The handheld console that captured the hearts and minds of hardcore gamers last E3 is finally coming to North America and Europe. The Nintendo 3DS, the next iteration of the device that won’t stop selling, is hitting stores on March 27 and will run a whopping $249.99. For the starting price, you get quite a few extra goodies which are: a 2GB SD card, a charging cradle and six Augmented Reality cards. If you’re unclear on what an Augmented Reality (shortened to AR) card is, it’s a little expansion that plugs into your 3DS and overlays images on pictures captured through your 3DS’s camera, sort of like that Star Wars iPhone game we posted about a while back.
Besides a bunch of additional dongles, the 3DS also comes packaged with quite a bit of software out of the box. The aforementioned camera is used quite a bit with these features, like the AR games and Face Raiders, which consists of taking pictures of your friend’s faces and then shooting at them. Also included is the Mii Maker which uses the 3DS’s camera to construct your Mii, and the StreetPass Mii Plaza where you can meet other Miis (I’m going to be calling this the Miit Market). Also included is the ability to transfer purchased DSiWare games from 3DS to 3DS or from a DSi to a 3DS. This being Nintendo, there is a certain limit to what can be transfered, but that hasn’t been announced yet. There are additional services that will be implemented in the 3DS in the coming months like the Internet browser and the ability to watch 3D movies.
As we’ve said many times, the thing that moves consoles are games and the 3DS has no shortage of those, with an expected 30 titles to be available between its launch date and the next E3. Sadly, Ocarina of Time, Kid Icarus and Metal Gear Solid are not specified in that list, but hit the jump to find out what the games are set to coincide with the release date:
The Wii is considered Casual Central by most hardcore gamers and industry insiders. With the exception of whatever games that Nintendo publishes, most hardcore games languish and die on the Wii, while plenty of sub-par shovelware flourishes, much to our chagrin. Before its release, I had pegged Epic Mickey as a game that would be the metaphorical canary in a coal mine regarding the ability of the Wii to have success with non-Nintendo hardcore games.
The result, to my great surprise, is that the canary lived. According to the L.A. Times, who unlike us, has access to NPD data still, Warren Spector’s camera-challenged adventure/platformer sold 1.3 million units. Frankly, I’m stunned and a little bit annoyed. Epic Mickey got mixed reviews, though with a 72 Metacritic score, they are mostly positive. Having reviewed it for GamerSushi and finding it to be severely lacking, I am frustrated that a game that, in my opinion, doesn’t deserve this kind of success finds it on the Wii, while other, more deserving games fail.
What do you think about this? Are you surprised at all? Does this validate the Wii’s hardcore credentials for you or is the jury still out?
Nintendo won over the fanboys with their 25th Anniversary Edition of Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii. Well, not all of them. As seen in this 1UP article, Nintendo screwed up royally by porting the games over with a bare minimum of extra content. Don’t get me wrong: the CD and booklet were pretty cool, but one track from each Mario game, usually the track of the first level? Not exactly what I thought I was getting.
Which leads me to wonder, as the article does, of what publishers could throw in to special editions of games to make them more worthwhile. The fabled Developer’s Commentary is always a favorite that people clamor for, but is oddly rare. Lost levels, playable ones even, would be kind of cool.
What would you like to see in collector’s editions? Do you think Nintendo missed a great opportunity here or are you happy with what they provided? Speak now!
One of the quirkier things about me is that I occasionally become laser-focused and obsessed on things. Actually, this happens all the time. All of my attention will go to one thing, much like the eye of Sauron, and I will be transfixed upon it until there is some kind of resolution.
Yesterday, Anthony directed my attention to a Nintendo DS game I hadn’t heard of before, called 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors (or 999 for short). The game is getting rave reviews, and if it can be likened to anything at all, it would be something akin to Heavy Rain. Basically, you wake up on a freighter, and you have 9 hours to solve a mystery. If you fail, you blow up. If you try to leave, you blow up. Your decisions will cause people to die (including you), and there are multiple endings and paths to figuring everything out.
As a result of reading about this game, I’ve become terribly fixated on it. I’ve basically looked at several Gamestops in my area and near work to try and find this thing used, with no luck. Only two of them even had a new copy near me, and when I went to one of them, they couldn’t actually find it. So I’m considering heading to the other store several miles away to grab it. Yes, I’m aware GameStop has a locator on their site, but so far that has lead me astray many times with other games.
I did this one other time when I searched all over Houston to buy a Dreamcast for $15 several years back, but maybe I’m crazy. My question is: have you guys ever gone on absurd quests like this for games? And have any of you heard of 999?
Nintendo has a lot of great franchises under their belt, and all of them have instantly memorable themes. Perhaps the most iconic of these, besides the Mario over-world theme, is the music from the Legend of Zelda of series. Ocarina of Time seems to be a veritable gold mine of classic songs, and at a recent gathering called Nintendo World, Ninty assembled a bunch of musicians to play a jazzed up version of the many songs found in Zelda.
Pretty wicked, if you ask me. Also, I really appreciate the saxophone player’s Street Fighter-themed dress shirt. Two more awesome mash-ups after the jump!
Another year of gaming has gone by, which means it’s time for us to reflect on the games that really made 2010 stand out all its own as one to be remembered. This trip around the sun has produced some clunkers, disappointments, triumphs, wins, fails, works of art and everything in between. We saw quality releases from January through December, and a few surprises that threw us for a major loop in the best way possible.
To create this list, the GamerSushi staff (myself, Nick, Anthony, Mitch and Jeff) all made our own individual top 10 lists. From there, Nick used the powerful science of magicmatics to conjure up a final list, based on some mumbo jumbo he did with a point system. What you see is something like an average of all of our lists together, and one that we’re all happy with, minus a few honorable mentions of course.
So, without further ramblings from myself, I present the Top 10 games of 2010!
I have made plenty of snarky remarks in the past about the nature of the Internet and how it gravitates towards certain viral videos. One of the trends that I dislike is the way everyone clamors over every single cover of the original Super Mario Bros. theme. It’s completely lost any magic it once had for me.
However, this is something different. This is one dude (Diwa de Leon) covering a medley of Super Mario Galaxy’s excellent original score. Yes, he voices/plays all the instruments himself. And yes, I’m impressed. You should be, too.
Mickey Mouse has become a mascot, so much so that many young people have no real idea that he was once a pretty great cartoon character. Enter Warren Spector and Epic Mickey, a Wii-exclusive designed to relaunch the lovable mouse, while also introducing the world to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney’s prior creation that he lost the rights to oh so many years ago. Sadly, Mickey and Oswald both deserve better than this.
Epic Mickey starts out as Mickey is pulled into the Wasteland through a series of events brought about by pure mischief. See, in the olden days before Donald Duck, Mickey was the one who was always getting into trouble and it appears that Disney is looking to bring that aspect of his personality back to the forefront. Messing about with Yen Sid’s magic paintbrush leads the Mouse on a great adventure, trying to undo the damage done by the Shadow Blot, which Mickey inadvertently created.
Up until about 2008, one of the many outrageous things that could be heard flying out of my ever-flapping lips was the statement that I thought the Nintendo DS was the best system out, bar none. Yes, that included the consoles. Now, since then, I have revised my opinion, but I can say, without blushing, that I think the DS is the best handheld system of all-time. Why? The games, man!
It always comes down to games and if you aren’t aware of the robust (cliche alert!) library the DS has to offer, fear not. Our friends over at GamePro put together a list (!) compiling the 31 Best DS Games. Although I think they missed the mark by putting Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars at the top spot, the rest of the list is pretty spot on. Personally, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is my all-time favorite, so it’s nice to see that near the top.
What DS games are your favorites? Who here has a DS? Are you happy with the games that have come out for it? Go!
The Konami Code. The Blood Code. Debug mode in Sonic 2. Great relics of my youth, tall bastions of gaming greatness. These are a few of my favorite things.
Or at least they were, back when cheat codes were still the cool thing to do. Growing up, finding ridiculous cheats was like taking the shackles off of a game, making it some feral beast that could do what it willed. Why, you could see Lara Croft’s pixel jubblies. Or spawn a tank in GTA III. Or become completely unstoppable and play Doom on Nightmare with God Mode turned on (my personal favorite).
Anyway, seeing the news that Goldeneye 007 has a big head mode stirred up whatever center of my brain produces nostalgia. Seriously, whatever happened to cheat codes? Are they still a part of games and I’m just missing them, or what?
What are some of your favorite cheat codes in video games?
Happy Saturday to you, Gamersushi visitors. As we unwind from the week, I thought I would dip back into the endless font of insane Minecraft videos and bring you something completely different. While we’ve seen some intense stuff, never before have I witnessed dedication on this level. Some poor, lonely soul has taken it upon himself to recreate the Kanto region of Pokemon Red & Blue in Minecraft and he did a really excellent job. For those of us whose younger years were formed by a Pokemon addiction, this video may bring back misty-eyed memories of that once simple pastime. Take a look:
It’s amazing what this little indie runaway has inspired people to do. This is a perfect facsimile of the levels from Pokemon, complete with a Power Plant hiding a certain Legendary bird inside. Pretty nuts, if you ask me. Anyone else impressed by this recreation?
It’s taken a while, but Nintendo’s famous turtle-stomping plumber is finally getting his due. Although Lara Croft already beat Mario to the punch in this regard, the iconic video game character is finding a way to one-up her by having the inaugural road of a new suburb in Spain named in his honor as opposed to re-naming an existing road.
Avenida de Super Mario Bros was just christened in Zaragoza in Northern Spain this past weekend, marking the first in a series of streets named after famous video game franchises and characters. Expected to follow after Mario are roads named after Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders and The Legend of Zelda, to name a few.
Arcosur, the housing zone inside the Zaragoza suburb (confusing, no?), is a project aimed at first time home buyers. The video game themed names came from an online poll where the future residents could pick the names of their streets. Besides having awesome road names, Arcosur residents hope that the media attention this is garnering will push the Spanish government to finish the project by June of 2012, its current projected completion date.
This isn’t really a huge story news wise, but I thought it was a pretty cool one to share. Most of the home owners in this neighborhood are around 20-35, so I’m not really surprised that they snuck a few video game references in there. Just for fun, what franchises would you name a street after?
A couple of years back, we did a feature about the Gaming Fortune Teller, in which we interviewed Gamestradamus, who sees into the beyond when it comes to the future of gaming. He is blessed with a unique ability to see gaming events before they happen. Rumor has it that he ran into Bobby Kotick when Bobby was but a wee lad, and saw the dollar signs in his eyes even then.
Unsurprisingly, Gamestradamus was accurate in most of the predictions he made two years ago about motion control and Bungie, so we thought we’d pay him another visit this week. Specifically, we wanted to get some insight into his knowledge about the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo’s new 3D handheld with unprecedented 3rd party support and a huge offering of classic games we know and love.
After all the months of speculation, ridicule and “is that actually what I’m going to look like playing that thing”, the launch week of Microsoft’s Kinect has finally arrived. The hands-free motion control system will be out tomorrow in North America, prompting all of its purchasers to get their Wavy McJiggleArms swinging. I jest, but I am actually interested to see what this thing does, especially considering that it is Microsoft’s big horse, on which it is pinning many of its gaming dreams.
So how do they feel about it? If you ask Aaron Greenberg, head of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, he thinks it will do just swimmingly. He feels so strongly about this, he believes it will sell units even in the face of negative game reviews for Kinect’s launch titles.
If there’s anyone on the planet who knows how to handle Nintendo properties right, it’s Retro Studios, makers of the critically and commercially successful Metroid Prime series. While I originally thought it was overkill to put the team that handled Metroid’s transition to the previous generation on something as simple as Donkey Kong, I’ve been hearing things that indicate that Retro approached Nintendo with the outline to revive this classic platformer. A new trailer just went up for the game, and it looks like a gloriously fun time. Have a watch:
Sort of in the vein of New Super Mario Bros. Wii but with the addition of the big ape we all know and love. It also looks fairly ridiculous, and it has the added benefit of being co-op enabled. So, what do you guys think of the trailer for Donkey Kong Country Returns? Got room in your holiday season for the resurgence of the Kong? The game comes out November 21.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is probably still one of my favorite video games ever, so the news that this classic will soon become portable on the Nintendo 3DS is enough to give me mind boners, to coin a term Eddy once used for the Dragon Age cinematic trailer. We’ve seen snippets of the Metal Gear Solid 3DS demo here and there since E3, but never in English, and certainly not for seven minutes. I’ve embedded the demo for Metal Gear Solid 3DS below for your viewing pleasure:
No word of a lie, that was incredible. I mean, it lacks the pop of the 3D, but you definitely get a sense that when we get this thing in our hands we’re going to be blown away. When the Snake Eater theme comes on at the end of the video, I kind of lost it. I mean, I am a huge fan of MGS3, so that’s my natural reaction, but how do you guys feel? Were you as riveted as I was? Are you waiting on a different 3DS title to grab you?
I’ve made no secret about my mad love for the Nintendo 64’s Majora’s Mask; I might even go as far to say that it is my favorite Zelda title. Why am I so infatuated with the game, though? The general consensus was that this Ocarina follow-up was OK, but it lacked the magic, the charm and the feel. I couldn’t disagree more, because Majora’s Mask was the darkest, most thematic and most engaging Zelda ever made.
Let’s start with the beginning of the game, where a child Link is riding Epona through a forest, searching for a lost friend. Right away the game established the creepy tone, with a small boy, albeit well equipped for a fight, riding through a dark misty forest. The fact that you play as young Link is meant to make you feel powerless in some respects, particularly more so as you progress through the opening chapters. Adult Link is a favorite of gamers, so right away Nintendo might have alienated some Ocarina of Time fans.
As we talked about in our awesome new podcast, this is the 25th Anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly referred to these days as the NES. This blocky console revived the video game industry, launched dozens of franchises that we still play today and generated enough gaming memories to last a lifetime.
Which is why this list of the Top 25 NES Games from 1up got me thinking. In the podcast, we talk about some of the more obscure games, but we shouldn’t ignore the popular ones either. After all, they are popular for a damn good reason: they’re awesome. Personally, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Bros 3, Dragon Warrior and The Legend of Zelda and Contra were my favorite NES games. Metroid was a bit much for me at that age, so it just misses the list.
What about you? What NES games were your favorites? Did the 1UP list put anything too high or too low? Hit me!
Being a nerd and a dude that both writes and studies numbers for my job, I suppose you could say I like statistics. While any marketing company can spin you a tale about how their games are being played online every day, it’s numbers that tell the true story, and without any of the other word garbage.
If you have the Nintendo Channel downloaded on your Wii, Nintendo has made a great deal of data available including charts and graphs and other fancy things to show fans which of their games average the most play time per user. This data is pulled from users who share their data with Nintendo via the Wii, and it figures out what users play and for how long. Each month, Kotaku pulls these 20 most loved Wii games for nerds like you and I to take a gander at.
This month’s edition of the statistics reveal a few interesting things, including the fact that Super Smash Bros (which averages 78 hours of play time per user) has been de-throned from the number one spot. You might be wondering which game would take down such a lofty title, one that formed some of the most fun I had on the Wii in my short time of owning one. Hit the jump to see the full list!
When it comes to original video content, I think that GameTrailers has some of the best retrospective features around. They’re usually informative, entertaining and ridiculously well researched. And to top it off, they’re about some of the biggest franchises in all of gaming.
This week, in honor of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’s release, they return with part 1 of their Castlevania Retrospective, which is all about the origin of Dracula and his sordid history with the Belmont clan. Having never played a Castlevania game (don’t tar and feather me, Anthony), this whole thing is pretty fascinating to me, and I’d be a crazy person to hear that music and see that gameplay and not start itching to pick those titles up. Going to have to add Symphony of the Night to the list, and soon. I seriously can’t get enough of these things.
Can we get a roll call from the Castlevania fans out there?