Posts Tagged ‘nintendo’

Nintendo is hard at work on 2 Wii U Zelda games. the first one is a HD remake of the GameCube hit Wind Waker, whereas the other is the long expected spanking new Zelda game for the Wii U.
According to Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, they’ve got a team working on the new Wii U Zelda game currently, that doesn’t return as a surprise to anyone. And he added that they hope to form an official announcement and reveal the game within the “not too distant future”.
As you almost certainly know, the term “not too distant future” in Nintendo-speak suggests that anyplace between six months to six years.

Princess Zelda and Link

Princess Zelda and Link back on our screens again.

It is smart that Nintendo won’t announce the new Wii U Zelda game just yet, mainly because of Wind Waker HD. From a selling perspective, it’s a troublesome one for Nintendo, as they need Wind Waker coming out this Fall. saying the other Wii U Zelda game at this point can take focus away from Wind Waker HD.
On the other hand, there are lots of Zelda fans out there who are dying to check out the new game, and it provide a little hope and optimism to current Wii U owners. For now, we’ll have Wind Waker HD, which is, after all, a remake of 1 of the foremost original and distinctive Zelda games ever created.

 

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Sony Corp will this month host its first major Playstation meeting in two years, sparking a flare-up in online speculation the Japanese consumer electronics giant is preparing to unveil the successor to its 70 million-selling PS3 games console.

Sony declined to say whether it would release a new product at the meeting in New York on February 20. “We will be talking about the Playstation business,” spokesman Masaki Tsukakoshi said on Friday. A Google search for “Sony Feb 20 Playstation” returned more than 7 million hits.

PS4 on the way

The last time Sony held a Playstation event, in January 2011, it presented a protoype of its     handheld Vita console. Before that, it convened a gathering in 2005 two months after it first  demonstrated the PS3 concept. A meeting in 1999 revealed designs for the PS2.

 

It has been more than six years since Sony launched the PS3 home console, a longer gap than between it and its PS2 predecessor, adding to the anticipation that it will soon disclose its next gaming concept.

Since Sony’s last home console launch, the games market has been transformed by the boom in smartphones and tablet computers that have wooed players with free or cheap games.

Sony and other console makers Nintendo Co Ltd and Microsoft Corp now have to contend with competition from hand-held devices made by Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics and others.

Analysts expect that tablets and other mobile devices will match the power and graphics of today’s games consoles within a few years.

Struggling under competitive pressure, Nintendo on Wednesday cut its sales target for the Wii U, successor to its 100 million-selling Wii, to 4 million machines by the end of March from its launch in November, compared with an earlier forecast for 5.5 million.

 

Nintendo Magazine’s latest issue has an exclusive look at a new game. In line with the cryptic message inside the magazine, we ought to be scared. Alongside the announcement is a picture with a great deal of pipework, suggesting that this game might be set on a boat. Because from the strong possibility of which Resident Evil: Revelations is arriving at consoles, this could be a hint, if Nintendo Insider is to be believed. Of course it could be something entirely fresh, because Revelations is actually a year old, and although it’s a fantastic game, you can easily hardly call the idea “new”.

Scary Gameplay!

Scary Gameplay!

If it is a new horror online game, taking place on a ship, I hope there’ll be no zombies. The horror genre have been overrun by these kind of creatures lately, and it may be more interesting if your game would be a psychological horror, that produces you paranoid as to what might be behind a corner. Dead Space have been an amazing title inside the genre, and made great usage of the environment and your anxiety, so it becomes great for this new game to take some notes through Dead Space.

What kind of game if you’d like to see? Sound off inside the comments.

 

The next chapter of the New Super Mario Bros. series as well as high-profile names such as Call of Duty will debut alongside the upcoming successor to the Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo Wii U is here...

Nintendo Wii U is here…

The Japanese-based company revealed 23 games will be available when its Wii U gaming console hits stores in the U.S. on November 18.

Notable first-party titles arriving with Wii U include action game New Super Mario Bros. U and the party game NintendoLand, which features theme parks based on past Nintendo franchises.

Publishers including Activision, Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, THQ and Ubisoft will release launch-day titles. Among the third-party titles listed: Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III, Just Dance 4, FIFA Soccer 13 and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition.

Nintendo says an additional 29 titles will debut before the end of March, including space epic Mass Effect 3, fitness title Wii Fit U and first-person thriller Aliens: Colonial Marines.

“We’re making sure that Wii U owners will have great games to play from the moment they open the box, and that a steady stream of fun new games is always on the way,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America‘s president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

Also, Wii owners will get to play most of the games in their library on Wii U.

Launching Nov. 18, the Wii U comes in two varieties: an 8 GB white model ($299.99) with GamePad tablet controller, AC adapter, HDMI cable and sensor bar; and a 32 GB version in black that also adds a charging cradle, stand and copy of NintendoLand.

The device will also turn the GamePad into an advanced remote, allowing users to control their television sets using Nintendo’s TVii service.

The list of Wii U titles launching Nov. 18
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Skylanders Giants
Transformers Prime
Wipeout 3
Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two
EA Sports FIFA Soccer 13
Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
New Super Mario Bros. U
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Nintendo Land
Sing Party
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
Darksiders II
Assassin’s Creed III
ESPN Sports Connection
Just Dance 4
Rabbids Land
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
ZombiU
Scribblenauts Unlimited
Game Party Champions
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition

 

 

Nintendo TVii is exactly what it says it is and more. It is the ability to watch your favourite TV shows through your current set-top box, straight out of the box, on either your TV screen or on the Wii U GamePad’s integrated second screen. You can even use it to watch movies and TV shows through subscription services such as Netflix.

Nintendo TVii

Nintendo TVii

At the New York City Wii U Event, Nintendo’s Director of Network Business, Zach Fountain, spoke more about this amazing (and free) service. One thing is for sure and that is that Nintendo are clearly behind their sentiment at E3, they want the Wii U GamePad to be the first device you head to in your living room.

With Nintendo TVii, Nintendo have showed that their priorities have changed. Their standpoint when Wii was released was that they wanted to make a games console, and so that is what they did. However, now with Wii U on the way, Nintendo have now fully embraced the multimedia age in a move that would almost seem too brave until the specifics are known. To the uninitiated, Nintendo TVii sounds like it will probably have the same operation as say Apple TV, however Apple TV alienates those who prefer to watch TV live through the traditional channels.

Nintendo TVii does not have such boundaries, this (as I said earlier) free service operates with your set-top box after just a few questions on screen about your carrier, then it is a simple case of using your GamePad as a remote control. Zach Fountain said this, “Imagine, if you’re a content creator, you want the greatest possible exposure and distribution. Some platforms have walls built around them; what Nintendo TVii is doing is joining all of those together.”

So, clearly what Nintendo is saying is that they want to make it easier for those who wish to continue watching through traditional TV channels and that such a thing is possible through Wii U. He continued by saying, “The ways that everyone’s watching, now, they’re changing. There are more video services than ever, and more time-shifted viewing on DVR… but traditional TV still dominates 98 percent of video viewing. By building an experience, a Nintendo TV that works with what you already have, we have already covered a huge occasion that is missing from other platforms”

All of this has been possible by the teaming of Nintendo with i.Tv, a company specialising in creating integrated television experiences with second screens. However, this isn’t just a piece of ported software, “The TVii service has been built for the ground up for Nintendo. Everything you see with the Nintendo TVii will be exclusive to the platform with the important exception: The social component around these live moments that are delivered.” This, of course means, that Nintendo TVii will definitely have the social integration features spoken of before. You will be able to share moments from your favourite shows with friends, comment on scenes, and even better you will have your own viewing profile with recommendations tied to your preferences.

He concluded by saying, “I think immediately at launch we have some wonderful points of difference. The second screen is so critical; it’s integrated, you don’t have to provide your own separate screen, download an app or sync your devices. It’s built to work out of the box. There are a lot of interesting services out there, but you have to go buy hardware, or it’s an incremental purchase, or you might have ongoing subscription fees. A lot of the ideas around interaction with live TV will debut when this service launches.”

This is some interesting news to hear. Nintendo TVii, after all, does have the potential to be huge if done correctly. Also, with the recent confirmation as well that the service will recognise your NFL Sunday Ticket too, there are bound to be other big hitters in the TV world that will soon join in. I think personally that it’s a great idea, and one that I am disappointed that I have to wait for (especially the social features).

What do you guys think? Are you interested in the Nintendo TVii service?

 

Will Nintendo rule the world?

Next Generation consoles..

While we have a pretty good idea about what the Wii U is and what Nintendo’s strategy is going to be, details about Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles have been very limited. However, based on comments made by these companies, I believe that the next generation of gaming will feature three very different consoles with separate strategies and functionalities.

Now one could say the same thing about this generation to a certain extent. Microsoft has focused on strong online play and multimedia functionality; Sony has released lots first-party exclusives and focused on being the “gamer’s system” with services like PlayStation Plus; and Nintendo has achieved great success by reaching a huge audience with innovative new motion controls and a cheap price tag while sacrificing HD graphics and some of its hardcore audience.

However, I would argue that the PS3 and Xbox 360 are fundamentally similar consoles, thus why so many games were released on both platforms. Both are HD systems with traditional controllers, robust online functions, and are both focused on giant AAA games, especially shooters. Nintendo’s decision to revolutionize how we play games while remaining in SD separated it from the other systems.It’s already apparent that the Wii U will also be unique in its controls and graphical fidelity, but I think people might be surprised by how different the Xbox 720 and PS4 could be.

In an interview with IGN during E3 2012, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer couldn’t talk directly about Microsoft’s future plans. However, when asked about what they have up their sleeve for the next-generation, Spencer gave some hints of what’s to come.

“We really start looking at the Xbox as an entertainment product, plugged into the biggest screen in your house, the TV, and a unique display surface in the TV. That’s why I try to focus on SmartGlass, trying to light up other things that are happening in the house, because we understand that it’s a connected-device ecosystem.

It’s a little bit like Kinect when it came out. We got Dance Central 3, the kind of game that didn’t even really exist before Kinect came around. I think now we look at SmartGlass and these other opportunities, and I think the kind of entertainment that we’re building will continue to push forward, multiple devices and opportunities to play anywhere, asynchronous multiplayer gameplay. We’re trying to come up with new terms for these connected experiences. I think you’re going to see just a ton of growth.”

Based on this quote as well as Microsoft’s recent trends, it would appear that the next Xbox will continue to emphasize multimedia connectivity like Netflix, ESPN, and Internet Explorer while connecting with other devices through technology like SmartGlass. Maybe it will even come bundled with some kind of Kinect 2.0 that uses more accurate motion and voice controls to help you navigate the menus and play games.

IGN’s Colin Campbell mentions the likelihood of “new models for buying and playing games and priced, at least as an option, on a smart-phone subscription model, with a low entry price and further payments over a couple years”. This seems like a good possibility given Microsoft’s strategy of selling a 360 for $100 along with a two-year contract for Xbox Live. While they don’t seem to be in any hurry to move to the next generation, we have seen pictures of alleged 720 dev kits and know that some developers have them, so it can’t be too far away. A late 2013 launch time seems likely, but Microsoft could wait until 2014 for launch and announce it at the next E3.

It’s been known for some time that Nintendo is preparing its next-generation Wii U for a big holiday push and now a reported leak from a third-party accessory maker may have identified 18 November as the day the new game console hits shelves.

That date was listed in a presentation delivered at a GameStop management conference in Texas by accessory-maker PDP, Kotaku , citing an anonymous attendee whose account appeared to be backed up by a poster on the NeoGAF message board.

Wii U

Wii U – It’s gonna be big

“A rep for PDP was showing the company’s fall line-up at the conference and wrapped their presentation by saying the peripherals would be available just ahead of the Wii U’s November 18 release date,” Kotaku cited its source as saying.

A PDP executive has unequivocally denied that the company leaked the Wii U release date, saying it was an impossibility.

After the Kotaku post went live, a PDP spokesperson sought to downplay the company’s possible knowledge of Nintendo’s Wii U plans.

“At this time we can’t confirm Nintendo’s dates and we don’t know exactly what was heard, but we simply do not know that this point. We are launching accessories, but the date for the accessories doesn’t mean a confirmation on the hardware. If you seek confirmation on the date that is something that is going to need to go specifically though Nintendo, but we can’t confirm or deny dates on any of their hardware,” PDP community manager Candace Hinton told Kotaku.

But Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo reckoned the 18 November date, a Sunday, had the ring of truth to it given Nintendo’s history of product releases on that specific day in that specific month. The Wii and the GameCube were also launched on Sundays in November, he noted. 18 November, meanwhile, is the last Sunday before Black Friday this year, another strong sign pointing towards the veracity of the PDP leak.

Nintendo is releasing its new console a full year before rivals Microsoft and Sony unleash their own successors to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 .

The warrior of Hyrule

One of the greatest discussions when it comes to the Legend of Zelda series is it’s timeline. Most of these theories were put to rest with the official announcement in the Hyrule Historia confirming the split timeline theory but taking it further stating that there were 3 paths from Ocarina of Time. This thankfully left the other big discussion still wide open, realistic versus cartoon graphics. One that still has a lot of drive in it and will probably go on as long as people have opinions, or in other words, forever.

 

But there is another discussion that hasn’t been really covered before, the prospect of a hero that isn’t Link rising up to save Hyrule. I know that sounds like a totally outlandish suggestion, but hear me out.

Link has been the muted protagonist of the Legend of Zelda since the very beginning. Albeit it hasn’t been the same Link between every title (although some titles share the same Link; Ocarina and Majora are a good example), but he has always been one of the constants throughout the series. But, surely this would give Nintendo the perfect opportunity now (even if a very risky one) to shake things up.

There are two logical ways I could see this going, if it were to ever happen, firstly the pressure being shifted onto Princess Zelda. The closest we have ever been as gamers to actually playing as Princess Zelda in a main title was in Spirit Tracks, and then she was relegated to a support character. There was so much potential in that title for the player to use Zelda’s new-found powers in unusual ways that weren’t factored in. Also, on a related note, we have already seen how much of a badass she can be in Smash Bros and even a little at the end of Twilight Princess.

How she would be incorporated into a Hyrulian legend as a hero is up to your own imagination, but I think that having Zelda as the primary protagonist in one of the titles would allow for the forging of a very different Legend Of Zelda without taking the series too far away from it’s roots. After all, could you imagine if Zelda herself was the hero and Ganon still remained as the villain? Seems, and probably is, next to impossible but it would make for a very interesting final battle.

The other option of course is a new character entirely, this is even less likely but is the infinitely more fun to think about option. A new protagonist in the Legend of Zelda could open up some very different mechanics in the title. The combat would have to change if say he/she didn’t have the traditional sword and shield set up that Link has. The gadgets the player could find and use could drastically differ, the complexity of the dungeons could change too, opening up new challenges for the player. What’s more, they could give this new character the voice that Link never had without messing with the intergral Zelda experience too much.

Of course, these hypothetical arguments are pretty much impossible, Link is the constant protagonist of the Legend of Zelda, to remove him would probably change the series to a point that it would appear to be just another generic dungeon crawler. But still, it could be done (and very well at that), it’s just all about taking risks. But maybe it’s a little too late on in the series to be taking such massive risks.

What do you guys think? Do you think that another hero besides Link would mess with the Zelda experience too much, or add something new and exciting?

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Legend of Zelda series is one that encompasses many different genres, from RPG to action / adventure to fantasy to FPS.  Each individual game within the series possesses its own unique feel and mood, and this can largely affect how you as a player will react to the game.  Majora’s Mask is frequently heralded as the darkest of the Zelda franchise with a special emphasis on death and dying, a time mechanic that requires you to reverse any positive effects you have on the myriad of townspeople you help, and the constant doom and terror of having a huge evil moon grinning down at you the entire game as he silently heads towards a collision with the earth.

There are many aspects of Majora’s Mask that still give me chills to this day, but it isn’t the only Zelda game to do so.  Scary moments in the Zelda franchise have been around since the very first game, and they still persist today even in Skyward Sword.  I am a huge (HUGE) fan of horror, whether it be in book, movie, video game, or real life form.  If I am playing a video game and it manages to make me jump, or freak out, or give me goosebumps, I consider it a huge plus for both the game and the game designer.  One of my favorite aspects of the Legend of Zelda franchise is the fact that in the middle of this amazingly epic game, you never know when something is going to pop out and catch you off guard and give you nightmares for the next week.  Since there is no way I could possibly encompass all of the terrifying aspects of The Legend of Zelda series in just one post, this will most likely be an ongoing series where I continue to examine the most scary parts of the Zelda franchise, and just why they are so friggen scary.  So here they are, the first things that pop into my mind when I hear “scary Zelda.”

The wallmasters have been around since the very first Legend of Zeldagame, and have been scaring the crap out of me since I first played Ocarina of Time way back when.  These enemies are insanely frustrating even without the extra creepy factor of being disembodied hands hanging from the ceiling waiting to snatch you up.  Forcing you to go back to the beginning of the dungeon and start all over, these guys are one of my most hated Zelda enemies, but they didn’t really gain “horror-status” until their Ocarina of Time debut in the Forest Temple, where they are accompanied by a very sinister whooshing sound right before a dead and visibly rotted hand the size of adult Link descends on you faster than you can move.  Eesh.

Pretty much every aspect ofMajora’s Mask could be considered at least somewhat horror, if for no other reason than the backdrop of Termina is very rooted in death, suffering, and the futility of your heroism.  Ikana Canyon is one of the most fright-filled locales in the game, home to what I consider to be the creepiest quest in the game, helping the little girl and her father in the music box house.  I remember when the mutated mummy/father bursts out of the wardrobe for the first time and I jumped.  I had no idea what was coming and then THAT happened.

The Kafei / Anju side quest, though undeniably romantic and worth the time and effort it takes to complete, is one of the best examples of horror from Majora’s Mask.  The quest takes the entire three day cycle to complete, and you spend most of your time running around delivering messages and helping to reunite this couple.  My first time doing this quest I made it to where you have to go to Sakon’s hideout to help Kafei steal the Sun Mask and I could not for the life of me find Sakon’s hideout.  When I finally did and went inside, the back and forth of Link and Kafei to reach the Sun Mask was intense and rushed, and I knew the entire time we were fighting the clock. Finally, after I helped him, I went back to Clock Town to wait with Anju…  and freaked the hell out the entire time.  Did I forget to do something?  We only have a couple hours until the moon crashes into Termina, what if I was supposed to do something else and Kafei isn’t going to come and the world dies and I was just sitting here like an idiot waiting for him to show up?  Of course, in the end he came and they reunited and I played the song of time to stop the moon, but for several intense moments I was scared.  This quest doesn’t bring out fear like the wallmasters, redeads, or even Zant in the first 70% of Twilight Princess.  Instead, it creates a realistic situation that you have put considerable effort into helping, pits you against a strict and unforgiving clock, and then forces you to wait patiently, hoping that what you did was enough…  This very scary moment (for me anyway) appeals to the humanity in us to make us fear for the worst, which is something not many video games can claim to have done.  There are countless other terrifying aspects of Majora’s Mask (the Happy Mask Salesman was definitely a top contender), but for the sake of this article let’s move on to other games.

Is it just me, or are the scariest versions of many of The Legend of Zelda‘s most popular enemies featured in Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask?  The redeads stuck out to me as the scariest part of playing through Ocarina of Time.  From the moment I first stepped out of the Temple of Time as an adult and saw how the world had changed, my mind was forever blown.  The first time I approached one of the crouching figures in Castle Town, only to hear its soul piercing scream and be frozen in place while it slowly leaped onto my back and started biting me is eternally etched into my brain.  All the cheerful townspeople from before were replaced by ravenous zombies in the seven years I was asleep!?  That is some scary stuff right there, and it really helped to set the tone for the rest of the game as adult Link.  You’re not a kid anymore, so stop acting like one and save the day.

The last example of horror in Zelda I have for today comes from the most recent entry in the series, and also quite possibly the scariest gameplay element I’ve seen in any Zelda game ever.  In Skyward Sword, Link must enter the Silent Realm to collect Sacred Tears, but must evade detection by the guardians of the area.  You have only a 90 second period from the time you collect your first tear to when you have to collect your next one, otherwise the game goes into “oh crap what the hell just happened” mode.  Suddenly everything is bright and harshly colored and there are loud stomping noises as these huge metal guardians attempt to beat the crap out of Link and force him to restart his trial from the beginning.  I don’t think my heart has ever beat so hard as when I was running desperately trying to find the next Sacred Tear before these things came to life, and when they (inevitably) always did, my brain went into panic mode.  The worst is when you have no idea where the next tear is and you fall into some Waking Water before your 90 seconds is up, and you’re surrounded by guardians.  I mean… it really is like being in a horror movie with ax murderers chasing you around.

Those are just a few of the scariest moments I could think of from the Legend of Zelda Series, but I know that’s not even close to all of them.  What are some of you guys’ scariest memories from playing a Zelda game?  Can you think of any from the earlier titles?  The 2d Zeldas didn’t bring up anything horrific to my mind, but it has been a while since I’ve played some of them, and some of them I still have yet to play.  Let us know what scares you the most about The Legend of Zelda in the comments!

Recently, I finally got a chance to play Assassin’s Creed II. It sold millions of copies, gained widespread critical acclaim, and… I found myself wondering why.

Not that it’s a bad game, necessarily, but if there’s one thing that defines this game, it’s the fact that the game is constantly inflicting arbitrary limits on you from the first frame. You can’t start the actual game proper until you talk to everybody in the room before entering the Animus. You can’t just climb up the towers to get to certain viewpoints, you have to follow a specific path laid out by the development team (or worse, unlock a mechanic to use). You have an open world but it’s deliberately limited until you finish certain memories, because God forbid we could unlock chunks of the map.

For me, the breaking point was an Assassin’s Tomb where you had to chase after a Templar who, of course, beat you to the goal. So you climb up to get into the room and fight the group. At this point I had throwing knives and a pistol.

And they were disabled. I couldn’t use two weapons to fight because the game had decided I wasn’t allowed to for no reason whatsoever except the game felt like it. This was immediately followed by a platforming section where you not only had to deal with the game’s imprecise controls but had to use an entirely new mechanic the game hadn’t introduced before this point.

Overrated or what?

The worst part is that this was hardly the only open-world action game that hit that year. inFamous and Prototype both were far less restrictive and frankly more fluid in getting around the world, and had better controls.

Again, it’s not a bad game, but it’s so unnecessarily restricted that I found myself wondering where the praise came from.

What about you? What game have you played and found maybe not bad, but baffled at the praise?