Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

E3: Nintendo Conference – “It prints money!”

June 7, 2011

The Nintendo conference has proven once again that Nintendo is an innovative company that provides high quality games and systems while keeping things perpetually fresh. However, every new piece of hardware or software they release always comes with one function that stays consistent throughout the ages: The function that gives us the irresistible urge to open our wallets and dump the contents into a big pile. This pile is then poured into a large pool where Nintendo execs may swim in it a la Scrooge McDuck.

Despite this, they are not technically robbing us, as they are providing things to us that are nothing short of purely whimsical. The conference opened with a full orchestra playing classic Legend of Zelda jingles and songs in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Legend of Zelda. I personally don’t own a 3DS yet, for both practical and financial reasons; I’d love to enjoy games both new and old in the glorious third D, but at the same time, I like being able to afford groceries. The 3DS remake of the classic Zelda game Ocarina of Time touts revamped graphics, an improved frame rate, and a free soundtrack available for people who register their copies of the game with Club Nintendo. The game is set to be released on June 19th, 2011. In addition to this, the Nintendo eShop will soon be carrying Link’s Awakening, the 1993 classic Game Boy game. All hope is not lost for Zelda fans who do not yet own the latest Nintendo portable, though. A free download of Legend of Zelda: Four Swords will be available for DSi owners this fall via DSiWare.

Not many new details were released about the upcoming Zelda platformer, Skyward Sword, during the conference. However, producer Shigeru Miyamoto did announce that a commemorative gold Wiimote emblazoned with the Zelda logo would be released alongside the game.

The Legend of Zelda news didn’t stop at just video games. Miyamoto announced that the orchestra that had been accompanying the press conference would be going on a worldwide tour to play orchestral versions of Zelda songs both new and old. Official tour dates are yet to be released.

Once the Legend of Zelda segment had concluded, Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime and CEO Satoru Iwata took the stage to talk about the Nintendo 3DS. A montage of Mario Kart, Star Fox, Super Mario, Kid Icarus, and Luigi’s Mansion (respectively) wowed the crowd just before Mr. Fils-Aime went into the details.

Mario Kart 3D – Fils-Aime described this as a “tricked out” version of an old classic, with go-karts transforming into hang gliders and karts with underwater capabilities zooming every which way. Footage was also shown of karts that can be customized with different bodies and wheels. The game is slated for release this holiday season.

Star Fox 64 3D – This game utilizes the 3DS’s internal tilt function in a very interesting way. Remember when you were a little kid playing a racing game? You’d take a sharp turn and tilt the entire controller, entirely convinced that it was aiding you. That functionality has been incorporated into Star Fox 64 3D. Tilting the 3DS will actually tilt the aircraft you are piloting (traditional controls will also work for those players who prefer not looking silly whilst playing). Still keeping the good ol’ days in consideration, picture this: You’re playing a multiplayer round of Star Fox 64 with your friend and you’re just about to destroy his ship. You line up your shot and fire a direct hit. Immediately after this, you look over and see the the feeling of defeat pour into his expression. With the 3DS camera, you can get that same satisfaction of seeing the look of defeat on his face while playing wirelessly. Star Fox 64 3D drops this September.

Super Mario – When New Super Mario Bros. came out for the Nintendo DS, it was a revamped version of a classic that was an instant hit. This new installment of the franchise is the first 3D portable Mario game that is built entirely from scratch. Classic elements from previous games will be incorporated, such as the ever-popular Tanooki suit. An exact release date is not yet set, but keep an eye out for it sometime this year.

Kid Icarus: Uprising – People were reeling at last year’s E3 when the announcement was made that a new Kid Icarus game was in development. More footage of the game was shown today, along with the report that 3 on 3 multiplayer battles would be available in the game. The game will also utilize the 3DS’s outer camera and Augmented Reality cards, which can be used for in-game battles.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 – Fils-Aime made it clear that this game was not a remake, but an all-new game. This new game utilizes the 3D capabilities of the hardware, allowing Luigi to explore brand new mansions full of ghosts for Luigi to cram into his vacuum cleaner.

After this wave of first party game demos, a montage of third party games played on screen, including titles such as Resident Evil: The Mercenaries, Mario & Sonic, Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Cave Story 3D, Resident Evil: Revelations, Driver: Renegade, Pacman, Galaga, Tekken 3D, and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

Exclusive downloads from the Nintendo eShop were also announced, with Fils-Aime explaining that games from both the classic Game Boy and Game Boy Advance libraries would be available. Titles such as Excitebike that even predate these systems would also be available.

Being the enormous nerd that I am, I was waiting for Reggie to say the one word I wanted to hear: Pokemon. The proclamation of new Pokemon stuff further drove it into my head that I need to reevaluate my financial priorities so that they include a 3DS at the top of the list of things I need to buy in order to feel true happiness. Owners of the latest Pokemon games, Pokemon Black and White, will be privy to an enhanced Pokedex for the 3DS. This “Pokedex 3D” arrives with data for 16 Pokemon, the rest of which can be added via spot passes, interaction with other players, and AR markers. In addition to collecting data on Pokemon, the user can superimpose Pokemon into photos, which can then be sent to an SD card and uploaded to the Internet. Now when your boss refuses to believe that you were only late to work because a Snorlax blocked your path, you’ll have the evidence to prove it. The Pokedex 3D is only available for the 3DS and available exclusively through the Nintendo eShop. Best of all, it’s free!

Wii U Controller

Reggie Fils-Aime showing off the Wii U controller.

Once the 3DS segment wrapped up, the moment everyone had been waiting for had arrived. Speculation has been swirling like mad regarding the latest console from Nintendo. The Nintendo Wii U put on an incredibly interesting demonstration. The controller itself houses a 6.2″ screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, analog sticks on either side of the controller, the traditional d-pad, L and R buttons on their respective side of the controller as well as left and right Z buttons on the underside, and the classic ABXY button setup. In addition to these features, the Wii U controller also packs a microphone, camera, accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Oh, and the screen is a touchscreen.

This may sound like the makings of a new portable, but it is not. Let’s say you’re playing a game on the Wii U, but someone else wants to use the TV. This used to lead to arguments and most likely fistfights, but the Wii U can be used in a way that allows the game on your television screen to be transferred to the screen on the controller seamlessly and without latency.

You can pick up right where you left off when switching from the TV to the controller screen.

Some games only require the use of the television, some only using the controller, and some that utilize both simultaneously. Either way, I know I’ll be lining up for one of these and reevaluating my friendships with loved ones who don’t do the same. Still not convinced? Then I have two words for you, doubtful reader: Backwards compatibility. The Wii U controller works not only with all existing Wii games, but all Wii accessories. Oh yeah, and you can draw on it with a stylus like a freaking tablet.

Heck yes, Nintendo.

As if that wasn’t enough, an announcement was also made that a brand new Super Smash Bros. game was in development for both the 3DS and the Wii U and that they would be able to interact with one another.  This is why we love you, Nintendo. This is why we love you.

Super Mario Bros. Mii, Shield Mii, and Chase Mii were also announced for the Wii U, but these were just prototypes that showed off the Wii U’s features and not actual games, marking the very first moment during the conference where I didn’t care what was on my screen. Sure, the demos were neat, but I’d rather have the games themselves show off the functionality of their systems.

After this, a montage of 3rd party games in development for the Wii U was shown, naming titles like Lego: City Stories, Darksiders 2, Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Aliens, Ninja Gaiden 3, a slew of EA titles, and many more.

So many titles!

Say what you will about Nintendo, but they know how to innovate, and they do it well. I know I’m a bit of a Nintendo fanboy, but I do my best to be honest. I’ll admit it, I made fun of the Wii when it first came out; I mocked the controller, the fact that it can’t even play DVDs, and made the ever-present Family Guy joke “No one makes fun of Adam Wii.” It’s times like this that I wish I were actually there, not only because of the exhilarating feeling that comes with being at E3, but because I’d be able to test out the Wii U myself, thus giving me the ability to write an even better review.

Perhaps next year.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Pokemon!

March 17, 2011

Hey nerds! Big news! POKEMON!

Seriously, though. Pokemon. We’ve been neglecting this blog of late, but POKEMON.

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Hey! It’s been a while!…and Batman!

August 5, 2010

Hey, it’s TheChadster here, we haven’t posted an update for a while so I’m gonna let ya know what’s up. I’ll be attanding the Bristol Renaissance Fair this Sunday, August 8th. Quazo on the other hand will be at the Northern Michigan Anime Convention in Traverse City, Michigan; so go there and buy his stuff! We will both be at Geek.Kon the weekend of September 3rd-5th but you’ll only be seeing me on the 4th, so there’s yet another chance to buy out all his merchandise and say hi to me! (I’ll be cosplaying as the MGS4 Otacon) I guess that’s it as far as appearances from the both of us. Also school is on the horizon for both of us so that may eat into the site updates slightly. (Read more for the Batman I promised you in the title.)

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An open letter to Yahoo! Games.

June 20, 2010

Dear Yahoo! Games:

How are you? I hope you are well. Me? Well, I can’t complain.  Actually, that’s a lie. I can complain. In fact, I can complain about you. I read your recent article entitled “E3 2010: Top showstoppers and disappointments.” (As seen here.) It was poorly written and riddled with bias and outright contradictions. Now, when I say it was poorly written, I’m not talking grammatically; the grammar was spot-on, to be honest. The content itself was, well, not good, and I’d like to have a little sit-down with you and explain why I feel this way.

Chad and I watched the entirety of the E3 coverage. We laughed, we raged, we tweeted mercilessly (usually to the chagrin of our followers), but overall, we didn’t miss a minute. I mention this because I’m not entirely sure you and I saw the same E3. Chad and I are die-hard gamers, which is why we felt we were qualified to formulate the opinions we did on our respective twitter accounts, as well as here on Otakuz with a Z. Something tells me that the journalists you employed to cover the event, Ben Silverman and Mike Smith, are less than well-versed when it comes to hardcore gaming. Allow me to expound…

“Nintendo does 3D”

Okay, as unsatisfied as I was with your article, I will still give credit where credit is due. The first section elaborating on Nintendo’s newest handheld, the 3DS, was right on the money. Your information was accurate and well-written, albeit a little fanboy-ish. However, after the initial good part, the rest of the article seems incredibly sub-par, like a woman with a beautiful smile who turns out to have halitosis.

“Rock Band gets real”

Rock Band 3 keyboard. Hell yes.

In this area, you briefly mention that the music game genre has been lagging as of late. This is only true if you look at the sales figures. I’d like to bring up two points to you: Downloadable Content (henceforth referred to as “DLC”) and over-saturation. People love DLC because it makes a good game into a great game. I’ve, at the very least, doubled the song library in my copy of Rock Band 2. And with the varying tastes between my friends and myself, it allows for unique gameplay when playing someone else’s copy of the game; I may own songs they do not, and vice versa. As for over-saturation, well, all you need to do is look in your local GameStop and you’ll see it. Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Karaoke Revolution, and even Dance Dance Revolution produce relentless amounts of spinoffs, variations, and the like. It’s the same reason people don’t have seven-course meals three times a day; it’s just too damn much! Too much of a good thing naturally causes people to shy away from it, so to call the music game genre “once mighty” is a bit of a misguided statement.

However, Rock Band 3 does up the ante with it’s new controller designs. What bothers me is that you only elaborated on the guitar controller. Sure, it’s great and can be used as a real guitar, but you completely neglected the new fully-functional MIDI keyboard peripheral, a piece of hardware for which gamers have been clamoring for years. In addition to that, Rock Band 3’s tracklist includes songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. Hell, for many gamers, just having “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a selling point. If someone were to have missed Rock Band 3’s E3 coverage and based their opinion of the game solely on your article, they’d chalk it up as more of the same.

“Talk to your Xbox”

I was pretty flabbergasted by your statements about the Kinect. You stated that its most interesting feature was the voice recognition system for movie playback. This got an audible “What?!” out of me, to be brutally honest. The Kinect is able to play some of the best motion-controlled games seen at E3 this year (despite many of them looking like carbon copies of Wii Sports and Wii Fit), further erasing the boundaries between gamer and game, and you were blown away by the voice command system? That’s like being allowed to test-drive an ultra-futuristic sports car and then saying that the clincher was the volume knob on the dashboard. And then you go on to say that THAT was “exactly the kind of ‘Jetsons’ feature [you] were hoping to see at E3.” Seriously? We’ve got 3D cinematics out the wazoo, motion controlled games left and right, and hardware that improves on a constant and exponential basis. Yahoo, look around. We ARE in a ‘Jetsons’-style future! To quote one of my favorite webcomics, Three Panel Soul, “It is unquestionably the future, and you would’ve crashed your stupid flying car anyway.” (Comic can be seen here.)

“Nintendo’s burly brands”

Nintendo blew everyone away with new games featuring Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Goldeneye, and the one you forgot, Metroid . You portrayed this as a good thing, and I concur.  This is another well-written section, but later in the very same article, you treat this like a bad thing, despite labeling it as a “showstopper” here.  More on that later.

This is the reason I'm no longer a fatass.

“Gaming on two feet”

You claim that Nintendo’s Wii Fit started the active game craze. I’m not sure if you know this, but I recently traveled back in time to 1998, and they have this game called Dance Dance Revolution. Your body is the controller and you step on arrows that correspond to those seen on the screen to the beat of catchy dance music. And since 1998 (also known as one of the greatest years in gaming history, perhaps to be discussed in a later article), the list of DDR games has become quite extensive. With DDR having close to a decade long lead on Wii Fit, basic addition will show you that DDR (just barely) got here first and started the “get off your ass and play” game craze, one that has caused this blogger to drop some serious extra weight. As for the E3 coverage of the motion commotion, it was a pretty even three-way tie. Each of the big competitors brought something new and unique to the table. The Kinect, while appearing to be riding the coattails of the Wii in just about every way, brought a lot of titles to the table, all of which look promising. Nintendo barely even had to rely on its motion-inducing titles to get people active. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword alone eliminated the cohesion of mainstream gaming and a sedentary experience. Sony’s incredibly imaginatively titled Playstation Move made further advancements in motion-fueled gaming by adding depth to motion controls. Sure, the Wii can tell where the controller is on X and Y axes, but the Playstation Move adds a Z axis with its oddly familiar-looking controller (perhaps known as the PS Three-mote?)

When writing a paper for school, and a teachers wanted me to explain a topic with more depth, they’d write the exact same word I’m about to write for you: EXPAND!!!

Okay, Yahoo, I feel like I’ve been a little harsh, and I have, but in all fairness, you’ve done it to yourself. Let’s take a look at the things that left a bad taste in your mouths…

“No Wii Vitality Sensor”

Really? This was one of your top disappointments? Sure, it was a bummer that it was a no-show, but it wasn’t much of a hit in the first place. Its use is limited from the get-go. One thing I’ve learned when making a presentation of any kind is to always bring your A-game. If something isn’t perfected, people will focus more on the fact that it’s incomplete and less on the wow factor. This is just common sense. Whether the Wii Vitality Sensor comes out at all is still up in the air, but if it doesn’t, I don’t foresee many people to be too heartbroken. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, Yahoo.

“No price for Kinect”

Kinect: Probably $149.99

I find it funny how you seem to be completely in the dark about Kinect’s price, yet say it’s rumored by GameStop and Amazon to be $149.99. You’ve got your price right there! Even if the price does vary by the time November 4th rolls around, so what? The price difference wouldn’t be too astronomical. Again, this isn’t any sort of deal breaker, so quit whining.

“No new PSP”

Yahoo, do you follow the news at all? Why in the hell would there be a new PSP happening any time soon? The PSP Go was released less than nine months ago! Another new PSP would oversaturate the market and be too much of a financial risk on Sony’s part. As for the already lagging sales of the PSP, Sony employed a hip youth by the name of Marcus to do for the PSP what Kevin Butler did for the PS3’s “It Only Does Everything” campaign, known as the PSP’s “Step Your Game Up” campaign. Sure, leaked photos of a new PSP motherboard have been leaked, but that doesn’t mean you need a new PSP in your hands just yet; the PSP Go is still the new kid on the block. Finish the candy bar you have before clamoring for the next one.

“No Last Guardian”

Sure, it didn’t show up at their booth, but it was mentioned at Sony’s press conference; it’s the whole reason there was a unanimous “Oh yeah, when’s that coming out again?” feeling in the crowd. Again, keep in mind what I said earlier about bringing only your A game. A game that’s better late than never is substantially better than a game that’s here now, but incomplete. This is exactly why I wasn’t too disappointed last year when Bioshock 2 was delayed. However, I’ll give credit where credit is due and admit that this is a legitimate disappointment, as Last Guardian looks like another amazing hit from Team ICO.

“Too many sequels”

Okay, this is where you guys really made asses of yourselves. Earlier, you said you were pumped for new Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Goldeneye, yet here, you call these “endless rehashes from Nintendo.” Are you excited for these games or not? Make up your mind! You then go on to say that you’re going to “play the heck out of Portal 2, Infamous 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” and then you call sequels “new versions of old stuff.” That’s not what a sequel is, Yahoo. A sequel is a continuation, not a retelling. Sure, some sequels give the player more of the same, but a lot of them don’t. Learn the difference.

Overall, Yahoo, your article seems rushed and a bit amateurish. If you’re going to report on something people care about so deeply, especially when you’re permitted to get your hands on it before anyone else, I suggest you treat the subject with more dignity and research more thoroughly.

But hey, it’s just a suggestion.

Love and kisses,

Quazo

Nintendo 3DS (Alternate title: GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE!)

June 16, 2010

Nintendo 3DS.

Being a Nintendo fanboy (that’ll occasionally philander with Microsoft; Nintendo and I have an… understanding), I, like many others, am finding that perfect chair to sit in whilst camping out for a 3DS. I’ve purchased every evolution of the DS since it came out (with the exception of its rubenesque cousin, the DSi XL), and this new version will have me opening my wallet once, causing me to make a face that combines anticipation with a slight wince. The only difference between me making that face now and the last time I made it is the fact that Nintendo doesn’t have a cover charge or a two drink minimum.

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of these guys not getting laid any time soon.

At yesterday’s Nintendo press conference, the 3DS was revealed with an array of new and upgraded features. Quite possibly the most promoted feature was, for obvious reasons, the 3D effect created between the screens without the aid of any fashion faux-pas glasses. Those damn things are not only unsightly (no pun intended), but can get expensive (some can go for hundreds of dollars on eBay!). Not only that, but they’ve been known to induce headaches and migraines in some people. Nintendo learned the first time with the Virtual Boy that headache-inducing portables just don’t work.

Another feature that got me giddier than an ADHD kid jacked up on Pixie Stix was the dual outer cameras, opening up the possibility of utilizing the 3DS camera for stereoscopic photography. In addition to that, Nintendo also announced ability to play 3D Hollywood movies, bringing Tinseltown’s hard-on for the elusive third dimension to the portable market.

However, like all fans, Nintendo had me at “games.” Mario Kart 3DS and Kid Icarus: Uprising are the launch titles, causing me to search my living space for things that can be sold for extra cash. In addition to that, over 70 games are slated for development, including games by Square Enix, Ubisoft, Activision, EA, Sega, and, of course, Nintendo.  Call me greedy, but I was hoping to see more gameplay footage of the 3DS at Nintendo’s press conference rather than just close-ups of the system itself. Yes, it’s shiny, has a bigger top screen, and has an analog stick similar to that of the increasingly irrelevant Sony PSP, but I want to see it at work! Live gameplay demonstrations are really what sells a lot of people at press conferences (as well as people at home), and even though Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said there was “no way to adequately represent the Nintendo 3DS experience on stage.” This sort of came off like a bit of a cop-out, but at least they made it up to us with a bit of comedy gold that has already started a slew of Internet memes.

Unless you were in the Nokia theater yesterday, or you’re a lucky bastard that is actually at E3, you’ll have to wait until the Spring of 2011 to get your hands on one. As for the cost, that’ll be revealed soon. If you’re like me, though, the price won’t really matter, will it.

One last thing: Where the hell are my damn Pokemon???