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Found 9 results

  1. ccesarano

    Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

    I'm curious if anyone else around here has been playing this. I can tell I'm nearing the end, with I'm guessing two chapters remaining. It has been a charming blast so far that has also been a bit refreshing. It should be noted that I've never played an SMT or Persona game before, but my understanding is that they're challenging dungeon-crawlers with an emphasis on exploiting enemy weaknesses. That's certainly the case here, but those weaknesses ultimately result in your team ganging up all at once on the enemies. So there's certainly a strategy to it, especially if you're comparing which attacks result in what teammates will use what abilities and tally which option results in the most exploits of a weakness or most resistances. If you have any familiarity with the Japanese idol industry then you'll instantly recognize the story as a fantasy of the life rather than a representation of it, but by focusing on show-business the game manages to stand out and feel like it's own unique thing. Incredibly anime in the most charming of ways with well-executed archetypes of characters. They feel deep enough for you to forget that you have encountered this character before in just about any other anime or JRPG of the last ten years. It's probably one of my favorite games of the year, if not my favorite so far. If you're interested in either anime or good JRPGs then this is a must-buy, no debate about it.
  2. I don’t think it is an understatement to say that Destiny’s story is bad. A number of videos and articles have popped up criticizing the loose and hollow plot in the week since its release. Having reviewed Destiny myself and being similarly frustrated by its abysmal narrative, I was prompted to revisit Fire Emblem: Awakening, a game that successfully accomplishes the type of storytelling that Destiny so spectacularly lacks. Destiny is a sci-fi first-person shooter with RPG and MMO elements for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Fire Emblem: Awakening is a turn-based strategy title for the 3DS. Destiny strives for the most impressive graphical qualities possible, while Fire Emblem: Awakening contents itself with strangely styled 3D graphics and an anime aesthetic. Clearly, Fire Emblem and Destiny have very little to do with one another in terms of visual style or gameplay or… much else, really. However, both are games that make an attempt to have a narrative and that is where I’m most interested in comparing the two to illustrate how a great game can successfully tell a story that resonates with its players. It should tell you something that this is a fairly good approximation of Destiny’s plot. One of the important things to keep in mind when talking about video game narratives is that writing a video game is completely different than writing a screenplay or a book or an internet article. The main difference stems from player agency, the choices players make as they play. This throws off the traditional format of linear narratives that we’ve grown accustomed to experiencing in movies, songs, and literature. While all of that might seem obvious, the fact of the matter is that there aren’t many places that can properly teach how to write a video game outside of the traditional ideas about story structure. It can be tempting to say, “Just write better,” when you see a game that isn’t very compelling. It turns out that “just write better” isn’t terribly helpful. I’m not going to pretend that I know the ins and outs of how to write a video game, but what has become clear to me over the last few years of writing about video games is that the ones that are loudly praised tend to be games that effectively fuse their gameplay with their narratives. Crafting a game where a player feels like their actions in the moment-to-moment gameplay matter to both the immediate experience and to the larger narrative, imbues everything with additional tension and sense of purpose. Successfully pulling that off makes the game better than the sum of its parts. Destiny doesn’t ever do this. Its gameplay and story are completely separate. And you know what? That’s fine! Many great games have terrible stories and solid gameplay to fall back on. Look no farther than every Mario Bros. game ever or many of the recent Call of Duty titles. However, would it be fair to assume that games with great gameplay as well as a meaningful narrative are preferable to games with just enjoyable gameplay? I think most of us would answer in the affirmative. Fire Emblem: Awakening does just that. The Fire Emblem series has been around for almost 25 years. In that time, there have been eleven main entries (thirteen if you count remakes) in the series, though North America has seen less than half of those. The turn-based gameplay takes place on a variety of different maps with varied terrain and enemy placement. As players progress through these maps they’ll have opportunities to recruit new characters with different abilities and skills to their army. If this sounds familiar, that’s because there are a number of game series that offer similar core experiences like Advanced Wars or Final Fantasy Tactics. Secretly, Fire Emblem: Awakening isn’t about the turn-based battles at all. Sure, they make up the core experience of the game, but the battles are a complex and entertaining front for the support conversations between characters. It has been a longstanding tradition in Fire Emblem games that the units players recruit into their armies all have names, motivations, backstories, and freely interact with one another as they spend time together in combat. Support conversations are windows into those character interactions. In addition to unlocking entertaining dialogues, characters that have become friends gain stat bonuses for fighting near one another. This relationship mechanic has been a part of the Fire Emblem experience for a long time, so why did I specifically call out Fire Emblem: Awakening for making support conversations the core of the game? From the prologue mission and through the opening tutorial missions, Fire Emblem: Awakening makes it clear that fighting together is important to both the gameplay and the narrative. The game tacitly encourages players to seek out support conversations by rewarding with meaningful stat gains in the tactical segments. Whereas previous entries in the series included support conversations as a side activity, Awakening goes out of its way to explicitly point out their importance. As players progress through missions of increasing complexity and difficulty, the relationships between characters mature, but the specter of death is never far away. Fire Emblem has had permadeath ingrained into its code since the very beginning. Once a character falls on the battlefield they are either permanently maimed (if they figured prominently into the narrative) or they die. Though Awakening does give players the option between a permadeath-free mode and classic mode, classic is the way it was intended to be played. I say this not as some elitist snob who thinks that only “real” gamers play with permadeath, but as someone who thinks that the narrative stakes get much higher when you know that any mistake you make could cost you the life of a beloved character. It is the same principle that Jake Solomon, lead designer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is encouraging when he suggests that players name their soldiers after friends and family. Furthermore, Fire Emblem: Awakening asks the player to insert themselves into the game by creating an avatar. The avatar is unique in that it can have support conversations with every recruitable character, meaning that the player is virtually guaranteed to have some investment into the characters he or she find interesting. None of this would work if the support conversations weren’t well written and nuanced, which they are. It is easy to dismiss many of the characters at first glance because they seem to fit rather simple molds, like the cocky warrior Vaike or the clumsy and shy Sumia. However, through their interactions with other characters we get a chance to dig deeper into their characters and perhaps catch a glimpse of why they are the way they are (other than because someone wrote them to be that way). We learn throughout the hours spent on Fire Emblem: Awakening that our army is the opposite of the faceless entities we see in many other games that deal with sweeping conflicts. If we dig into the actual story of Awakening, we find a work of genre fantasy. Players are meant to be hooked from one battle to the next on an increasingly urgent quest to avoid war and prevent global catastrophe. It isn’t complex and it isn’t something that avid fantasy readers/movie-watchers won’t have seen multiple times before. However, the support conversations flesh out the less interesting elements of the story and make it feel new in a way many of us haven’t experienced before. If the story is the skeleton, the support conversations are the tendons and muscles. *Spoiler Warning* It could be said that I am drastically inflating the importance of support conversations in Fire Emblem: Awakening. However, what I think really seals the deal is that the support conversations are inexorably tied to the ending of Awakening. After defeating hordes of foes and learning the intimate details of your comrades, the avatar is revealed to be the vessel of an evil bent on the destruction of the world. The only thing that keeps the avatar from following through on that motivation is the thought of destroying his or her friends. The relationships formed through the support conversations are what ultimately save the world because those connections have become concrete things as opposed to abstract concepts. *End Spoiler* Let’s recap: Awakening’s main plot is a fantasy storyline that would feel right at home in a genre novel page-turner, but it is elevated by the designed focus on the support conversations between the numerous characters who join the player’s army. These relationships are encouraged by tangible gains like stat boosts. Tension and emotional attachment exists due to the ever-present threat of permanent death aimed toward the members of the player’s army. The avatar the player creates helps to invest the player into the relationships they find interesting, further increasing the connection to said characters. Ultimately, the relationships formed throughout Awakening are brought into the story with everything riding on the line. From the beginning of Awakening until its final moments, players are both tangibly and emotionally involved in the story because the gameplay and narrative are so closely bonded together. It results in a more resonant game than previous Fire Emblems, which is why I’d argue many regard it as the finest entry in the series to date. I compare the storytelling and characterization of Awakening to what I saw in Destiny and I can’t help but think that my time was better spent laughing, smiling, and tearing up on my 3DS. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a third playthrough of Fire Emblem: Awakening to complete. View full article
  3. I don’t think it is an understatement to say that Destiny’s story is bad. A number of videos and articles have popped up criticizing the loose and hollow plot in the week since its release. Having reviewed Destiny myself and being similarly frustrated by its abysmal narrative, I was prompted to revisit Fire Emblem: Awakening, a game that successfully accomplishes the type of storytelling that Destiny so spectacularly lacks. Destiny is a sci-fi first-person shooter with RPG and MMO elements for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Fire Emblem: Awakening is a turn-based strategy title for the 3DS. Destiny strives for the most impressive graphical qualities possible, while Fire Emblem: Awakening contents itself with strangely styled 3D graphics and an anime aesthetic. Clearly, Fire Emblem and Destiny have very little to do with one another in terms of visual style or gameplay or… much else, really. However, both are games that make an attempt to have a narrative and that is where I’m most interested in comparing the two to illustrate how a great game can successfully tell a story that resonates with its players. It should tell you something that this is a fairly good approximation of Destiny’s plot. One of the important things to keep in mind when talking about video game narratives is that writing a video game is completely different than writing a screenplay or a book or an internet article. The main difference stems from player agency, the choices players make as they play. This throws off the traditional format of linear narratives that we’ve grown accustomed to experiencing in movies, songs, and literature. While all of that might seem obvious, the fact of the matter is that there aren’t many places that can properly teach how to write a video game outside of the traditional ideas about story structure. It can be tempting to say, “Just write better,” when you see a game that isn’t very compelling. It turns out that “just write better” isn’t terribly helpful. I’m not going to pretend that I know the ins and outs of how to write a video game, but what has become clear to me over the last few years of writing about video games is that the ones that are loudly praised tend to be games that effectively fuse their gameplay with their narratives. Crafting a game where a player feels like their actions in the moment-to-moment gameplay matter to both the immediate experience and to the larger narrative, imbues everything with additional tension and sense of purpose. Successfully pulling that off makes the game better than the sum of its parts. Destiny doesn’t ever do this. Its gameplay and story are completely separate. And you know what? That’s fine! Many great games have terrible stories and solid gameplay to fall back on. Look no farther than every Mario Bros. game ever or many of the recent Call of Duty titles. However, would it be fair to assume that games with great gameplay as well as a meaningful narrative are preferable to games with just enjoyable gameplay? I think most of us would answer in the affirmative. Fire Emblem: Awakening does just that. The Fire Emblem series has been around for almost 25 years. In that time, there have been eleven main entries (thirteen if you count remakes) in the series, though North America has seen less than half of those. The turn-based gameplay takes place on a variety of different maps with varied terrain and enemy placement. As players progress through these maps they’ll have opportunities to recruit new characters with different abilities and skills to their army. If this sounds familiar, that’s because there are a number of game series that offer similar core experiences like Advanced Wars or Final Fantasy Tactics. Secretly, Fire Emblem: Awakening isn’t about the turn-based battles at all. Sure, they make up the core experience of the game, but the battles are a complex and entertaining front for the support conversations between characters. It has been a longstanding tradition in Fire Emblem games that the units players recruit into their armies all have names, motivations, backstories, and freely interact with one another as they spend time together in combat. Support conversations are windows into those character interactions. In addition to unlocking entertaining dialogues, characters that have become friends gain stat bonuses for fighting near one another. This relationship mechanic has been a part of the Fire Emblem experience for a long time, so why did I specifically call out Fire Emblem: Awakening for making support conversations the core of the game? From the prologue mission and through the opening tutorial missions, Fire Emblem: Awakening makes it clear that fighting together is important to both the gameplay and the narrative. The game tacitly encourages players to seek out support conversations by rewarding with meaningful stat gains in the tactical segments. Whereas previous entries in the series included support conversations as a side activity, Awakening goes out of its way to explicitly point out their importance. As players progress through missions of increasing complexity and difficulty, the relationships between characters mature, but the specter of death is never far away. Fire Emblem has had permadeath ingrained into its code since the very beginning. Once a character falls on the battlefield they are either permanently maimed (if they figured prominently into the narrative) or they die. Though Awakening does give players the option between a permadeath-free mode and classic mode, classic is the way it was intended to be played. I say this not as some elitist snob who thinks that only “real” gamers play with permadeath, but as someone who thinks that the narrative stakes get much higher when you know that any mistake you make could cost you the life of a beloved character. It is the same principle that Jake Solomon, lead designer of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, is encouraging when he suggests that players name their soldiers after friends and family. Furthermore, Fire Emblem: Awakening asks the player to insert themselves into the game by creating an avatar. The avatar is unique in that it can have support conversations with every recruitable character, meaning that the player is virtually guaranteed to have some investment into the characters he or she find interesting. None of this would work if the support conversations weren’t well written and nuanced, which they are. It is easy to dismiss many of the characters at first glance because they seem to fit rather simple molds, like the cocky warrior Vaike or the clumsy and shy Sumia. However, through their interactions with other characters we get a chance to dig deeper into their characters and perhaps catch a glimpse of why they are the way they are (other than because someone wrote them to be that way). We learn throughout the hours spent on Fire Emblem: Awakening that our army is the opposite of the faceless entities we see in many other games that deal with sweeping conflicts. If we dig into the actual story of Awakening, we find a work of genre fantasy. Players are meant to be hooked from one battle to the next on an increasingly urgent quest to avoid war and prevent global catastrophe. It isn’t complex and it isn’t something that avid fantasy readers/movie-watchers won’t have seen multiple times before. However, the support conversations flesh out the less interesting elements of the story and make it feel new in a way many of us haven’t experienced before. If the story is the skeleton, the support conversations are the tendons and muscles. *Spoiler Warning* It could be said that I am drastically inflating the importance of support conversations in Fire Emblem: Awakening. However, what I think really seals the deal is that the support conversations are inexorably tied to the ending of Awakening. After defeating hordes of foes and learning the intimate details of your comrades, the avatar is revealed to be the vessel of an evil bent on the destruction of the world. The only thing that keeps the avatar from following through on that motivation is the thought of destroying his or her friends. The relationships formed through the support conversations are what ultimately save the world because those connections have become concrete things as opposed to abstract concepts. *End Spoiler* Let’s recap: Awakening’s main plot is a fantasy storyline that would feel right at home in a genre novel page-turner, but it is elevated by the designed focus on the support conversations between the numerous characters who join the player’s army. These relationships are encouraged by tangible gains like stat boosts. Tension and emotional attachment exists due to the ever-present threat of permanent death aimed toward the members of the player’s army. The avatar the player creates helps to invest the player into the relationships they find interesting, further increasing the connection to said characters. Ultimately, the relationships formed throughout Awakening are brought into the story with everything riding on the line. From the beginning of Awakening until its final moments, players are both tangibly and emotionally involved in the story because the gameplay and narrative are so closely bonded together. It results in a more resonant game than previous Fire Emblems, which is why I’d argue many regard it as the finest entry in the series to date. I compare the storytelling and characterization of Awakening to what I saw in Destiny and I can’t help but think that my time was better spent laughing, smiling, and tearing up on my 3DS. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a third playthrough of Fire Emblem: Awakening to complete.
  4. Alongside the bombshell news of a new console release date, Nintendo quietly touted its Miitomo numbers and revealed plans for future mobile games. Nintendo reports that Miitomo has reached over 10 million people around the world since its launch in Japan on March 17 and elsewhere on March 31. Those 10 million users have had over 300 million conversations within the app, which might seem like a slightly creepy statistic to have, but it does show the level of interaction users are having via Miitomo. On top of that, users have made use of Miifoto, the in-app meme creation tool that can create images and share them over social media, over 20 million times. To celebrate the app's success, Nintendo is running a 10-day special within Miitomo from April 29-May 8. In the wake of those numbers, Nintendo has announced two new mobile apps. One will be based on Fire Emblem and the other will relate to Animal Crossing. Both apps will release this fall as what Nintendo calls "pure game applications." The Fire Emblem app will be presenting itself as a role-playing strategy game with the goal of being more accessible than the main Fire Emblem entries on dedicated Nintendo platforms. Meanwhile, the Animal Crossing app will have some sort of integration into other Animal Crossing titles, perhaps offering a similar experience to what players could have if they connected their Game Boy Advances to their GameCubes with the original Animal Crossing. Nintendo promises that those who play both the Animal Crossing app and the core game "will find increased enjoyment." More information will be released about the apps closer to their release this fall, but Nintendo really emphasized that these new apps will be games closer to what they have on 3DS than what Miitomo offered. View full article
  5. Alongside the bombshell news of a new console release date, Nintendo quietly touted its Miitomo numbers and revealed plans for future mobile games. Nintendo reports that Miitomo has reached over 10 million people around the world since its launch in Japan on March 17 and elsewhere on March 31. Those 10 million users have had over 300 million conversations within the app, which might seem like a slightly creepy statistic to have, but it does show the level of interaction users are having via Miitomo. On top of that, users have made use of Miifoto, the in-app meme creation tool that can create images and share them over social media, over 20 million times. To celebrate the app's success, Nintendo is running a 10-day special within Miitomo from April 29-May 8. In the wake of those numbers, Nintendo has announced two new mobile apps. One will be based on Fire Emblem and the other will relate to Animal Crossing. Both apps will release this fall as what Nintendo calls "pure game applications." The Fire Emblem app will be presenting itself as a role-playing strategy game with the goal of being more accessible than the main Fire Emblem entries on dedicated Nintendo platforms. Meanwhile, the Animal Crossing app will have some sort of integration into other Animal Crossing titles, perhaps offering a similar experience to what players could have if they connected their Game Boy Advances to their GameCubes with the original Animal Crossing. Nintendo promises that those who play both the Animal Crossing app and the core game "will find increased enjoyment." More information will be released about the apps closer to their release this fall, but Nintendo really emphasized that these new apps will be games closer to what they have on 3DS than what Miitomo offered.
  6. It appears the concert will be limited to Japan for now. Before you get too disappointed, a countdown appeared on the event's website, ticking down to March 12. No one seems really sure what will happen on March 12, though it seems likely that tour dates might be revealed due to the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. However, I'm hoping that Nintendo will take the opportunity to reveal an official North American release date for the Fire Emblem title revealed earlier this year. As for the 25th anniversary concert itself, it will be held in Japan on July 24 and July 25 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall. View full article
  7. It appears the concert will be limited to Japan for now. Before you get too disappointed, a countdown appeared on the event's website, ticking down to March 12. No one seems really sure what will happen on March 12, though it seems likely that tour dates might be revealed due to the popularity of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. However, I'm hoping that Nintendo will take the opportunity to reveal an official North American release date for the Fire Emblem title revealed earlier this year. As for the 25th anniversary concert itself, it will be held in Japan on July 24 and July 25 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall.
  8. The first Nintendo Direct of 2015 has come and gone, but the news it imparted sure leaves a lasting impact. The presentation, presided over by Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata, kicked off on one of the highest notes possible with a teaser reveal of the next Fire Emblem game for 3DS. We don’t have any additional details like its title or release date, but the lengthy teaser shows off a number of neat cutscenes, character designs, and a definite upgrade in the in-game battle environments. The next Fire Emblem title will be developed by Intelligent Systems, the same developers as Fire Emblem: Awakening. However, the storyline will be written by Shin Kibayashi, a highly experienced manga writer perhaps best known in North America for his detective series Kindaichi Case Files. Iwata then announced that the popular Japanese puzzle title Puzzles & Dragons Z would be making its way to western audiences along with Puzzles & Dragons Z Super Mario Bros. Edition. In the Puzzles & Dragons games, players run around and explore the game world while fighting villains and monsters by completing puzzles to perform attacks. The Super Mario Bros. Edition will have similar gameplay, adapted to the Super Mario universe. The combo bundle will release in May 2015. Pokemon Shuffle is a puzzle game available through the Nintendo eShop for free. Players match pokémon togehter to reduce the HP of a wild pokémon to zero within a given number of moves. Nintendo seems to be testing the waters of free-to-play game design with this title as players can also use items acquired in-game to help in a given level or can opt to purchase in-game items with eShop points. I’m not sure if I’m thrilled about this one, but the game looks fun and I can always just not play it. Have you been wishing that you could download Wii games on the WiiU? Well, Iwata’s got some news for you! It turns out that Nintendo was having trouble releasing digital Wii title on the WiiU due to the way they approached backwards compatibility with the WiiU. However, they’ve finally managed to circumvent their hardware to begin making Wii games available. Wii games compatible with a gamepad will be compatible with the WiiU touchscreen controller. The first Wii title to be digitally released on the WiiU is already out. Super Mario Galaxy 2 went live shortly after the Nintendo Direct concluded today. Punch-Out releases on January 22, followed by Metroid Prime: Trilogy on January 27. Each title will be discounted by 50% for the week following their initial release. After concluding his announcement of all that Wii on WiiU action, Iwata turned over the presentation to Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen to talk about Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. The Kirby, King Dedede, and Metaknight Amiibos can be used once per day to grant in-game Kirby different abilities and appearances. Rainbow Curse will release on February 20. Trinen goes on to state that the next wave of Amiibo will release in February with eleven new types for people to go bananas over. The wave following the February wave will include Robin, Lucina, Pac-Man, Wario, Ness, and Charizard and will hit sometime this spring. On March 20, a new series of Super Mario Amiibo will launch alongside Mario Party 10. It will include: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad. Regardless of which series of Amiibo customers purchase, they will work in both Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party 10. If you’re confused about what Amiibo works with what game, check out Nintendo’s compatibility list. Keep in mind, though: If you use a figure containing Smash Bros. data with Mario Party 10, you will need to erase the Smash Bros. data. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will receive a small update on March 20that will add a hide-and-seek style mini game to a stage when the Toad Amiibo is used. Trinen briefly transitioned into discussing Splatoon. He discussed the main hub of the game where players can interact with each other, purchase new weapons and clothing, and how that affects gameplay. In other words, Splatoon still looks neat. It should be releasing sometime this May. New DLC is heading to Hyrule Warriors on February 5. Titled the Majora’s Mask Pack, players will be able to control Young Link on the field of battle as well as (hilariously) Tingle. The DLC will also include a new adventure map and three new costumes. Next, Trinen revealed a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, which showed off the impressive visuals and gorgeous world of the upcoming WiiU JRPG. Trinen went into detail on Mario and Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Basically, players use stars to create levels. Stars are earned by beating levels. If players complete a level that they particularly enjoyed, they can tip the player who made that level to help them create more levels. The idea is pretty cool, but what’s even cooler is that players that purchase the WiiU version will also receive the 3DS version and vice versa. Bandai Namco took some time to announce that they were working on an untitled game that they couldn’t go into much detail about. The game is going by the name Project Treasure. It will be free and accessible for anyone with a WiiU internet connection. The gameplay will revolve around four player co-op and disarming traps, but that’s about all we know. Oh, and it will probably involve treasure in some capacity. Do you like Nintendo eShop games? I hope so, because Trinen blitzed viewers with a series of indie trailers. First, we have Elliot Quest, a pixel art platformer with a sick soundtrack about a boy trying to remove his curse of immortality. It releases this February. Blek releases this February, as well. Blek bills itself as a contemplative puzzle game and features award-winning visuals. Trinen also talks a bit about the JRPG influences of Citizens of Earth, the updated visuals and improvements of Gunman Clive 2, and a remastered, episodic version of 2009’s Moon Chronicles. Beyond that, Sega will release 3D remakes of Afterburner II, Fantasy Zone, Out Run, Fantasy Zone 2, and Thunder Blade over the course of the next few months. Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines Etrian Odyssey’s party building with the addicting dungeon crawling of the Mystery Dungeon series. We’ll be seeing this title release sometime during spring. Story of Seasons is essentially a combination of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about whether you’d be interested in it or not. Would you want to play the video game version of Jurassic Park, but instead of an amusement park gone horribly wrong, you dug up dinosaur bones, brought them back to life, and forced them to use their magic powers to fight? Well, Fossil Fighters Frontier will have you covered when March 20 rolls around. Reggie Fils-Aimé was then brought in to introduce the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The new handheld will play all the same titles as before, but includes hardware that will be able to play more advanced titles on the horizon like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, which requires the upgraded processing power to run. The new system will include an additional control stick, shoulder buttons, 3D face tracking (so people won’t be disoriented from holding their device slightly off center), improved browsing and download speeds, a faster processor, and longer battery life. The New 3DS XL will launch on February 13. Somewhat perplexingly, the new system will not include an A/C adapter for recharging. Those will have to be purchased separately, though the new system is compatible with older adapters. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a game about Abraham Lincoln leading a team of steam-powered warriors taken from American history, folklore, and literature to combat aliens. It is also made by the people who worked on Fire Emblem and Advanced Wars. The combat system looks vaguely reminiscent of Valkyria Chronicles combination of real-time and turn-based combat. In a nod to the development team’s history, Fire Emblem Amiibos will be compatible with Code Name S.T.E.A.M. through the New 3DS XL’s built-in NFC sensor. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. releases on March 13. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ will use the New 3DS hardware for full flight sim controls. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be available this April. Monster Games, the team that ported Donkey Kong Country Returns from Wii to 3DS have been tasked with porting the massive JRPG to 3DS and integrating touchscreen controls. IronFall: Invasion will release on the eShop soon. It’s a third-person shooter that runs at 60 FPS from an indie studio composed of three people. The Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate New 3DS bundle will be available February 13 through Gamestop. A demo will also be coming soon that will allow people to both play through a tutorial introducing the world of Monster Hunter. The demo will also include local and online multiplayer to give players a taste of the full monster hunting experience. February 13 is also the day that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will release. Pre-ordering Code Name S.T.E.A.M. at Gamestop will net you a Majora’s Mask pin while supplies release. Oh, also there’s a limited edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL that will be sold on February 13 (seen above in that first image). No big deal. PHEW. We made it! That was a lot to digest. What do you fine people think of all of this gaming news? You can view the entire presentation yourself here. View full article
  9. Jack Gardner

    Nintendo Direct Digest 1/14/15

    The first Nintendo Direct of 2015 has come and gone, but the news it imparted sure leaves a lasting impact. The presentation, presided over by Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata, kicked off on one of the highest notes possible with a teaser reveal of the next Fire Emblem game for 3DS. We don’t have any additional details like its title or release date, but the lengthy teaser shows off a number of neat cutscenes, character designs, and a definite upgrade in the in-game battle environments. The next Fire Emblem title will be developed by Intelligent Systems, the same developers as Fire Emblem: Awakening. However, the storyline will be written by Shin Kibayashi, a highly experienced manga writer perhaps best known in North America for his detective series Kindaichi Case Files. Iwata then announced that the popular Japanese puzzle title Puzzles & Dragons Z would be making its way to western audiences along with Puzzles & Dragons Z Super Mario Bros. Edition. In the Puzzles & Dragons games, players run around and explore the game world while fighting villains and monsters by completing puzzles to perform attacks. The Super Mario Bros. Edition will have similar gameplay, adapted to the Super Mario universe. The combo bundle will release in May 2015. Pokemon Shuffle is a puzzle game available through the Nintendo eShop for free. Players match pokémon togehter to reduce the HP of a wild pokémon to zero within a given number of moves. Nintendo seems to be testing the waters of free-to-play game design with this title as players can also use items acquired in-game to help in a given level or can opt to purchase in-game items with eShop points. I’m not sure if I’m thrilled about this one, but the game looks fun and I can always just not play it. Have you been wishing that you could download Wii games on the WiiU? Well, Iwata’s got some news for you! It turns out that Nintendo was having trouble releasing digital Wii title on the WiiU due to the way they approached backwards compatibility with the WiiU. However, they’ve finally managed to circumvent their hardware to begin making Wii games available. Wii games compatible with a gamepad will be compatible with the WiiU touchscreen controller. The first Wii title to be digitally released on the WiiU is already out. Super Mario Galaxy 2 went live shortly after the Nintendo Direct concluded today. Punch-Out releases on January 22, followed by Metroid Prime: Trilogy on January 27. Each title will be discounted by 50% for the week following their initial release. After concluding his announcement of all that Wii on WiiU action, Iwata turned over the presentation to Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen to talk about Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. The Kirby, King Dedede, and Metaknight Amiibos can be used once per day to grant in-game Kirby different abilities and appearances. Rainbow Curse will release on February 20. Trinen goes on to state that the next wave of Amiibo will release in February with eleven new types for people to go bananas over. The wave following the February wave will include Robin, Lucina, Pac-Man, Wario, Ness, and Charizard and will hit sometime this spring. On March 20, a new series of Super Mario Amiibo will launch alongside Mario Party 10. It will include: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, and Toad. Regardless of which series of Amiibo customers purchase, they will work in both Super Smash Bros. and Mario Party 10. If you’re confused about what Amiibo works with what game, check out Nintendo’s compatibility list. Keep in mind, though: If you use a figure containing Smash Bros. data with Mario Party 10, you will need to erase the Smash Bros. data. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will receive a small update on March 20that will add a hide-and-seek style mini game to a stage when the Toad Amiibo is used. Trinen briefly transitioned into discussing Splatoon. He discussed the main hub of the game where players can interact with each other, purchase new weapons and clothing, and how that affects gameplay. In other words, Splatoon still looks neat. It should be releasing sometime this May. New DLC is heading to Hyrule Warriors on February 5. Titled the Majora’s Mask Pack, players will be able to control Young Link on the field of battle as well as (hilariously) Tingle. The DLC will also include a new adventure map and three new costumes. Next, Trinen revealed a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X, which showed off the impressive visuals and gorgeous world of the upcoming WiiU JRPG. Trinen went into detail on Mario and Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Basically, players use stars to create levels. Stars are earned by beating levels. If players complete a level that they particularly enjoyed, they can tip the player who made that level to help them create more levels. The idea is pretty cool, but what’s even cooler is that players that purchase the WiiU version will also receive the 3DS version and vice versa. Bandai Namco took some time to announce that they were working on an untitled game that they couldn’t go into much detail about. The game is going by the name Project Treasure. It will be free and accessible for anyone with a WiiU internet connection. The gameplay will revolve around four player co-op and disarming traps, but that’s about all we know. Oh, and it will probably involve treasure in some capacity. Do you like Nintendo eShop games? I hope so, because Trinen blitzed viewers with a series of indie trailers. First, we have Elliot Quest, a pixel art platformer with a sick soundtrack about a boy trying to remove his curse of immortality. It releases this February. Blek releases this February, as well. Blek bills itself as a contemplative puzzle game and features award-winning visuals. Trinen also talks a bit about the JRPG influences of Citizens of Earth, the updated visuals and improvements of Gunman Clive 2, and a remastered, episodic version of 2009’s Moon Chronicles. Beyond that, Sega will release 3D remakes of Afterburner II, Fantasy Zone, Out Run, Fantasy Zone 2, and Thunder Blade over the course of the next few months. Etrian Mystery Dungeon combines Etrian Odyssey’s party building with the addicting dungeon crawling of the Mystery Dungeon series. We’ll be seeing this title release sometime during spring. Story of Seasons is essentially a combination of Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon. That should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about whether you’d be interested in it or not. Would you want to play the video game version of Jurassic Park, but instead of an amusement park gone horribly wrong, you dug up dinosaur bones, brought them back to life, and forced them to use their magic powers to fight? Well, Fossil Fighters Frontier will have you covered when March 20 rolls around. Reggie Fils-Aimé was then brought in to introduce the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The new handheld will play all the same titles as before, but includes hardware that will be able to play more advanced titles on the horizon like Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, which requires the upgraded processing power to run. The new system will include an additional control stick, shoulder buttons, 3D face tracking (so people won’t be disoriented from holding their device slightly off center), improved browsing and download speeds, a faster processor, and longer battery life. The New 3DS XL will launch on February 13. Somewhat perplexingly, the new system will not include an A/C adapter for recharging. Those will have to be purchased separately, though the new system is compatible with older adapters. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a game about Abraham Lincoln leading a team of steam-powered warriors taken from American history, folklore, and literature to combat aliens. It is also made by the people who worked on Fire Emblem and Advanced Wars. The combat system looks vaguely reminiscent of Valkyria Chronicles combination of real-time and turn-based combat. In a nod to the development team’s history, Fire Emblem Amiibos will be compatible with Code Name S.T.E.A.M. through the New 3DS XL’s built-in NFC sensor. Code Name S.T.E.A.M. releases on March 13. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy+ will use the New 3DS hardware for full flight sim controls. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D will be available this April. Monster Games, the team that ported Donkey Kong Country Returns from Wii to 3DS have been tasked with porting the massive JRPG to 3DS and integrating touchscreen controls. IronFall: Invasion will release on the eShop soon. It’s a third-person shooter that runs at 60 FPS from an indie studio composed of three people. The Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate New 3DS bundle will be available February 13 through Gamestop. A demo will also be coming soon that will allow people to both play through a tutorial introducing the world of Monster Hunter. The demo will also include local and online multiplayer to give players a taste of the full monster hunting experience. February 13 is also the day that The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D will release. Pre-ordering Code Name S.T.E.A.M. at Gamestop will net you a Majora’s Mask pin while supplies release. Oh, also there’s a limited edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL that will be sold on February 13 (seen above in that first image). No big deal. PHEW. We made it! That was a lot to digest. What do you fine people think of all of this gaming news? You can view the entire presentation yourself here.
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