Articles tagged with nintendo


Jun 04
Posted by Ben at 17:26

A lot has been written about Microsoft's u-turn on the Kinect, and their u-turn on charging to access apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Internet Explorer. Add to that the change to their Games with Gold program, and they've made a few shifts in direction recently, and there's been a lot written about all of them.

Let me get a couple of things out of the way early; yes I am adding to the noise, albeit a week or two late, and I think all these changes are good things. I'm not going to pretend that I'm any fan of the way Microsoft have gone about this generation, the DRM stuff was a farce, a history that has been rewritten and white washed by its supporters, and one I am a long way away from forgetting. I fell away from the 360 last generation, I'm fine with that, and it wasn't with any animosity. I liked Gears of War, but I didn't love it, and very few of their other exclusives really appealed to me. There was a time that the 360 was my HD console of choice, but with us generally getting PS3 copies of games to review, my lack of a Gold subscription, and the PS3 library fitting closer to my tastes (with the likes of Yakuza, Flower and Ni No Kuni), it was a natural drift from one console to another, in the same way I'd started the generation on the Wii, and ended it very much as a PC gamer.

Still, the always online requirement angered me, I've never liked the idea of apps being hidden behind Gold, and have made fun of the ancient, if good, selection for the Games With Gold program. The only one I was largely indifferent to was Kinect, but that's because my experience with it is quite limited, certainly the extended use I have had with it hasn't won me over, in so much as the voice stuff barely worked, nor did the gesture stuff at the OS level.But I want to be clear, I think all these changes are for the best, for gamers at least, I think that being able to drop the price of the Xbox One is a good thing for Microsoft, but they are now a less powerful PS4 thanks to their USP being removed with Kinect.

The conventional wisdom is that these changes, that the Xbox One has gone from an always online, DRM heavy, always watching, always listening media hub, to a gaming machine that doesn't have proper media support anywhere except the States, is all down to competition. That we NEED competition. That a lack of competition is a very bad thing for the industry. I'm not sure that's true. People make the mistake of thinking that the competition we need is an equal one, 3 console manufacturers all taking roughly the same amount of market share. It's notable that no one has been making this case with the WiiU taking a beating, but let's ignore that for the minute. We had equal competition last generation, near enough anyway. The PS3 and the 360 will end their lives at around 80 million consoles sold, and that was for the best for everyone. Here's a list of notable things that sprung up last generation (ish). We have to pay for online access, on the Xbox apps were locked behind the Gold paywall, DLC became prevalent, on-disc dlc was commonplace. The RRP for games became £54.99, there's in-app purchases, there's in-app purchases in £54.99 price point games. There was Day 1 dlc, games released broken needing to be patched, there was day 1 patches. There was pre-order bonuses, retailer exclusive pre-order bonuses, 3rd party account systems, 3rd party account systems that would lock you out of your game if they had a problem with their servers (hello Uplay and Rockstar Social Club). Then you've got the topical, thanks to Nintendo of all companies, trend of online servers getting shutdown, meaning you can never play that game online again, and in some cases, just never be able to play it again at all.

So much for competition. You know what was a great generation, the PS2 generation. The PS2 wiped the floor with everything, I'd have to check but I think it's the best selling home console of all time, and still had a games being released for it this year in the UK (PES 2014). In the lifespan of the PS2 we had the Dreamcast, with its free online with a free web browser and online play, and a host of outstanding games. We had the Xbox, which for better or worse shaped the console landscape by bringing over more western PC style games. Then we had the Gamecube, just this week I saw a host of people declaring the Gamecube as a great machine with a host of great games that they couldn't wait to play if the Gamecube does come to the WiiU Virtual Console.

At the peak of equal competition between the console manufacturers Microsoft were about to take your ownership of your own retail games away from you. They forced Kinect and dumped the cost on consumers. They locked apps behind a paywall, and had only just made the faltering first steps at competing with the PS+ service. Microsoft taking a kicking was a good thing for the industry, a very good thing. That they've reversed just about every bad decision they made was down to consumers voting with their wallets against them in a huge way. Nintendo's scrambling, trying to make the WiiU worth buying and spark some vitality in to the 3DS is because they're desperate, then need to claw back consumers.

If you want a healthy games industry you want people fighting for their lives.
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Apr
22
Posted by Ben at 07:20
Fatal Frame or Project Zero, which is better SEO?

Gematsu have a bunch of Fatal Frame news, including that there's a film coming towards the end of the year, but most notably that Tecmo Koei and Nintendo are working on a new Project Zero/Fatal Frame game for the WiiU

It's not confirmed to be leaving Japan at this point, but the WiiU could really use the games so hopefully it's only a matter of time. It's also easy to see how the gamepad could be made good use of, something Nintendo said they needed to do more of
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Apr
16
Posted by Ben at 04:54
I believe it's out in America this week, but it's coming to European 3DS' and Vitas in May.

We don't have a more specific date yet, but given it's potentially less than a month away I'm sure it wont be long. There's a launch trailer below to get you in the mood

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Feb
13
Posted by Ben at 10:21
I feel a bit dirty posting this. Not for the reason you might think, the gratuitous nature of Senran Kagura Burst (on the contrary I've no problem with the odd bit of titillation), more that there's a fine line between videogame news and straight up promotion, and this might be crossing that line

Funstock.co.uk have the exclusive on a collectors edition of the 3DS brawler dubbed "Life and Hometown Edition"

In the special edition you get a copy of Senran Kagura Burst, a 3D poster, and sort of nice-until-you-take-a-second-look tshirt, and is priced at £49.99

Senran Kagura Burst is out on the 3DS on the 28th February.
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Feb 09
Posted by Ben at 12:55

With absolutely no chance of getting the review done in time for the European release of Bravely Default, we decided to wait for the American release, which we've just about got the review done for. There's also a companion video from last year if you want to watch that

Letís get straight to the mechanics of Bravely Default, because there are quite a few of them. Firstly the titular ĎBraveí and ĎDefaultí system, every turn you make costs 1 BP, a normal attack costs 1 and you get 1 back at the start of each new turn. Simple. If however you chose to Ďdefaultí it has 2 benefits, one is that you defend, resisting some damage, the other is that you bank the BP you didnít spend (with a limit of +3) to use later. Conversely when you go Ďbraveí it allows you to attack multiple times in one turn, however if you donít have BP banked youíll go in to debt and wont be able to attack until itís returned back to 0.

Initially itís hard to see any real benefits to going in to debt just so you could attack multiple times in one turn, but itís actually very useful. If your team has taken a beating then having a character heal everyone while everyone else defends isnít a bad idea. If youíre up against a fairly weak enemy and want to get the fight done quickly then itís a good way to go as any debt is wiped at the end of the fight. I also found it a good tactic against enemies that could call in backup; try to wipe it out before it brought in its friends.

The mechanics donít end there either as thereís a Final Fantasy job system thatís hugely important. If you picked Black Mage as a character job then that job would level up in the same way your character does, leading to them learning new skills and being able to being able to cast higher level spells, your character stats would also be altered to suit the job type. You can also pick a secondary job, this doesnít level up but does give you access to the skills available to that jobs current level. So if you had Black Mage as your job with White Mage you could cast the dark magics of Fire , Thunder and Blizzards, but also the heal spells of the White mage.

And still thereís more. Thereís a perk system, as you level up a job it will reward you with passive skills, so not spells but instead maybe a 10% damage reduction from magic. Your character can pick and choose these traits from any of the jobs theyíve progressed in, initially you only have 1 point to spend, but eventually you have enough to feel the benefit of the system.

Thereís special moves, these are tied to the weapons rather than characters, so if you like one in particular (and how you earn it), then itís best to keep your characters with a certain weapon type. These special moves can also be modded with attributes earned from repairing Tizís village (on the bottom screen of the 3DS, weíll get to it later if thereís enough space on the internet), and can do things like boost subsequent attacks or restore some MP.

Somewhat controversial is the SP system, essentially a free turn that cuts in to the gameís timeline. So if you have a character that is perilously low on health, use an SP and restore their health, then the game will return back to what it was doing. The reason SP is controversial is because thereís 2 ways to earn it, put the 3DS in to sleep mode or you buy jars of it for real money. You do not need to worry, this isnít an EA ďyou really donít need to every use it if you donít want toĒ, this is an ďIím 60+ hours in to the game and havenít ever had to consider itĒ. You may well use SP but generally it will be on a particularly tough boss, and they come around rarely enough that youíll have probably got back up to the full allotment of 3 SP again. This is even more likely because to carry out repairs on Tizís village you need to leave the 3DS on (in sleep mode on in game) for time to pass. Repairing Tizís village gets you items, and requires people, these are found through street passes or connecting to the internet at save points.

Phew. So with all that out of the way is Bravely Default actually any good? Yes, yes itís very good. If you like old-style Final Fantasy type rpgs, which is a series Iíve never really taken to if IĎm honest, then youíll love it. Even if youíre just a fan of Jrpgs like me, it feels fresh enough to be one of the most interesting traditional Jrpgs in years. It sort of feels trite to follow an anthology about the various systems (I didnít even mention summoning) with a couple of short paragraphs about how good the game is, but it really is the systems that make Bravely Default what it is, it certainly isnít the story or the English voice acting.

So yeah, Bravely Default isnít perfect, the English cast arenít hideously bad, but the campy childishness of the performances, while fitting the character models well, doesnít really fit the tone, and creates a whinny, unlikable cast. Not that the story is especially hard hitting, thereís 4 elemental stones that bring balance to the world, you need to travel around the world and repair them. You do pay a visit to a war torn country, deal with child slaves, witness people feel the pressure of responsibility, and all of that carries slightly more weight in Japanese.

Thereís also the usual problems of random battles, they can get a bit tiresome. Itís true that you can alter their rate, which does at least make returning from dungeons easier, but still. Depending on what jobs you pick thereís also elements of the game youíll never really encounter, such as alchemy. Thereís also the argument the game length is a little on the long side, for instance Iíve heard thereís problems with the last chapter, but at 60+ hours Iíve not got that far yet.

Still though Bravely Default is a great example of the genre, without doubt one of the better and more interesting examples of the last few years. The 3D effect looks great, the locations are well drawn and varied, thereís plenty of scope for tactics and gameplay that changes as you progress.
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Feb
07
Posted by Duane at 11:56
Theres not a whole lot of Monster Hunter 4 information outside of Japan, we know its coming some time next year but thats about it. Those who have been following the game since its release in Japan may remember Capcom and Nintendo collaborating on some Nintendo-themed DLC last year.



Beyond that we didn't really get anything else, however someone has now kindly uploaded a Mario themed quest featuring somebody playing the game dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda.

The video weighs in at a heft 18 minutes, but its great to sometimes see some of the kind of content that the Japanese get for their games that we're likely to never see.

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Feb
04
Posted by Ben at 14:27
Pokemon Bank is up in Europe, it's due in the Americas "soon", and if you're anything like me you'll have to google how to use it. It's certainly not as easy to use as it probably should be, so here's a rough guide on how to transfer your old Pokemon and get your free Celebi

For this you will need a copy of Pokemon Black or White (either 1 or 2) and of course either Pokemon X or Y. You will also need to go to the eshop and download Pokemon Bank. It is probably worth pointing out that since I last played Pokemon X there's been an update, probably for Pokemon Bank, get that by starting the game with your wi-fi on, if nothing pops up you've probably already got it.

To get your old Pokemon you need to: Load up Pokemon Bank with X or Y in your 3DS, then select to download Poke Transporter. This will take you to the eshop, I'm going to assume you can manage this bit.

There's one step that you'd probably figure out yourself immediately but to save you the minutes, make sure you've loaded up Pokemon Black/White (1 or 2) and put the Pokemon you want to transfer in to computer Box 1 (same way you would if you'd filled your party up in game). After that load up Poke Transporter with Black/White (1 or 2) in your 3DS, you'll be asked if you want to transfer the Pokemon that are in the box, hit yes and the system will move them to the Transport Box and take you back to the title screen. Exit the app.

Once you've done that load up Pokemon Bank with X/Y in your 3DS, you have an empty Box 1 on the top screen with your X/Y boxes on the bottom, move the top box back one to get the transfer box, then move them to either your bank box if you want to store them, or to the X/Y boxes on the bottom screen if you want to use them in game. If you want to store your Pokemon from X/Y then just put them up on to the top screen. You need to save after that.

Here's a tip for you, hitting the select or start buttons changes what the cursor does. The default is that you have to move each Pokemon individually by clicking it, selecting to move it, then moving it up to the top screen. One of the options is to turn the cursor in to a drag tool that makes a box, allowing you to select everything on the bottom screen the way you would on Excel or something .

You should have got a message prior to this about being rewarded with Pokemiles or Battle Points, if you didn't see Celebi (the free pokemon) mentioned then you need to go through the above process (at the very least just save and exit), then boot up again. Once you get the Celebi message, you're ok to go to X/Y. Load the game, underneath the load game option is 'Pokemon Link', hit this and you'll get your rewards. Celebi will be in your storage box, I think in the first available space
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Feb
04
Posted by Ben at 04:51
Is it really sad that I've been waiting for this? It probably is, but who cares, I'm going to lay waste with my Torterra.

Pokemon Bank, for those that don't know, is the thing that brought down Nintendo's online infrastructure at Christmas, and the means to transfer your old Pokemon to Pokemon X and Y

Just a word of note, I haven't tried to get it myself, but I'm hearing that the eshop is getting hammered already, so be patient, or at least wait until I get home to download it before you all jump on
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Jan
30
Posted by Duane at 14:44
Admittedly these are about a week old now, I'll admit I missed them appearing online. So continuing the trend of releasing two traielrs at a time, one covering a Persona 3 character and the other covering one from Persona 4, heres beanie wearing Shinjiro Arakagi from Persona 3 and Yukiko Amagi in their own respective trailers for Persona q: Shadows of the Labyrinth on Nintendo 3DS.



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As far as I'm aware there's still no news of a Western release let alone a European release, but as soon as I know I'll be posting it!
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Jan
24
Posted by Ben at 13:27
You might not remember Moon, an fps for the DS, I don't blame you, it was announced to some interest, but then for whatever reason that hype just completely dissipated. Well Renegade Kid have revealed their new 3DS game and it's Moon Chronicles, an episodic remake of the original Moon



Talking to IGN Renegade Kid explained that the first 'season' will be a remake of the DS game, with a possible 2nd season next year following on from that.

The core game, chapters 1-4, will be available for $8.99 (about £5.50, so expect to pay closer to £6) and will be approximately 4 hours long, with 3 shorter episodes (about 2 hours) covering the remaining 12 chapters, priced at $2 each.

The pricing of the remaining episodes isn't bad at all, cheap enough that if you pay for the first episode you might as well just pick up the rest to see it through (this is not my advice as a consumer advocate, just someone who knows himself too well and wants to bring you down with him). The game is due on the eshop in spring,
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