sawing motion, one used to separate a limb from a body, and the scene on the screen shows all the gory details? The game to attract scrutiny “Manhunt 2”, from Rockstar Games, the company behind the controversial Grand Theft Auto series, but it is already creating a stir. In the game, the player assumes the role of an escaped mental patient who goes on a killing spree. In the United States the game has received the most restrictive rating possible, ‘Adult Only’, from the nation’s Entertainment Software Rating Board . An AO rating, which is rare and typically applied to games with mature content, means nobody under 18 can buy the game. Critic’s argue that the combination of Manhunt 2 (the game noted for its “sustained and cumulative casual sadism”), with the Wii the game controller that’s so engrossingly interactive that it led to a multitude of video game incidents, provides far too much reality for the the young audience of video gamers, the under 18 set.”You can use a saw blade and cut upward into a foe’s groin and buttocks, motioning forward and backward with the Wii remote as you go.” nintendo-manhunt2.gif

“The more realistic and involving the game gets, and the greater the similarity between the action in the game and real life action, the stronger the negative effects would be,” says Joanne Cantor, a Wisconsin research psychologist who has spent 30 years studying the effects of media violence on children. “No, your son may not turn into a criminal. But exposure will take a toll on his life somewhere, probably in interpersonal relationships. These are subtle effects. They take time to surface. A teen isn’t going to notice them.”

David Finkelhor , co director of the Family Research Lab at the University of New Hampshire, says no game alone is going to drag a child into criminal activity. “It’s when you have other potentiating factors — family problems, mental health issues, extreme stress, dangerous neighborhoods,” he says. “Playing these games with or without the Wii enhancement is not going to take the typical teenage boy and make a killer out of him.” In fact, he says, in the 10 or 12 years in which violent video games have proliferated, the juvenile crime rate has gone down, as have school homicides.

“No question Manhunt goes beyonintendo-manhunt.bmpnd the pale in terms of violence. I’m sure this one will be worse,” he says. “But that Wii interactivity adds an extra kicker to what happens in the brain is purely speculative. The Wii technology isn’t as bad as some folks say or as good as Nintendo wants you to believe.” Dennis McCauley, editor of gamepolitics.com says.

Just to be clear, however, the AO version will never see the light of day. Turns out, Sony and Nintendo won’t allow AO games on their systems.
(The Entertainment Software Rating Board gives the company 30 days from the time of the AO rating to resubmit for a lesser rating.)

“The Nintendo company is knowingly exposing our children to disturbing acts of foppishness right in our living rooms,” said Roberts of PAW. “Even more frightening, the motion-sensing technology teaches them that the only way to resolve conflicts is to flail their arms in acts of fruity aggression.”

Assuming the children are safe, is virtually disemboweling someone with the full body interaction provided by the Wii different than pressing a few buttons in other video game systems such as PS2? Of course, it is acceptable under the Constitution. What we’re pondering here is an image problem.

In the end, Nintendo and Rockstar’s parent company may end up having no choice but to meet somewhere in the middle.

More 3D images

Posted 9 years ago by in Features, Wii | 3 Comments | 0 Likes

Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, and….Zack & Wiki?!

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twilightprincess1_3d.jpg twilightprincess2_3d.jpg

 

zackwiki2_3d.jpg zackwiki1_3d.jpg

Notes:

– 3D glasses necessary to view in 3D (Red/blue recommended)
– Give your eyes a minute to adjust to the 3D – I promise, it works!
– Some images work better in 3D than others
– Original images were not taken by myself
– In the future, I may try to investigate a way to make the images 3D without the need of 3D glasses.
– Tip: Try to divert your eyes back and forth briefly from the 3D image to something not 3D, such as your desktop wallpaper

Wii Online: Top 5 problems

Posted 9 years ago by in Features, Wii | 6 Comments | 0 Likes

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On the whole, the Wii is a very approachable and entertaining console. Compared to that of the GameCube, Nintendo has made considerable strides to improve its stance in terms of online features. However, even though the online functionality of the Wii is far more superior to the GameCube and Nintendo DS, there are still some lingering online feature issues. Here are the top five issues that Nintendo desperately needs to approach for a more seamless online experience.

5) Lack of a hard drive

Although this is more of an indirect issue with Nintendo’s online functionality, the lack of a hard drive is an extremely significant flaw. Satoru Iwata recently noted that only a small number of Wii owners are discontent with the Wii’s memory situation. That is a huge understatement, as many have complained about the inconveniences the Wii’s limited flash memory create. Now that WiiWare has been released a hard drive is more necessary than ever. People are growing rather tired of cleaning out their virtual fridge, and are also growing increasingly impatient. Losing some accessibility in order to improve the frustrations gamers face with downloads is well worth the sacrifice.

4) Wii Shop Channel issues

A voting channel? And a weather channel? These Wii features are pleasant, temporary distractions, but more useful/gaming related channels would be warmly accepted. The Nintendo Channel was the biggest step in the right direction, as gamers finally were finally given access to gaming related material. At the same time, however, there still are many avenues that Nintendo could travel down for ideas. The most obvious is a Wii demo channel, a DVD channel, and perhaps even an instant messenger channel. In addition to mostly useless channels though, the Virtual Console games don’t fare much better. The numbers of games that have been put up for download on the shop channel have decreased in both quality and quantity over the weeks. People are beginning to grow tired of the one-title-per-week cycle with the quality of the games comparable to that of China Warrior.

3) Better use of WiiConnect24

Remember when Nintendo promised new content such as a new level or vehicle when you wake up in the morning? Well, players have not really been seeing anything in terms of new content. Some games have been offering light use of WiiConnect24, but not to its fullest extent. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, for instance, players can only obtain new levels, images, and videos by manually connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. No games are offering true original content though, which is a shame because adding something such a feature to a game can extend the life of the title tremendously. Oh, and where are the automatic Mii updates?!

2) Voice chat

We know, we know Nintendo. You love making sure that little Johnnie is not kidnapped by some random guy on the Internet. Voice chat is an essential inclusion in online gaming these days, however, and Nintendo needs to grow up. The lack of communication functionality in online games makes arranging matches and choosing options a very arduous task. Also, not being able to trash talk your buddies online stinks. Nintendo has added voice chat on the DS, so there is no reason as to why something similar could not be arranged on the Wii.

1) Friend codes

When Nintendo finally entered the world of online console gaming in 2007, expectations for the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection on Wii were rather high. After all, Nintendo was able to take a crack at an online system with the Nintendo DS. Fans, however, wanted more from Nintendo’s service than the offerings on the DS – Removing friend codes for each online compatible game was definitely on the top of many wish-lists. In spite of the vociferous cries from Nintendo fans who were clamoring for a more seamless online experience, Nintendo did not deliver, and still hasn’t. Friend codes, just as they were on the DS, are still a dominant issue with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It is undeniable that having to write down codes for all online games is a nuisance. On the other hand, games such as Mario Kart Wii will do all the hard work for you, as long as you have your friend registered on your Wii console. However, this should be an option with all games, and it does bring up the question as to why such a feature was not implemented sooner.

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Nintendo Power’s moon has stirred up quite a bit of discussion. People have been antsy, waiting in anticipation to find out which title Nintendo Power was referring to in its last issue. The knowledge that the mystery game is a third-party narrows the playing field a bit, yet there are still endless possibilities that lie in store for Nintendo Power’s innocuous moon. Here are a few that could definitely be featured next month, although there are many, many other possibilities…

Castlevania

New iterations in the Castlevania series would be the most likely title(s) to be revealed in next month’s Nintendo Power. The series has always been associated with the moon, vampires, and other dark content. Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was recently confirmed for the DS and Koji Igarashi hinted at a Wii Castlevania. Nintendo Power also teased readers that they would reveal a “game or two.” Therefore, next month, Nintendo Power might be showing off Order of Ecclesia for the DS and another Castlevania title for Wii.

Harvest Moon

The Wii has seen its fair share of Harvest Moon titles, so another game announcement wouldn’t be completely farfetched. It also doesn’t hurt that “moon” is part of the Harvest Moon title, too. However, Nintendo Power very recently previewed the upcoming Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility game for the Wii. Would Natsume really announce another game even though they already have a Harvest Moon title releasing in North America in just a few months?

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Platinum Games title

Does that moon in back of the Platinum Games logo seem familiar? It should, since it is nearly identical to Nintendo Power’s moon image. Nintendo Power could be showing off MadWorld, Platinum Games’ extremely mature title or perhaps an unannounced game. After all, Platinum Games confirmed that they do have one additional title in development, though it is unknown which console it will release on.

Planet Moon title

The picture of the moon on the last page of Nintendo Power may have been an indirect hint rather than a clear indication of the game(s) the staff are planning on revealing next issue. It is possible that NP will be revealing a game from Planet Moon, a company that has expressed interest in Wii development? Based on Planet Moon’s history on Wii, a possible game from the company may be more of a casual title. Nonetheless, it could be promising.

LostWinds impressions

Posted 9 years ago by in Features, Wii | 1 Comment | 0 Likes

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Although it took Nintendo more than a year to offer original, downloadable games for Wii owners, WiiWare has finally made its North American debut. LostWinds, the flagship title for Nintendo’s newest service, is by far the best available game to purchase on WiiWare.

While LostWinds does posses a story, understanding it isn’t important to the gameplay. The meat of LostWinds lies in the ability to control Toku, the hero, and his wind spirit companion. Players use the pointer on the Wiimote to aim at the screen, and assume the role of the wind to manipulate objects in the environment. At the same time, Toku can be controller with the nunchuck. Even though this may seem a bit complicated, the learning curve in LostWinds is basically nonexistent.

The set up of LostWinds can be best compared to New Super Mario Bros. Objects (and the environments) are rendered in beautiful 3D, but Toku can only sidescroll through the levels akin to Mario’s outing on the DS. While progressing through each level, there are a few puzzles thrown at the player, usually testing newfound abilities. The player will lift boulders and throw them in the air and force fire to travel in specific paths.

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