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Found 11 results

  1. Nintendo gave one of their most announcement heavy Directs to date earlier today, revealing the release dates of games coming to the Switch in the near future as well as teasing some longer term projects and an entirely new action IP from the creators of Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. Sandwiched between the major announcements came a number of indie reveals and announcements. The continuing flow of titles onto the system has made it one of the biggest gaming juggernauts of this generation, able to bring in new players and those fond of classic or artsy games. Without further ado, let's dive into what Nintendo had to show for their extremely successful console/handheld. Super Mario Maker 2 will release for the Switch this coming June. The sequel will bring all of the old features from the original that people loved and supplement them with a slew of new content for the best platformer builders to play with and construct their dream levels. There aren't a ton of details from the Direct, but it's likely we'll hear more as we get closer to E3 and Nintendo's customary announcements around that time. First, the company revealed Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, an upcoming action-RPG starring a huge roster of Marvel's biggest comic book characters. This will be the first time the series has seen a release in a decade and it's bringing with it an entirely new story that pits the biggest heroes of the Marvel universe against Thanos and his Black Order. While Marvel Ultimate Alliance largely exists in its own universe, there will be some nods and references to upcoming films, like an updated look for Captain Marvel and a focus on her powers and abilities. You can look forward to seeing more details coming out about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order as we get closer to its summer release window. A boxy new puzzle game will come to Switch on April 26. Box Boy + Box Girl continues the series by adding a co-op mode. Those who complete the game will find an entirely new adventure starring the tall box boy waiting for them. The title features over 270 stages, making it the most robust puzzle game in the series to date. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be receiving its 3.0 update soon. The free update will add a chunk of new content to the Switch's premier fighting game and will include Persona 5's Joker as a new character for those who purchased the DLC. In addition to the update, new amiibo figures based on the designs from Ultimate are coming. There aren't too many additional details, though Nintendo has said more will be coming; given the most recent patch notes for Smash, we'll be seeing a lot of new things on the battlefield. Players should expect to see the update release sometime in April. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's Switch version will be getting a 2-player co-op mode in a free update that launches today. In addition to that game-changing update, Nintendo will release paid DLC to add 18 new challenges across new maps like a sunken ship or a candy land. Additional challenges will come to existing courses, too. Titled Captain Toad: Special Episode, fans of the game can purchase the DLC today to get their hands on one new course with the rest releasing on March 14. A digital bundle of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker also hits the eShop later today. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has slowly been spinning its gears up for a launch and now we finally know when to expect it on Switch! The Nintendo Direct showed off a bunch of impressive gameplay footage, giving many their first looks at character customization, hints at sidequests, and a number of interesting abilities like controlling gravity itself. Ritual of the Night will release for Switch sometime this summer. Dragon Quest Builders 2 will be coming to Switch, too. The new title supports 4-player co-op locally or online. Among a number of other additions, DQ Builders 2 will also add a first person mode to fully complete the Minecraft comparisons. The construction RPG releases July 12. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition comes to Switch this fall. The new version possesses some striking differences from the original release. Players can decide to play it in a classic 16-bit mode for a truly retro feel. The soundtrack has also been fully orchestrated across the entire game, though it includes both soundtracks for players to choose whichever they like better. There were some complaints about the English voice overs, so the Definitive Edition also includes the Japanese voiceover options. Finally, new companion quests and storylines will fully flesh out the backstories of the various party members that join the hero on his journey to save the world. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition launches this fall. Disney found a lot of success with their stuffed tsum tsum toys based on Disney characters. That popularity has turned the toys into a game of their very own. Disney Tsum Tsum Festival offers a collection of multiplayer mini-games for people of all ages as well as a core puzzle matching game. This game will come to Switch sometime in 2019. Star Link: Battle for Atlas on the Switch will receive a free update in April of this year that brings the members of Star Wolf into conflict with all the members of Star Fox. Players will be able to play as Falco, Slippy, and Peppy, each with their own unique abilities to combat the nefarious plans of their evil mercenary rivals. The popular Harvest Moon-inspired series Rune Factory will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year with Rune Factory 4 Special. This remastered version of Rune Factory 4 offers a light RPG experience alongside farming, trading, and socializing with various locals. Unique to the Switch version, players will be able to marry NPCs who become close to the main character. Rune Factory 4 Special will release later this year. In addition to all of that, Nintendo confirmed that Rune Factory 5 is currently in development, though they didn't clarify anything more than that. Oninaki appears to be the next indie RPG from Square Enix in the same vein as I Am Setsuna. Oninaki puts players in the role of an individual who can cross the line between life and death to save lost souls. The balance of reincarnation has been thrown off, with souls becoming lost and turning into monsters that roam the land. As players save souls, they will unlock new abilities they can use to more effectively fight monsters with the right weapons. The deep, single-player RPG launches this coming summer. Yoshi's Crafted World will release on March 28. In addition to the platforming and puzzle-solving that players expect, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden costumes and minigames scattered throughout the worlds. These hidden costumes provide a bit of extra protection to Yoshi, too, so they're more than just decorative. Nintendo will release a demo later today that will allow players to go through the first course and experience its charm first-hand. This Nintendo Direct revealed a great deal of information about the upcoming Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The turn-based RPG looks like it might have received an overhaul in terms of both its systems and story. The player starts as a mercenary who uncovers a strange power and receives an offer to teach students at a strange monastery at the center of three great nations of a fantastical continent. As all of this happens visions begin to haunt the hero hinting at a grand future yet to unfold. Naturally, there are three factions of students, one from each country. Players will have to choose which faction to tutor, leading to a branching story line and three different campaigns. From the basic plot ideas laid out in the Direct, it seems like the new Fire Emblem combines the school drama of titles like Persona with the traditional turn-based combat and deep systems of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases on July 26. Nintendo teased a battle royale puzzle game called Tetris 99. Details were a bit scarce, but players will be able to hinder one another and battle to remain the last Tetris player standing in the online title that actually releases today! Dead by Daylight will be coming to Nintendo Switch this fall, though it's unclear whether there will be Switch specific additions to the indie hunter-hunted game. Toby Fox's Delta Rune Chapter 1 releases for Switch on February 28. Much like it's PC counterpart, the Switch version will be free, though the remaining chapters that will fill out the title will not be free. Final Fantasy IX, arguably the best Final Fantasy game of all-time, will be available on Nintendo Switch later today. Additionally, Final Fantasy VII comes to Nintendo Switch on March 26. The mecha action game Daemon X Machina has somehow managed to keep a low profile recently, but producer Kenichiro Tsukada hopes to change that with a demo releasing later today. The demo, a collection of missions titled Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions, includes several sorties to acclimate and familiarize players with its gameplay and systems. The demo culminates in an encounter with a massive mechanical boss for a good final challenge. The demo also serves as a beta of sorts and some players who download it will be sent surveys to help the developers fine-tune the experience for the full release. Check out the demo and get hype for Daemon X Machina when it releases this summer. Touting the most realistic racing title on Switch to date, GRID Autosport will be coming to Switch. Players will be able to use motion controls to drive or customize their own specialized control schemes. Players can race one another in split screen or online across a variety of real-world maps. This version will also include all DLC released for the title on other platforms, meaning there are over 100 cars and 100 circuits to race with. Expect GRID Autosport later this summer. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy (March 20) Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (Spring 2019) Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23) Unraveled 2 (March 22) Assassin's Creed III Remastered (May 22) To round out their Direct, Nintendo announced Astral Chain, a new IP from Platinum Games. Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Bayonetta, is supervising the creation of Astral Chain while the core direction duties have gone to Takahisa Taura, the director of Neir: Automata. The trailer provides nearly all of the details we have to go on: It's about police officers dealing with a terrorist threat in a crazy sci-fi world. They seem to have abilities or technology that allows them to summon mechanical warriors while also fighting themselves - connected by what one can assume is the titular astral chain. However, given the dialogue in the trailer, it's all too possible that their fight against the terrorists is inadvertently dooming the world. Astral Chain releases on August 30. THEY ARE REMAKING THE WIND FISH Erm... *ahem* Nintendo closed their Direct by teasing a resurrection of the classic action-adventure Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The remake of the 1993 Game Boy title oozes so much charm and joy that it's, frankly, criminal. The revamped art style rivals some of the heaviest hitting cute aesthetics in all of gaming - and we get to play the new Link's Awakening before the year is done as this Switch exclusive will release sometime this year. You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct for yourself below if you'd like to see all of the announcements for yourself: Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Nintendo gave one of their most announcement heavy Directs to date earlier today, revealing the release dates of games coming to the Switch in the near future as well as teasing some longer term projects and an entirely new action IP from the creators of Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. Sandwiched between the major announcements came a number of indie reveals and announcements. The continuing flow of titles onto the system has made it one of the biggest gaming juggernauts of this generation, able to bring in new players and those fond of classic or artsy games. Without further ado, let's dive into what Nintendo had to show for their extremely successful console/handheld. Super Mario Maker 2 will release for the Switch this coming June. The sequel will bring all of the old features from the original that people loved and supplement them with a slew of new content for the best platformer builders to play with and construct their dream levels. There aren't a ton of details from the Direct, but it's likely we'll hear more as we get closer to E3 and Nintendo's customary announcements around that time. First, the company revealed Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, an upcoming action-RPG starring a huge roster of Marvel's biggest comic book characters. This will be the first time the series has seen a release in a decade and it's bringing with it an entirely new story that pits the biggest heroes of the Marvel universe against Thanos and his Black Order. While Marvel Ultimate Alliance largely exists in its own universe, there will be some nods and references to upcoming films, like an updated look for Captain Marvel and a focus on her powers and abilities. You can look forward to seeing more details coming out about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order as we get closer to its summer release window. A boxy new puzzle game will come to Switch on April 26. Box Boy + Box Girl continues the series by adding a co-op mode. Those who complete the game will find an entirely new adventure starring the tall box boy waiting for them. The title features over 270 stages, making it the most robust puzzle game in the series to date. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be receiving its 3.0 update soon. The free update will add a chunk of new content to the Switch's premier fighting game and will include Persona 5's Joker as a new character for those who purchased the DLC. In addition to the update, new amiibo figures based on the designs from Ultimate are coming. There aren't too many additional details, though Nintendo has said more will be coming; given the most recent patch notes for Smash, we'll be seeing a lot of new things on the battlefield. Players should expect to see the update release sometime in April. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's Switch version will be getting a 2-player co-op mode in a free update that launches today. In addition to that game-changing update, Nintendo will release paid DLC to add 18 new challenges across new maps like a sunken ship or a candy land. Additional challenges will come to existing courses, too. Titled Captain Toad: Special Episode, fans of the game can purchase the DLC today to get their hands on one new course with the rest releasing on March 14. A digital bundle of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker also hits the eShop later today. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night has slowly been spinning its gears up for a launch and now we finally know when to expect it on Switch! The Nintendo Direct showed off a bunch of impressive gameplay footage, giving many their first looks at character customization, hints at sidequests, and a number of interesting abilities like controlling gravity itself. Ritual of the Night will release for Switch sometime this summer. Dragon Quest Builders 2 will be coming to Switch, too. The new title supports 4-player co-op locally or online. Among a number of other additions, DQ Builders 2 will also add a first person mode to fully complete the Minecraft comparisons. The construction RPG releases July 12. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition comes to Switch this fall. The new version possesses some striking differences from the original release. Players can decide to play it in a classic 16-bit mode for a truly retro feel. The soundtrack has also been fully orchestrated across the entire game, though it includes both soundtracks for players to choose whichever they like better. There were some complaints about the English voice overs, so the Definitive Edition also includes the Japanese voiceover options. Finally, new companion quests and storylines will fully flesh out the backstories of the various party members that join the hero on his journey to save the world. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition launches this fall. Disney found a lot of success with their stuffed tsum tsum toys based on Disney characters. That popularity has turned the toys into a game of their very own. Disney Tsum Tsum Festival offers a collection of multiplayer mini-games for people of all ages as well as a core puzzle matching game. This game will come to Switch sometime in 2019. Star Link: Battle for Atlas on the Switch will receive a free update in April of this year that brings the members of Star Wolf into conflict with all the members of Star Fox. Players will be able to play as Falco, Slippy, and Peppy, each with their own unique abilities to combat the nefarious plans of their evil mercenary rivals. The popular Harvest Moon-inspired series Rune Factory will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year with Rune Factory 4 Special. This remastered version of Rune Factory 4 offers a light RPG experience alongside farming, trading, and socializing with various locals. Unique to the Switch version, players will be able to marry NPCs who become close to the main character. Rune Factory 4 Special will release later this year. In addition to all of that, Nintendo confirmed that Rune Factory 5 is currently in development, though they didn't clarify anything more than that. Oninaki appears to be the next indie RPG from Square Enix in the same vein as I Am Setsuna. Oninaki puts players in the role of an individual who can cross the line between life and death to save lost souls. The balance of reincarnation has been thrown off, with souls becoming lost and turning into monsters that roam the land. As players save souls, they will unlock new abilities they can use to more effectively fight monsters with the right weapons. The deep, single-player RPG launches this coming summer. Yoshi's Crafted World will release on March 28. In addition to the platforming and puzzle-solving that players expect, keep your eyes peeled for the hidden costumes and minigames scattered throughout the worlds. These hidden costumes provide a bit of extra protection to Yoshi, too, so they're more than just decorative. Nintendo will release a demo later today that will allow players to go through the first course and experience its charm first-hand. This Nintendo Direct revealed a great deal of information about the upcoming Fire Emblem title, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The turn-based RPG looks like it might have received an overhaul in terms of both its systems and story. The player starts as a mercenary who uncovers a strange power and receives an offer to teach students at a strange monastery at the center of three great nations of a fantastical continent. As all of this happens visions begin to haunt the hero hinting at a grand future yet to unfold. Naturally, there are three factions of students, one from each country. Players will have to choose which faction to tutor, leading to a branching story line and three different campaigns. From the basic plot ideas laid out in the Direct, it seems like the new Fire Emblem combines the school drama of titles like Persona with the traditional turn-based combat and deep systems of Fire Emblem. Fire Emblem: Three Houses releases on July 26. Nintendo teased a battle royale puzzle game called Tetris 99. Details were a bit scarce, but players will be able to hinder one another and battle to remain the last Tetris player standing in the online title that actually releases today! Dead by Daylight will be coming to Nintendo Switch this fall, though it's unclear whether there will be Switch specific additions to the indie hunter-hunted game. Toby Fox's Delta Rune Chapter 1 releases for Switch on February 28. Much like it's PC counterpart, the Switch version will be free, though the remaining chapters that will fill out the title will not be free. Final Fantasy IX, arguably the best Final Fantasy game of all-time, will be available on Nintendo Switch later today. Additionally, Final Fantasy VII comes to Nintendo Switch on March 26. The mecha action game Daemon X Machina has somehow managed to keep a low profile recently, but producer Kenichiro Tsukada hopes to change that with a demo releasing later today. The demo, a collection of missions titled Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions, includes several sorties to acclimate and familiarize players with its gameplay and systems. The demo culminates in an encounter with a massive mechanical boss for a good final challenge. The demo also serves as a beta of sorts and some players who download it will be sent surveys to help the developers fine-tune the experience for the full release. Check out the demo and get hype for Daemon X Machina when it releases this summer. Touting the most realistic racing title on Switch to date, GRID Autosport will be coming to Switch. Players will be able to use motion controls to drive or customize their own specialized control schemes. Players can race one another in split screen or online across a variety of real-world maps. This version will also include all DLC released for the title on other platforms, meaning there are over 100 cars and 100 circuits to race with. Expect GRID Autosport later this summer. Chocobo Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy (March 20) Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice (Spring 2019) Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23) Unraveled 2 (March 22) Assassin's Creed III Remastered (May 22) To round out their Direct, Nintendo announced Astral Chain, a new IP from Platinum Games. Hideki Kamiya, the creator of Bayonetta, is supervising the creation of Astral Chain while the core direction duties have gone to Takahisa Taura, the director of Neir: Automata. The trailer provides nearly all of the details we have to go on: It's about police officers dealing with a terrorist threat in a crazy sci-fi world. They seem to have abilities or technology that allows them to summon mechanical warriors while also fighting themselves - connected by what one can assume is the titular astral chain. However, given the dialogue in the trailer, it's all too possible that their fight against the terrorists is inadvertently dooming the world. Astral Chain releases on August 30. THEY ARE REMAKING THE WIND FISH Erm... *ahem* Nintendo closed their Direct by teasing a resurrection of the classic action-adventure Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The remake of the 1993 Game Boy title oozes so much charm and joy that it's, frankly, criminal. The revamped art style rivals some of the heaviest hitting cute aesthetics in all of gaming - and we get to play the new Link's Awakening before the year is done as this Switch exclusive will release sometime this year. You can watch the entire Nintendo Direct for yourself below if you'd like to see all of the announcements for yourself: Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
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