Blog Archives

DS Game Makes Wii U Virtual Console Debut in Japan

 

Brain Age/Brain Training, Nintendo DS, Wii U, Virtual Console

Image courtesy of NintenDaan 

Brain Training (or Brain Age as it’s known in the US) has received the honour of being the first DS game to appear on the Wii U Virtual Console – in Japan at least. The game is available for free to Japanese gamers until June 30th, after that date it will sell for an as yet unannounced price.

Support for DS titles seems to have been added in yesterday’s Wii U system update which also added a Quick Start menu to the GamePad. The game is only available to those who installed the update.

It has not yet been announced when DS games will come to the Wii U in Europe or the US but it is possible we may find out at next week’s E3.

Next Mass Effect ‘Somewhere in the Middle’ of Development

Bioware has revealed via Twitter that work on the new Mass Effect game has reached the midway point of development. The revelation came from Yanick Roy, studio director at Bioware Montreal, who was responding to a fan’s query about the game.

Little information has been released about the new game in the sci-fi series yet other than that it will be unrelated to Shepard’s story from the original trilogy and that Bioware is not referring to the game as ‘Mass Effect 4’. A few images were also shown on last year’s N7 Day.

Perhaps more details will surface at this year’s E3 which begins on June 10.

Super Smash Bros. Direct – All the Details

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The latest Nintendo Direct took place last night at 11pm UK time and was dedicated exclusively to the newest version of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. The presentation was hosted by game director Masahiro Sakurai. In case you missed it (or even if you didn’t – at 39 minutes long there was a lot of information to take in) here is a summary of all the major announcements.

Separate Launches

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The biggest, and perhaps most surprising news, is that the two versions of the game will have separate release windows with the 3DS version coming first in summer 2014 and the Wii U version following in winter 2014. No firm release dates were given. In some ways this decision makes sense – the Wii U needs a big seller so Nintendo will want to take the time to perfect the game as much as possible. The Wii U version will have flashier graphics and, most likely, more features than it’s handheld counterpart which obviously takes more work. It is also possible that Nintendo simply wants to spread out the releases of it’s big guns – with Mario Kart 8 hitting the Wii U at the end of May. The danger is that some people will not want to buy the Wii U version if they already own the 3DS version, presumably Nintendo has some Wii U exclusive modes still up it’s sleeve that will tempt people to part with their cash.

New Characters

According to Sakurai both versions of the game will have the same character lineup – with two totally new challengers revealed last night. First up was Charizard, no longer tied to the Pokémon Trainer character, he will be capable of mega evolution (as will Lucario) through his Final Smash.

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The second character introduced also comes from the world of Pokémon – the Water/Dark type Greninja (although when  Greninja was first shown in silhouette form, I, and many others watching, thought Mewtwo was returning).

ssbgreninjaLastly, although technically not new characters, Zero Suit Samus and Sheik will now be playable fighters in their own right, rather than alternate forms of Samus and Zelda respectfully. In addition to that Yoshi has been altered to stand more upright and has had slight changes to his moves and abilities.

Online Play

Two online modes were confirmed last night, ‘For Fun’ and ‘For Glory’. For Fun is aimed more at casual players, fights will take place on random stages and all items will be usable. Also only fights won will be saved to your profile in this mode. For Glory on the other hand is for the more hardcore players, fights take place on Final Destination versions of stages, items cannot be used and both wins and defeats will be saved to your profile. 1v1 battles are also possible in this mode.

Both modes will also be playable offline where more customisation of items and fight conditions will be possible.

In addition to this Sakurai announced that a new code of conduct will apply to online matches, with players now able to report unsporting opponents. If a player is guilty of bad behaviour online they could face a temporary ban.

An online matchmaking system will group you with players of a similar ability so hopefully cheating will not be too much of an issue.

As well as this Sakurai announced a new online ranking system called ‘Global Power Smash’. Rather than comparing you to every player worldwide this system will show how many players you are better than, based on on your score in both single player and multiplayer modes. It’s certainly a very feel-good way of looking at your progress.

Smash Run Mode

Smash Run is a new mode exclusive to the 3DS version of the game. Up to four players will be given five minutes to explore a large dungeon-like area. They must spend this time fighting enemy Subspace Army units and searching for power-ups and items which increase your character’s speed, jumping ability, normal attack power, special attack power and throwing power. When your five minutes are up you will put these power boosts to use in a standard brawl versus the other players.

Custom Move Sets

You will be able to change the special moves of your character to create custom move sets. The feature can’t be used in online battles with random opponents but can be used in local or online friend matches. More will be revealed about this feature at a later date.

Frame rate Details

The Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will run at an impressive 60fps, even with 3D enabled. Some background elements, such as assist trophy characters, will run at 30 frames to ensure that no slowdown occurs to playable characters.

It was not revealed if the same will be the case for the Wii U version as such details will presumably not be locked in until nearer the release date.

Everything Else

So all the major revelations from the presentation have been covered above. Below you can find a summary of all the other details that have been confirmed so far.

Stages

Despite having the same characters both versions of the game will feature unique stages.

3DS Stages

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  • 3D Land
  • Arena Ferox
  • Balloon Fight
  • Find Mii (Streetpass Quest)
  • Gerudo Valley
  • Jungle Japes
  • Living Room
  • Prism Tower
  • Rainbow Road
  • Reset Bomb Forest
  • Prism Tower
  • Spirit Train
  • Tortimer Island

Wii U Stages

  • Boxing Ring
  • Garden of Hope
  • Halberd
  • Mario Galaxy
  • Palutena’s Temple
  • Pilot Wings
  • Pyrosphere
  • Skyloft
  • Town and City
  • Wii Fit Studio
  • Windy Hill

Items

The new items that got the most attention in last night’s presentation were the Master Balls, which will appear alongside the usual Poké Balls. Master Balls will unleash rare and legendary monsters on to the battlefield, including some from Pokémon X & Y. Rare and legendaries confirmed so far include Arceus, Deoxys, Entei, Keldeo, Kyurem, Palkia, Victini and Xerneas. Amongst the ‘regular’ Pokémon included are Eevee, Electrode, Fennekin, Gogoat, Meloetta, Metagross, Meowth and Staryu.

Also new are items from Animal Crossing such as the beehive, and items from Bandai Namco franchises (Bandai Namco is assisting Nintendo with development) including Galaga and Rally-X.

  • Back Shield
  • Beam Sword
  • Beetle
  • Beehive
  • Bombchu
  • Bumper
  • Fairy Bottle
  • Fire Bar
  • Galaga Enemies
  • Hocotate Bomb
  • Master Ball
  • Motion-Sensor Bomb
  • Ore Club
  • Poké Ball
  • POW Block
  • Rocket Belt
  • Smart Bomb
  • Special Flag
  • Steel Diver
  • X Bomb

Assist Trophies

  • Andross
  • Ashley
  • Chain Chomp
  • Color TV-Game 15
  • Dark Samus
  • Devil
  • Dr. Wright
  • Elec Man
  • Isabelle
  • Knuckle Joe
  • Lyn
  • Midna
  • Mother Brain
  • Nintendog
  • Saki Amamiya
  • Skull Kid
  • Waluigi

Trophies

  • Fi
  • King Kihunter
  • Pseudo-Palutena
  • Tiki

Subspace Army Units (Smash Run Mode)

Various franchises are represented by enemies in this mode.

  • Bulborb
  • Chandelure
  • Goomba
  • Kihunter
  • Mettaur
  • Mimicutie
  • Poppant
  • Reaper
  • Roturret
  • Stalfos
  • Tac
  • Tiki Buzz

Boss Characters

  • Yellow Devil
  • Ridley (teased)

 

If you haven’t yet seen it you can watch the Direct presentation in full below as well as view a screenshot gallery.

 

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Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction Moving Closer to Western Release

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The latest animated Pokémon movie, Pokémon XY The Movie – The Cocoon of Destruction & Diancie, is officially heading to the west in 2014 according to the Pokémon Company International. The movie will be known as Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction in the west but no release date has been announced yet, as the Pokémon Company is still listening to bids for broadcast rights. The movie will be out on the 19th July in Japan so hopefully we won’t have to wait for too long after that.

The Pokémon Company will surely be hoping that the movie will capitalize on the popularity of Pokémon X & Y which together have now sold almost 12 million copies worldwide and are the fastest selling games to date on the Nintendo 3DS. This information was announced in a press release which you can read in full below.

A leading children’s entertainment franchise, Pokémon features a wide array of offerings including video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, animation, and various licensed products. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y recently became the fastest-selling video games for the Nintendo 3DS system, selling nearly 12 million copies worldwide since their October 2013 launch and adding to the more than 245 million Pokémon video games sold to date. With more than 20 billion Pokémon TCG cards shipped globally and animation licensed for broadcast in more than 160 countries and in more than 30 languages, Pokémon is a long-standing hit among fans around the world.

 

Wreck-It Ralph 2 Rumoured to be in the Works

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A sequel to Disney’s video game themed movie Wreck-It Ralph might be in the early stages of development, according to the film’s composer Henry Jackman. When asked by Collider if he had heard any news on a sequel he replied:

I did, to be honest with you.  I can’t tell you more, not because I’m being coy, but I believe that it is officially on the cards.  I don’t know any more other than a story is indeed being written.

Jackman also said if the movie does happen it will be the first sequel he has composed for. The original movie was a big hit at the box office, raking in a total of $471,222,889 worldwide, so it’s hardly surprising that Disney is planning a follow up.

If you haven’t seen it yet the first film, released in 2012, is a treat for video game fans, featuring appearances by many gaming icons such as Sonic, Bowser and M. Bison. Even more obscure characters such as Q*bert get a look in. It will be interesting to see what other characters get the big screen treatment when the sequel comes around.

Dig for Atari E.T. Games gets the Go-Ahead

The excavation of a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where millions of copies of unpopular Atari 2600 game E.T. are supposedly buried, has finally been given the go-ahead by the New Mexico Environmental Department. The dig was recently delayed over concerns of potentially hazardous chemicals found at the site, however the NMED is now satisfied that there is no immediate danger unless a person is exposed over a “very extended amount of time”.

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If you thought your nightmares were buried, you were wrong.

The NMED also said the original excavation plan was too vague but are now happy providing they are given five days notice before digging begins and that all waste haulers are certified.

Lightbox Entertainment and Fuelbox Entertainment are behind the excavation which is to be filmed for a documentary about the rise and fall of Atari. It is being directed by X2 writer Zak Penn and will be available exclusively on Xbox 360 and Xbox One later this year.

New Super Smash Bros. Screenshot Teases Luigi’s Final Smash

luigisupersmashbrosSuper Smash Bros. game director Masahiro Sakurai has been regularly treating fans to images from the upcoming Wii U and 3DS versions of the game via Miiverse and today he posted the above screenshot which, if the strange glow surrounding Luigi is anything to go by, shows what Luigi’s ‘Final Smash’ will be in the game.

In case you don’t recognize the contraption Luigi is holding, it is the Poltergust 5000 from Luigi’s 3DS outing Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. He of course wielded an earlier iteration of the ghostbustin’ vacuum in the original Luigi’s Mansion on Gamecube.

The Poltergust will presumably replace Luigi’s previous Final Smash, the ‘Negative Zone’, from Super Smash Bros. Brawl which caused damage to any enemies trapped in it’s damage zone. The change to the Poltergust makes sense as it is more easily identifiable with Luigi and further sets his move-set apart from his brother Mario.

Alongside the image Sakurai said:

Luigi might be thinking, “Who would’ve thought I’d get to show off the Poltergust in Super Smash Bros.?!” Wondering if it’s going to suck something in? Yeah, it probably will.

Nintendo has not yet announced a firm release date for Super Smash Bros., but it is expected sometime this year on Wii U and 3DS.

Infamous: Second Son’s Day One Patch Adds 5 Hours Worth of Gameplay

Infamous_second_son_boxartInFamous: Second Son is to receive a day one update, adding 19 extra missions to the game which combined will add another 5 hours of gameplay.

The extra content will comprise of a series of episodic story missions, entitled ‘Paper Trail’. Developer, Sucker Punch, described the side-story as an “innovative online and in-game story arc”, with players tasked with uncovering the full story behind the D.U.P.’s occupation of Seattle. Players can also delve into “web-based investigations” through viral website, enjoyyourpower.com. The new content will me made available to players directly through the game each week, for six weeks.

A well as Paper Trail, the 300mb update includes the Cole’s Legacy content pack which is free to those who pre-ordered the game.

Besides the extra content the update also makes tweaks to difficulty, NPC density and graphics.

InFamous: Second Son is a Playstation 4 exclusive and releases tomorrow, March 21.

Microsoft Planning to Reward Well Behaved Xbox Live Users

XboxLive_LogoHey gamers, have you been good boys and girls and boys this year? Well good news if you have, especially if you own an Xbox, as Microsoft has announced plans to introduce a reward system for players with a good reputation.

The plans were revealed by Microsoft development lead Frank Savage at this year’s GDC (Game Developer’s Conference). According to Savage, it’s Microsoft’s way of saying “Thanks for being such a good member of the community, here’s a reward.”

Although only in the brainstorming stages at the moment, Microsoft hopes that offering rewards will encourage better behavior standards in their online community, rather than simply punishing players who behave poorly. Currently players who receive an abundance of negative feedback from others have their bad behavior reflected on their gamercard and are forced to play with other bad players in multipayer matches.

It is unknown at this stage what the rewards might be, but we will update you as more details about these plans are revealed.

Keeley Hawes to Guest Star in Doctor Who Series 8

msdelphoxThe BBC has announced that Keeley Hawes (Ashes to AshesLine of Duty) is to star in an episode of Doctor Who. Hawes will play Ms. Delphox, who is described as ‘a powerful out of this world character with a dark secret.’ The episode will see the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) ‘come face to face with the mysterious Ms Delphox when they arrive on a strange and puzzling planet.’

Steve Thompson, who wrote previous Doctor Who episodes Journey to the Centre of the Tardis and The Curse of the Black Spot, is on writing duty while Douglas Mackinnon, who worked with Hawes on Line of Duty, will direct.

Keeley Hawes said on landing the role:

I am delighted to join Doctor Who and to be working with this incredible team.  Ms Delphox is a great character and someone I’ve had a lot of fun playing.

While Showrunner, Steven Moffat, added:

Anyone watching Jed Mercurio’s amazing Line of Duty will know that Keeley Hawes is having one hell of year. And now it’s about to get even better as she achieves the greatest villainy yet attempted on Doctor Who: she plays a banker.

The announcement was made at midnight on Doctor Who’s official Facebook page, which could hint at an added importance for the character, with such announcements usually reserved for major news such as Matt Smith’s departure. With Hawes’ character having a ‘dark secret’ could she be someone from the Doctor’s past? We may have to wait until the Autumn, when the new series premieres, to find out.