Friday, August 29, 2014

Shulk confirmed for Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS

Shulk holding his glowing sword in Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.

Nintendo has confirmed that Shulk will be a playable character in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games for Wii U and 3DS. The news came during today's Japanese Nintendo Direct, complete with a reveal trailer.

Earlier this month, it was rumored that Shulk, Bowser Jr., and the Duck Hunt Dog would appear in the brawlers, and a handful of videos were posted on YouTube which were allegedly "leaked" by someone in the industry. The videos appeared to be too convincing to be faked, and Nintendo had them pulled from YouTube by filing claims of copyright infringement. Given today's news, it appears that some of the other rumored characters may be officially announced sometime soon, thought it should be noted that the Duck Hunt Dog did not appear in any of the leaked videos.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Shulk, he is the sword-wielding young man who made his debut in Xenoblade Chronicles, which was released on the Wii a few years back. While it was a Wii exclusive, that is no longer the case.

Coinciding with today's Smash Bros. news, the Big N announced two brand new models of the 3DS called the "New Nintendo 3DS," and "New Nintendo 3DS LL" (Japanese name for XL model). The new models feature a stronger CPU, more buttons, and a right analog stick, in addition to NFC technology for use with Amiibo figures. Right after the portable consoles were revealed, Nintendo announced that the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles is being ported to them. The stronger hardware and extra buttons have made the conversion that much easier for the development team, and it appears that the existing 3DS and 2DS systems will miss out.

Getting back to Smash Bros.... a two-CD soundtrack for the game was announced, and those who register both the Wii U and 3DS games with Club Nintendo will receive it for free. The offer will be valid for a limited time only, and it will be reserved for members who live in North America and Europe. Here's the official announcement:

"As another offering for fans, those who register both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS versions of the games in Club Nintendo – before a set time - can claim the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS & Wii U: Premium Sound Selection, a free soundtrack CD packed with tunes taken from and inspired by the games. Further details on the timings pertaining to this offering will follow at a later date."

The reveal trailer for Shulk is titled "Looks like we don't have a choice," which is something he says in Xenoblade Chronicles, though it may also be a joke about the spoiled surprise. If that's the case, it's nice to see that Nintendo has a sense of humor about the situation. You can watch the video after the break.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 8/28/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
There is a ton of activity on the North American Wii U eShop this week. Two modern games have arrived, two classics can be yours for a few bucks, free DLC can be downloaded for Mario Kart 8, new tables are coming to Zen Pinball 2, and there is a sale on some popular Capcom titles, and a permanent discount on Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Full details and videos after the break.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 8/21/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
This is an interesting week for the Wii U eShop. Disney Infinity is now completely free to download, and a couple of classic NES titles have been released on the Virtual Console: Mega Man 6 and Life Force. There is also an indie driving game that has arrived: Midtown Crazy Race. Details and videos after the break.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 8/14/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad

There's tons of activity on the North American Wii U eShop this week. Two scrolling shoot 'em ups by the names of GAIABREAKER and XType Plus have arrived, and Dahku Creation's touchscreen-based Soon Shine is now available to download.

The Virtual Console has received two new additions: Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge, which was originally released on the Game Boy Advance, and Double Dragon II: The Revenge, a classic beat 'em up released on the NES in the late 80s.

That's not all. There are four eShop titles on sale, although the quality of said titles is a mixed bag. Details and videos after the break.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review- Soon Shine (Wii U eShop)




Soon Shine is an interesting game. Somehow it manages to successfully straddle the precipice between casually easy and insanely difficult. I picture the mad geniuses at Dahku Creations laughing incessantly as they finalize the code on their creations; knowing full well that they have just given the world another videogame iteration of the old Transformers theme song, "There's more than meets the eye."  Like their previous eShop offering, Chubbins, Soon Shine is very pretty. Pretty looking, pretty approachable, and pretty deep.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 8/7/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad

This is a busy week for the North American Wii U eShop. Jett Tailfin has arrived after a long development process. SHUT THE BOX is also here, which can be had for just 99 cents. Internal Invasion is on sale until tomorrow morning. And there are three classics available on the Virtual Console, including the awesome Super Mario Kart from Nintendo, the solid Mega Man 5 from Capcom, and the beloved SNES shooter Cybernator from Konami. Details and videos after the break.

A Rite from the Stars will come to Wii U if Kickstarter succeeds

Promotional image for A Rite from the Stars. The title is seen on the left, while main character Kirm is on the right. Behind him, stone statues and structures can be seen, as well as an erupting volcano.

Indie developer Risin' Goat have announced their game A Rite from the Stars will come to the Wii U if its Kickstarter campaign succeeds. The Madrid-based studio is seeking $40,000, and they have already raised over $3,000 dollars since the campaign was launched a mere two days ago.

A Rite from the Stars is a point-and-click adventure game which features cartoon-style graphics, which is not seen very often in other games of the genre. Many have praised the aesthetics as a refreshing departure from the realistic and gritty visuals of other similar games.

Players will take control of Kirm, a mute boy from the Makoa Tribe, as they guide him through the exotic and dangerous environment of "The Mystical Island of Kaikala." Kirm will solve puzzles as he progresses through the adventure, and the developers have promised there will be no pixel hunts or pointless walking, which are two issues that have held back other point-and-click games.

Here are a few excerpts from the official Kickstarter:

You play as Kirm, a mute boy from the Makoa Tribe. Although every Makoa child must overcome a rite of passage to leave their childhood behind, Kirm's one will be harder. Because he has been chosen by the Stars. In order to become not only a man, but a legend among his peers, he will have to master three paths.

These three paths are Wisdom, Courage and Spirit. Every one features a special mechanic and poses different kinds of challenges.

Wisdom is, of course, about the mind. Kirm will have to think sharp to go through an Ancient Temple full of traps. In this path, Kirm will be able to pick up items and carry them within each temple room. However, there is no inventory, so he will only be able to carry one at a time.

The Kickstarter page goes on to say that each path can be completed in any order, and a Final Trial will await the player after the three paths are completed. If would like to read more about the game and make a pledge, you can do so via this link to Kickstarter.

Risin' Goat has put together a pitch video which introduces the development team and shows some gameplay footage. For those of you who are interested, you can watch it after the break.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nintendo Direct will be held tonight for Hyrule Warriors

Image of announcement for Nintendo Direct which will focus on Hyrule Warriors

The Big N has announced there will be a special Nintendo Direct tonight which will focus on Hyrule Warriors. The upcoming action title is being co-developed by Tecmo Koei and Team Ninja with supervision by Nintendo.

The Zelda spin-off mixes the cast and familiar settings of the flagship series with the hectic and over-the-top action that the Dynasty Warriors games are known for. Link, Zelda, Fi, and Impa are just some of the many playable characters whom you can use to take down wave after wave of moblins, stalfos, and other minions.

The presentation will begin tonight at 8 p.m. Pacific/11 p.m. Eastern Time. If you would like to watch the show, you can do so via the source link below.

Hyrule Warriors - Nintendo Direct on nintendo.com


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 7/31/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
There are some new arrivals on the North American Wii U eShop. In no particular order, they are XType PlusFrederic: Resurrection of MusicIQ Test, and Mega Man Battle Network. That last one is sure to be the most popular of the group. In addition, the price of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is about to drop in a few days. Details and videos after the break.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Smash Bros. GameCube Controller and Wii U Adapter available for pre-order on Amazon

Image of four GameCube Controllers being used to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Earlier this year, Nintendo revealed that it would be possible to play Super Smash Bros. for Wii U using GameCube controllers, and now online retailer Amazon has started taking pre-orders for both the controllers and the adapter. Incidentally, they are also taking pre-orders for the game itself.

As most gamers know, hardcore fans of the Super Smash Bros. series consider the GameCube controller to be the best possible input method for the brawling titles, no doubt because of the controller's comfortable grips and unique button layout. It seems safe to say that the Big N is aware of how the fans feel, given the way they have revived some of their old hardware, something that the company doesn't do very often.

As you can see from the image above, the old GameCube logo has been replaced with the official logo for the wildly popular fighting franchise, giving it a very stylish look. If you would like to pre-order the controllers along with the adaptor, or you just want to get a better look at them, you can do so via the links below.


GameCube Controller - Super Smash Bros. Edition on Amazon.com

GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U on Amazon.com

Super Smash Brothers for Wii U on Amazon.com


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 7/24/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
There's a lot of activity on the Wii U eShop this week. Master Reboot, Super Toy Cars, and Wooden Sen'SeY are three new games available on the digital store. An oldie from the NES era by the name of Ufouria: The Saga has also arrived. In addition, there are some sales you should check out. Details and videos after the break.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mr. Driller 2 now available on Wii U eShop

Image of Mr. Driller 2 being played on touchscreen of Wii U GamePad

There's just one title on the North American Wii U eShop this week: Mr. Driller 2. This game was originally released on the Game Boy Advance a while back and was developed by Bandai Namco. It is priced at $6.99 in the US. Just like every other GBA game on the Virtual Console, it only supports one player.

Here's a brief description from the game's detail page on Nintendo's official website:

Join Susumu and Anna as a mysterious outbreak of Blocks threaten the world's existence. Armed with a mighty drill, dig deep through multi-colored blocks until reaching safety. Not all of the blocks will be breakable, but be careful that the blocks you break don't end falling on you, or cut off your air supply! Scramble to grab air capsules for a recharge, and you'll be just fine to reach your goal. How deep can you dig underground? Drill to your heart's content in these three modes: Mission Driller, Endless Driller and Time Attack Driller!

Mr. Driller 2 is a puzzle game, which means it is best to see it in action to get a feel for how it plays. As such, you can find a gameplay video after the break.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Soon Shine coming to Wii U eShop

Screenshot of video game Soon Shine

Indie developer Dahku Creations have announced they are bringing their game Soon Shine to the Wii U eShop. The game sees players fighting off hordes of spirits that hunger for the energy of the sun and moon, and it's played entirely on the GamePad's touchscreen.

Here's a brief description from the official website:

Ravenous spirits have awakened! With the power of the sun and moon at your fingertips, draw them in with your energy and send them packing with a good jab! Simple swipe and tap controls will get you started, but you'll need speed and strategy if you want to build killer combos and keep climbing in this fast and frantic action puzzle game!

Soon Shine is all about simple, score-racking fun, but there's more to this game than meets the eye. Aiming high in various play modes, snagging useful items in the shop, and acquiring new backdrops and music tracks all help keep the experience fresh as the addictive gameplay keeps you coming back for more!

The two-man crew behind the game has informed us that they have submitted the final build to Nintendo, and it will be released after the Big N gives it their metaphorical stamp of approval. The indie title could be released as soon as mid-August and will be priced at $1.99 in the US.

Dahku Creations is the same team that developed Chubbins, which was released on the Wii U eShop earlier this year. The platformer received a very positive review from our own Jake "The King of Video Games."

You can find a trailer for Soon Shine after the break.

Source: Dakhu Creations

Monday, July 14, 2014

Captain Falcon, Lucina, and Robin announced for Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Image of Captain Falcon fighting male Robin in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The two characters are fighting in a green forest environment.

Nintendo has released a new video announcing three more playable characters for the upcoming Wii U installment in the Super Smash Bros. series. Captain Falcon makes a triumphant return, who is still as popular as ever despite the fact that an F-Zero game has not been released in quite some time. Also joining the battle are two characters from the Fire Emblem franchise: Lucina and Robin.

Everyone knows what to expect from Captain Falcon. The super fast, hard-hitting bounty hunter retains his trademark Falcon Punch and fancy footwork. Newcomer Lucina, on the other hand, is a little more of a mystery. She wields a good-sized sword and appears to have a fighting style similar to Roy, one of the other Fire Emblem fighters who has graced Smash. Bros. rosters in the past. As for Robin, gamers can choose to play as a male or female version of the character. Of all the characters announced today, Robin seems to have the most varied fighting style, allowing gamers to attack via sword and magic, which should make for some interesting matches.

The new video is almost three minutes in length, and it contains a good amount of gameplay footage. For those of you who are interested, you can find the video after the break.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bases Loaded now available on Wii U Virtual Console

Two screenshots of the NES game Bases Loaded. The screenshot on the left shows the title screen, while the one on the right shows a Jersey player swinging and missing a ball thrown by a pitcher for Boston.
Screenshots courtesy of The Video Game Museum - vgmuseum.com

The classic baseball game Bases Loaded is now available on the North American Wii U Virtual Console. It is priced at $4.99 and has the usual features for all re-releases on the platform, including Off-TV Play, Restore Points, and a Miiverse community. It was published by Jaleco and originally released on the NES in 1988.

Bases Loaded has more realistic graphics than most baseball games from the era, digitized voices for the umpires, and an over-the-shoulder camera for the batting and pitching interface. These three features made it stand out in the crowded market. Of course, after the ball has been hit, the view switches to an overhead perspective like every other NES sports game, and the graphics for the fielding and base running sequences are pretty simplistic, another common trait for older ballgames.

Gamers can choose from twelve fictional American teams, each of which consists of fictional players. While some may be disappointed that there are no real teams or players, that was normal for the time period. Fortunately, this cult classic has very simple controls, making it accessible to a wide audience, and it also sports a two-player Versus Mode. The only real downside is that the action is a little slower than some gamers like, though it's still not as slow-paced as many of the realistic baseball sims released in recent years.

One more thing: some players will rush the mound if they are hit by a pitch, which results in them being ejected from the game. However, here's a secret that many people don't seem to know: you can actually keep an "ejected" player in the game by pressing "B" when prompted to choose a replacement. Pretty cool! Keep in mind that the actual names of the buttons will vary depending on which controller you use, so if you want to keep an "ejected" player, just press whichever button you normally use to bunt.

For those of you who are interested, you can watch a gameplay video after the break.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 7/3/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
The North American Wii U eShop has been updated again, and there is a ton of stuff to report. Guacamelee! is back with some improvements, Armillo is finally here, and Mario Tennis: Power Tour has arrived as well. There are some other newcomers as well, and even some discounts to report. Details and videos after the break.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 6/26/14 (North America)

Screenshot of video game Shovel Knight with titular character running through green forest and swinging his shovel.
The wait is finally over. Shovel Knight is here!

The Wii U eShop has quite a few new titles available this week. Shovel Knight is undoubtedly the most-anticipated game of the bunch, a retro-style platformer from former members of developer WayForward. The other major releases are Wii Sports Club Boxing and Wii Sports Club Baseball. There are also quite a few smaller games hitting the eShop, but information on them is scarce. Full details after the break.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wii U eShop updates - 6/19/14 (North America)

Nintendo eShop logo on Wii U GamePad
The North American Wii U eShop has been updated again. The are six new games on the digital store, including Pushmo World, Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition, How to Survive, Color Zen Kids, GEOM, and Super Dodge Ball. Details and videos after the break.