Monday, May 25, 2015

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse... reviewed!

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse... reviewed!


Fantastic platform adventure that makes me wish there were more of an adventure in Mighty Switch Force games.

If you’re not familiar with the Shantae series, just know that it is a 2D platformer placing you in the role of a charming genie by the name of… Shantae (of course), but this time around you’re a lot less ½ genie.

This game started off a bit too easy in the beginning (for me)… but be warned, if you aren’t prepared, you’ll be sent running back to the drawing board (which is to be expected as you progress, so consider that a “duh”). The story in this game is almost as important as the gameplay… and the developer did a great job making the puzzle fit together. The buildup is great because you aren’t just going in equipped with a slew of abilities; you have to work your way up.

I say that to say… don’t go in expecting to access everything from the beginning, even if something is on an island that you’ve unlocked (and you see it clear as day). You may get caught up on how to access or get something because it’s there, but if it’s out of the reach of your current capabilities… it may be that way for a reason (so don’t question your skills). New abilities are like keys to unlock doors.

The replay value comes into play when you increase your abilities, and you will find progression in the story when this happens… a good chunk of the time. There are games out there where racing from start to finish is the key (and you have the ability to challenge a clock here too), but there will be various objectives required where you may visit an island more than once (just so you know), so you can either dash or appreciate the story. Scuttle Town is home… also doubling as your hub with plenty of nifty little progressive scenarios to enjoy while moving forward so that you aren’t just returning home to interact with NPC’s stuck on repeat. I appreciate that about this game, it gives an RPG’ish feel beyond those of gaining new abilities. EXP isn’t really the thing that brings about new abilities in this game though, unless you consider the gems as a form of EXP. Once enough gems are obtained, you can use them to buy skill enhancements… for certain things, while the others will come with game progression (as mentioned above). Replay value is also found in this game thanks to multiple endings... and an unlockable Pirate-Mode.

**You do have the ability to grind, and it’s easier in some areas than others… if that’s something you’d fancy.**

The artwork and the music in this game… are additional reasons I came back for more, because they got my attention from the beginning and had me looking forward to what I’d see/hear next. Art wise… I can see the team creating a new Metal Slug game, or even a new 2D Sonic the Hedgehog title.

Fun fact: Character portraits were done by Mega Man developer Inti Creates!

If WayForward ever decided to make a 3D version of a Shantae adventure… keeping everything true to the feel of the Shantae series, I think it would be one of those welcomed titles that brings back an interest in 3D platformers (at least the quality ones, and since it would be 3rd party… it could be enjoyed on more than Nintendo platforms).

Overall, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse… is a welcomed 2D adventure that gives me not only a welcomed break from multiplayer games, but it also gave me the opportunity to enjoy a cool adventure.


Fun factor: 5
Visually: 5
Replay value: 5
Price: 5

"5 / 5 Mushrooms"

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nintendo Theme Park Attractions are COMING! + From the Source: Nintendo & Universal - Theme Park Attractions Announcement + Splatoon Direct

Nintendo's Theme Park is finally coming... to Universal via attractions!

We've mentioned this topic to you... and Nintendo in the past (Nin-Dem vets may recall that episode), but it's actually coming... and I appreciate Nintendo pushing to make it happen in a creative way that wouldn't require them doing it on their own placing their resources at risk. We're not crazy about seeing an anti-net neutrality company being a part of this... but if its the only way to make it happen, lets see how it goes.

I hope (hope) that this isn't done... on a small scale, because Nintendo's franchises aren't just something worth a carousel ride or something... they really need to deliver. I hope that they bring a sort of Nintendo Land... area to the park where you can be immersed in Nintendo (beyond just being on the rides).


Suggestions:

Mario Kart Track... that allows for you to enjoy the game in reality.
A Game Tournament Area... would make sense for not only game tournament (finals, etc. w/ actual rewards) but also shows, and Nintendo could even deliver some sort of pre-E3 show or after-E3 event in this area. That alone should attract people to the park.

Plenty of sitting areas for street pass action... because there should be a crap load of people with 3DS's interacting like crazy. Streetpass... mania!

Well... on to the news
(and just to be clear... they're saying "Theme Park Attractions" not "Theme Park" by itself)!
May 7, 2015 13:00 UTC

Nintendo Partners with Universal Parks & Resorts to Create World’s First-Ever Theme Park Attractions Based on Nintendo’s Beloved Games and Characters

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LogoKYOTO, Japan & ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts today announced plans to bring the world of Nintendo to life at Universal theme parks – creating spectacular, dedicated experiences based on Nintendo’s wildly popular games, characters and worlds.
The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Nintendo as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.
Universal theme parks offer incredibly popular, innovative themed family entertainment experiences based on compelling stories and characters – using powerful storytelling and innovative technology. Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters. Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways – only at Universal theme parks.
The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal’s theme parks and will feature Nintendo’s most famous characters and games. More details will be announced in the future, as the Nintendo and Universal creative teams work to create specific concepts.

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Splatoon Direct... is here!

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May 7, 2015 16:00 UTC

Nintendo News: Nintendo Download Highlights New Digital Content for Nintendo Systems

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
High Strangeness is the first of its kind – a deftly blended hybrid of 8- and 16-bit games. (Photo:  ...
High Strangeness is the first of its kind – a deftly blended hybrid of 8- and 16-bit games. (Photo: Business Wire)
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Splatoon Global Testfire – Get a taste of Turf War! To celebrate the upcoming launch of the Splatoon game on May 29, we’re offering an early chance to get your feet wet (with ink) in the Splatoon Global Testfire! Download the free demo, jump online and fight it out in fast and furious four-on-four Turf War battles. This global event will only be active during a few short time periods between May 8 and May 9. Don’t miss this early chance to get inked!

      Event times: (You can only play during these times, which are designed to accommodate people around the world.)
      ● Friday, May 8, 8-9 p.m. PT
      ● Saturday, May 9, 4-5 a.m. PT
      ● Saturday, May 9, Noon-1 p.m. PT

      In addition, to help fans start playing as soon as possible, we’re offering a new buying option that lets you pre-load the game before it launches. Here’s how it works: Starting today, if you pre-purchase the game in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U, it will pre-load the game to your system so you’ll be able to play after a small game update when it launches on May 29. Be one of the first to play!
    • High Strangeness – High Strangeness is the first of its kind – a deftly blended hybrid of 8- and 16-bit games. Drawing inspiration from some of the timeless RPG and adventure classics that hailed from both generations, players take on the role of Boyd, who along with his trusty (yet sarcastic) feline friend, traverses between two worlds in order to solve a multi-layered mystery. The game’s core ability is to switch between 8- and 16-bit worlds to solve puzzles and explore the universe.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

    • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker – You’re stuck in a world that has been invaded and is on the brink of non-existence. At the same time, you and your friends have gained the power to fight against fate. The countdown begins: Will you be able to save the future of mankind? Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker is now available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS. As a bonus, download two free pieces of DLC with more coming soon to help out with your fight.
    • Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition – To help fans start playing as soon as possible, starting today, we’re offering a new buying option that lets you pre-load the game before it launches. Here’s how it works: If you pre-purchase the game in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS, it will pre-load the game. That means you’ll be able to play after a small game update when it launches! As an added bonus, those who purchase the game in the Nintendo eShop between now and 11:59 p.m. PT on May 31 will receive a free Immortal Dragon Relic Present Code! The relic will be available when the game launches. In the meantime, don’t forget to download the free special demo that is now available in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS. You can try out the Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition game before it launches on May 22.
  • Virtual Console on Wii U

    • Mega Man & Bass – The fans have spoken, and the winner of the poll to determine the first game in Mega May is … Mega Man & Bass! Choose either Mega Man or Bass to battle against the latest menace in town. Mega Man can power-charge his cannon, while Bass can rapid-fire in multiple directions. Each with his own unique abilities, canine companions and motivations to fight, Mega Man and Bass set out to stop King and his robot army.
    • Metal Marines – As the Commander of the allied Colonies, you must defeat the imperial forces in a series of battles. In this Super NES real-time strategy game, lead the Metal Marines on intense raids against Zorgeuf and his empire as you build strong defenses, launch devastating missile strikes and ultimately decide the fate of the nations.
Nintendo eShop Sales:
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS
    • SteamWorld Dig on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is up to 55 percent off (reduced to $4.49 each) until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 21.
    • Angry Birds Star Wars on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is 50 percent off until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 11.
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U

    • Trine Series Fan Discount – Trine Enchanted Edition and Trine 2: Director’s Cut are each up to 50 percent off until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 28. As a bonus, if you own either game, you’ll receive an additional 20 percent off of the other game during the sale period.
    • Puddle is 75 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $1.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 14.
    • Dolphin Up is 25 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $2.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 14.
    • GravBlocks+ is 49 percent off (reduced from $4.99 to $2.50) until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 17.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

    • Brunch PanicKami and Sweet Memories – Blackjack from Circle Entertainment are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 28.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is 20 percent off (reduced from $49.99 to $39.99) from 9 a.m. PT on May 11 until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 25.
    • Aqua Moto Racing 3D is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on May 14.
    • Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX is 37 percent off (reduced from $8 to $4.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 9 until 8:59 a.m. PT on June 9.
Activities:
  • Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. “Watt’s Up?” Tournament – See how your Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. squad stacks up online in Nintendo’s Public Tournaments. Top players earn unique titles that are visible online and earn major bragging rights with their friends and around the world. The new “Watt’s Up?” tournament runs from May 8 to May 10. Opt in via the SpotPass feature for notifications on future tournaments, and click here for more information about multiplayer tournaments. Good luck, agents!
Price reduction:
  • Nintendo eShop on Wii U
    • Hello Kitty Kruisers is reduced to $9.99 (from $19.95) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 8.
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
    • Balloon Pop RemixJohnny HotshotJohnny Impossible and Johnny Kung Fu are reduced to $2.99 (from $4.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 5.
    • Samurai Sword Destiny and Zombie Slayer Diox are reduced to $2.99 (from $5.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 5.
    • Disney Frozen: Olaf’s Quest is reduced to $19.99 (from $29.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 5.
    • Scarygirl Illustration Kit is reduced to $2.99 (from $5.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 7.
    • Tangram Attack is reduced to $1.49 (from $2.99) beginning at 9 a.m. PT on May 7.
Also new this week:
  • Trine Enchanted Edition – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Wii U)
  • Zen Pinball 2 – New DLC (Nintendo eShop on Wii U)
  • Bloo Kid 2 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
  • Johnny Dynamite (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
  • The Legend of Dark Witch – Demo Version (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Nintendo... you REALLY need to stop! + What Ex-Nintendo Fans have to say + Masahiro Sakurai strikes + Yadda Yadda Fun!

Stop it Nintendo!

Oooohhhhh the suspense... oh the drama, what in the heck happened? Nintendo happened... to themselves. What happened RkRk? Well i'll tell you (self, and the rest of the readers wondering why i'm writing something to myself)... Nintendo (AGAIN) is labeling "Games for Kids".

(The Intergalactic Super Gamer insisted that it be in the next post... sooo here it is.) Nintendo already dealt with a blow landed by... assumptions that their console and handheld were hardware designed specifically for kids, and there were people stepping away from them because of that notion (and plenty of media personalities slapped that kiddie title on them too) so then they tried to appeal to hardcore but... it still didn't matter. Clearly the systems aren't just for kids, but there are enough people refusing to take the time to realize that, and Nintendo isn't helping that.

Nintendo does certain things that prevent them from being even more successful due the challenges they put in their own way (i'll talk about some in a sec), and that too contributed to a lack of 3rd party support.

Check out this "Games for Kids" category in the 3DS eShop:

- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS
- Pokemon Omega Ruby
- Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Mario Kart 7
- Yoshi's New Island
- LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
- Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger Of The Ooze
- Tomodachi Life
- Ultimate NES Remix
- OlliOlli
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe
- Disney Frozen: Olaf's Quest
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
- Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
- Inazuma Eleven
- Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure
- SteamWorld Dig
- Woah Dave!
- Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appetit!

I don't know who makes these category names... but to help Nintendo, they need to stop (like seriously stop) labeling games as "Games for Kids". Where does that leave teens and adults that play these games? Should teens and adults feel ashamed for playing these games and leave them alone because they're considered "Games for Kids"? I'm not saying this is something that should be done... but (my point is) don't label games in a way that further down plays your products while trying to appeal to other age groups.

Nintendo: If you want to get to that next step, you need to break out of this crap. If you want to create some games aimed strictly towards kids... make them, but don't do this to yourselves and scare off developers that want to appeal to older age groups because they fear that kids are the primary audience you have. Cool?


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Ex-Nintendo Fans express themselves


Ever see developers that can really make a splash to impact Nintendo's 3rd party library and... it seems like Nintendo refuses to acknowledge them, even if the only thing stopping them is funding for a 3DS or Wii U release? (This was sparked by a recent review... and Q&A response, but not specifically for that game, mainly just the topic.) Big names don't always mean great games, and who knows what could come with the right support... we've seen what could be a great game shot down (just couldn't speak on it due to an NDA). It would've been perfect on the Wii U, and we've seen other games that fit the slot perfectly too... but the small developers couldn't cover what was needed to make it happen so on to other platforms they go (and where does this leave Wii U owners?).

There are... ex-fans that are happy for Nintendo and their cool 1st party lineups, but... they are ex-fans because they are tired of dealing with Nintendo. I had to dig further because... there had to be more to being "tired" of a platform/developer, and I really can't argue with some of the things said.

Nintendo played it safe for what benefits Nintendo... but they are still finding it hard to get the attention of 3rd party (on the Wii U at least) so they must absolutely avoid taking certain steps with the next system (no slew of existing games on current consoles to showcase a new system, don't give off the kiddie vibe, etc). I know they want to... but they have to do it if they want more 3rd party developers releasing titles on their system (make it easier for developers).
You don't have to dump money in 3rd party, but the simpler the process, the better... and if a game is worthy... you may want to make a move on it.

Ex-Fan 1: I want to play more games than they have, and there are more 3rd party games that I want to play that outnumber their 1st party games. On PC I can get them for cheap, and on other consoles I can get exclusives and good 3rd party not just a bunch of small indie games.

RkRk: There are some small... but good indie games out there, but I know where you're coming from.

No i'm not saying they're bad, but that's not the only stuff I want to play.

Ex-Fan 2: I don't give a **** about console wars or being a PC elitist I just wanna put that out there, I just don't have money falling out of my *** and I need to make sure that i'm getting the most bang for my buck. You know?

Nintendo waits too damn long, and then they wake the **** up when the fires on their ***, but its whatever. Did you see more of their current news ****? You work for them? **** they need to do some cool **** like hiring your *** or somebody like you guys that are younger than them and don't act like them. Miyamoto's a cool ************ but he doesn't run ****. If they had someone in there we could actually ******* relate too it would be more comfortable to invest in their **** because then good **** should come if they roll with it. A lot of 3rd party are thinking like a lot of gamers and just saying **** it, they aren't going to waste the money making making wii u **** even if its half ***ed 3rd party games. Its ******* wild because the 1st party games are sweet but I don't have money to get each game system, i'm catching the city bus to get my *** to work. You know? I mean ****.

So I don't care about supporting them over supporting myself because they could give a diaper full of rat **** about me you know? So they better shape their **** up because Playstation 4 is rocking the **** right now. You know? Really need to have the right stuff that entertains me in order to get any of the pennies I scrap together to make those types of buys possible. Sorry about the swearing, but **** they're like a mule you'd tried to pull off of a sinking ship so I left their *** there. You know? Sorry about the swearing.

I wouldn't say the guy swore like a sailor, because I don't know many sailors... but (whew) he really knew how to lay into those words in a way that were comical (I wasn't entirely sure if he was drunk or not). I can agree (minus the barrage of bad language) because... we've discussed these things, with love and respect for good indie games on Nintendo platforms. Serious indies... fly high this isn't a topic about downing you at all, (its just that) Nintendo really really (like seriously) needs to make sure that the next system is open enough to fully develop from PC without the need of anything acting as a bridge to make it happen (so that even more 3rd party developers have additional options). Increased Nintendo console owners mean increased potential customers for every game available on their platforms... and that's how one hand washes the other (as long as the variety of games are there and they're good from 1st & 3rd parties).

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Speaking of 3rd party, NoconKid should be hired to help head a team to remake Shenmue.

By today's standards, the world wasn't that massive at all... so what's so challenging about Sega lighting a match to launch such a wonderful game again?

They could increase the personalities of the people, the things you can do, the realism and relationship with your love interest (Nozomi)... and all that good stuff.

Shenmue HD Is Being Made By A Fan, Because Sega
They could even bring in more classic games via DLC so that you have more to play in the arcade and at home.

Shemue could be stand-alone (with the entire 1 - 3 experience in one installment)... or it could run from 1 to whatever (with your progress in tact just like on the Sega Dreamcast). They make it a lot more complicated than it has to be... when all they have to do is first lay the cards on the table to figure out the best way to approach the development. Effort will be required... hire people that love the game and have the capability to shock the crap out of fans and people experiencing it for the first time. You can't be stubborn, and when you bring in people that actually care, and treat them like you actually care... the magic will be there.

Do something with Shenmue... or sell the IP, and i'm not talking about Ryo appearing in another Sonic racing game either! In other words... if you don't believe in the IP, sell it off to someone that does and don't look back (even) if it does amazingly well!

Shenmue HD Is Being Made By A Fan, Because SegaAnyone that's part of a game company... should have some interest in games so that there is passion to deliver great experiences. I wouldn't want someone making my food that has no interest in cooking, because I don't want to end up with a bland plate of WTF?, and like other things, gaming is among the things in that area that require passion. Business surpassed passion in a lot of studios (i'm not going to point them out)... at no fault of some of the development teams, so is there really any reason why it's a shock that some games come out incomplete... destined to be a beta once downloadable patches are no longer available for them?

Some people only know games that require patches (how sad)... and if you ever get a chance to go back in time, don't hesitate because its one of the reasons why there is a huge appreciation for the golden age of gaming (over this business age of gaming). Anyway... this fan project shouldn't be ignored in a positive way, and it shouldn't be impacted in a negative way... fans may want to see what comes of this.

Sleeping Dogs has a lot more to it than Shenmue... and just seeing this fan project takes me back. Summers in a high rise, couch full of friends (yes... we hung out in person), playing Dreamcast, Gamecube, PS2... (sigh... the memories) chomping on pizza and... it was just awesome. I can smell the chlorine from the pool as I type.

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Do you work for game companies without even realizing it?

Masahiro Sakurai of  Nintendo
Sakurai criticizes unfinished games being sold in the industry... and even though he's very late to that party, forget what other developers are doing if they aren't doing it on a Nintendo (as a developer). I'd like to know his take on what Nintendo needs to do with the NX (never mind what's going on else where... unless its coming from his perspective as someone interested in playing the other games).

He has a point though, and a lot of people that game whether they'd want to admit it or not... have become play testers for games that require patches (oh yes... you have) if you've reported bugs or made any customer support contacts about anything that requires a fix. So you've purchased a fully priced game, to be a free game tester for someone else earning the money. Crazy right?

Our advice, put it on your resume... seriously.

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We won't leave you with those topics only... because along with those things, so exist great games heading our way. Fun it up!




Looking forward to Xenoblade Chronicles X? You aren't alone, check out the... Xenoblade Chronicles X Video Showcase!

Didn't get enough? We didn't think so... (sooo) here is an hour plus of Xenoblade Chronicles X gameplay!


Nintendo didn't exactly take the route we'd prefer with a Splatoon event... but hey, it's happening. If you want to take part in the Splatoon Mess Fest... the details are below:

Splatoon Mess Fest
Friday, May 15th (11am - 7pm)
Santa Monica Pier Parking Deck
California

Oh yeah... and don't miss out on the Splatoon Direct! It would be launching out of that ink spot on your floor... on May 7th (2015)!

A game that we're all really excited about (though it could be me making the claim for everyone)... is Just Cause 3, and I look forward to swan diving into this game on PC as soon as possible (yes PC... paywall-me-not baby!). It will be on PS4 and Xbox One also... so don't miss out if you like big action in an open world setting.