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amiibo cards photo
amiibo cards

The first amiibo cards are up for pre-order

Animal Crossing Series 1
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
Amazon is now taking pre-orders for the Animal Crossing amiibo cards. Be strong. 100 cards are in Series 1 and they're being sold in packs of six for $5.99. Currently, Amazon is limiting orders to four packs per person, thoug...
Pokemon photo

The Yo-Kai Watch anime debuts in October in the US

The next worldwide Pokemon?
Sep 22
// Chris Carter
There are a number of reasons why Pokémon took off overseas (the games were pretty damn good for one), but there's no doubt that the massive success of the TV show and movie series have played their part. Now, Nintendo...
Animal Crossing photo
Animal Crossing

This gorilla wants to give you gifts in the new Animal Crossing

Do you trust him?
Sep 22
// Jordan Devore
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry while looking at Louie. He initially seems funny in an off-brand Donkey Kong sort of way, but the longer I stare, the more unsettling his appearance becomes. He's headed to Animal Crossing...

Review: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer

Sep 22 // Ben Davis
Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS)Developer: NintendoPublisher: NintendoRelease Date: September 25, 2015MSRP: $39.99 Happy Home Designer puts the player in the role of interior decorator as an employee of the Happy Home Academy. It's your job to listen to clients' requests, fulfill their needs, and add your own bit of flair to their home designs. There are more than 300 villagers in need of decorating advice, and Isabelle will visit with requests to design public facilities around town. Each villager request will have a special theme to follow pertaining to their vision of an ideal home, such as "a tropical resort," "a forest of books," or "a bamboo playground." They'll bring along a few pieces of their favorite furniture which must be used in the design, but the rest is up to you. Design their yards, the exterior of their homes, and of course the inside as well, and try to fit the theme to make the clients happy. Isabelle will also drop by occasionally with requests to design larger public spaces, such as restaurants, schools, hospitals, and more. Many of these buildings have multiple rooms to decorate, each with their own set of requirements. These were the most fun for me, because I got to use items which I never wanted to use in my own home in previous Animal Crossing games, and the layouts were a lot different than what I was used to working with, so everything felt new to me. [embed]311329:60430:0[/embed] Every new request adds new items to the catalog of furniture at your disposal. Any of these new items are sure to make the client happy, although ultimately it really doesn't matter too much. They will be pleased as long as the furniture they brought along is used, and it's actually not possible to say that the house is finished until those items have been placed, so there's really no way to make any of the clients unhappy. This was the most disappointing thing about the game to me. I was hoping to be graded on my designs, with the ability to make clients happier with more thoughtful interior decorating skills or upset if their house turned out to be a disaster. In reality, they'll be just as happy if you take time designing a beautiful house as they will be if you walk in, unpack their boxes, and say that everything is finished without adding or moving anything at all. It's terribly unsatisfying, but I suppose it does give players the freedom to play however they like without the fear of upsetting any of the villagers. Fortunately, your designs can be graded by other players if you choose to upload them to the Internet via the Happy Home Network. Houses and public facilities can be rated by four different categories: cuteness, coolness, uniqueness, and the "I'd live here!" factor. If you find an interesting design online, you can visit that person's house to walk around and check it out before giving an assessment. It's a pretty neat feature and a good way to get some feedback, but it's not quite the same as having the game score your designs. That being said, designing rooms is still super fun, and easier than ever to do. Just drag, drop, and rotate furniture with the touch screen, add more items from the catalog, duplicate items with the L and R buttons, drag unwanted stuff to the trash can, and voila! No more slowly pushing and pulling furniture into place (but you can do that too if you want). Also, there are no bells to worry about, so the only limit to the amount of items which can be added to a room is the space afforded by the floor plan. Decorating rooms in Animal Crossing has never been simpler. There are also options to add ceiling fixtures, create your own custom designs, have Cyrus refurbish stuff, add background noise other than music, and more which can all be unlocked with Play Coins. Once a house or public space is finished, you're free to go back and visit it whenever to hang out with the residents or offer a remodel (although public spaces can only be remodeled after they have all been built). Villagers who have been helped already can be found walking around town, and new potential clients can also be found wandering around with thought bubbles above their heads. Finished public spaces will also be used by villagers, and their roles within the buildings can be chosen by the player (meaning you can decide which villagers are customers or employees). Happy Home Designer features support for amiibo cards. The game includes one amiibo card to start with, and more can be bought in packs for $5.99. The cards can be used to design homes for special villagers who wouldn't normally come by as clients. I got Lyle's card, for example, a higher-up at the Happy Home Academy, so I got to decorate my coworker's home. The cards can also be used to summon villagers to public spaces, so the town can be populated by all of your favorite villagers. That's essentially all there is to Happy Home Designer. Just design homes and admire the finished projects. But even for such a simple idea, I still find myself going back in to see which villagers are looking for a new home and how interesting their theme sounds. It's strangely addicting, and designing homes for some of the more offbeat villagers like the mad scientists, wrestling fanatics, and criminal masterminds is really fun. I just wish they had built in some kind of grading rhetoric for how well your designs resonated with the clients. There has always been a grading mechanic for your own homes in previous Animal Crossing games, where the Happy Home Academy would award points based on how well the furniture fit together, how everything was arranged, and so forth. It's strange they would scrap that idea for a game built entirely around the Happy Home Academy, but that's the way it is. I would recommend Happy Home Designer for anyone who really enjoys designing and decorating virtual spaces. If finding the perfect furniture for your house in Animal Crossing was your favorite part of the series, then you'll surely get some enjoyment out of this game. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Animal Crossing review photo
Comfortable living
Animal Crossing's home design feature was actually the thing that got me hooked on the series in the first place. Back when I was addicted to building houses in The Sims, one of my friends came over for a visit and broug...

Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors requires New 3DS to play in 3D

Needed the additional processing power
Sep 21
// Kyle MacGregor
While Hyrule Warriors Legends, an updated Nintendo 3DS port of last year's action game, will be compatible with older models of the portable, its stereoscopic 3D effects will not. Speaking with 4Gamer at Tokyo Game Show, prod...
Questions photo

Is there a fictional character that you'd follow anywhere?

I'm looking at you, Segata
Sep 20
// Jonathan Holmes
Back in the Atari 2600 days, it felt like there were only a few hundred video game characters throughout the industry as a whole, with only a few like Pac-Man or Pitfall Harry with any personality to speak of. These days it'...
Disney Magical World 2 photo
Disney Magical World 2

Disney Magical World 2 is pushing the Frozen property pretty hard

Much to my chagrin
Sep 19
// Chris Carter
So, Frozen. I must be one of the only people on the planet who doesn't like it. I mean, I love Elsa -- it's about time Idina Menzel and her amazing voice got the respect she deserves -- but the rest, including most of th...
Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Nintendo characters join Project X Zone 2 cast

Chrom, Lucina, Fiora, oh my!
Sep 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Project X Zone was a nice bit of fan service, and the sequel seems to be taking things up a notch. In addition to featuring a procession of familiar faces from the vaults of Sega, Capcom, and Bandai Namco, Project X Zone 2 wi...

Monster Hunter Diary contains pure silliness, with plenty of cats

Sep 18 // Chris Carter
Diary DX is very much like Animal Crossing, or in a more relevant but more obscure comparison, Disney's Magical World. It's part simulator in the sense that you can roam around talking to other Palicos in the Monster Hunter universe, but the end goal is to participate in a bunch of mini-games located within each micro hub. The hub itself is made of different spokes, with the ability to fast travel instantly with the tap of the bottom screen. Palicos are front and center here, inhabiting each realm and going along for the mini-game rides. During my time with the demo I was able to play two such micro-games -- a pig race, and a Patapon-like sidescrolling adventure sequence. The former sees players betting on pig-riding Palicos, with the power to control a single rider, jumping over logs and other obstacles in the race for first. It's simple, and not something I'd likely want to do more than a few times in total. The Patapon bit was a tad more enjoyable, as it provides options as you follow a set path, like the choice to eat a mushroom, ignore it, or harvest the ingredients -- likewise, enemies can be approached with a stealth or combat option. For the most part, this seems really geared towards Monster Hunter fans, and it's something that the younger audience would enjoy more than a seasoned veteran of the franchise. Monster Hunter Diary DX was recently released this past week in Japan, with Mario and Tom Nook costumes. There's still no word on a localization, but it might be possible if the series continues to sell like gangbusters in the US.
Monster Hunter Diary DX photo
Did I mention the cats?
Monster Hunter Diary DX for the Nintendo 3DS is a silly game. That much is evident from watching the series of commercials presented on a nearby TV screen at TGS, which shows a variety of cats in a variety of different k...

Phoenix Wright 6 photo
Phoenix Wright 6

Phoenix Wright 6's setting marks the biggest departure for the core series

Also, dead people vision
Sep 18
// Chris Carter
I'm pretty happy that Phoenix Wright has permeated throughout the gaming industry. He has a full-on combat appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, his own live-action film, a crossover with Professor Layton, and now, as a summon i...

7th Dragon III Code: VDS is uncompromising, or I suck at video games

Sep 18 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]311332:60431:0[/embed] Those two little bastards repeatedly killed me. Like, ten times straight. Each of their attacks would take off a third of my health, leaving me forced to use a health potion. They attacked again and I was right back where I started. When I got a blow in, it wouldn't defeat one of them (even my specials). Worse, because I didn't spend that time healing, I'd usually die on their next turn. I tasted victory once when it let me start the encounter with a preemptive attack. I think the game felt bad for me. With only a sliver of health left, I dealt the final strike and escaped the situation scathed but alive. Progress. Incredibly uncompromising and frustrating progress, but progress nonetheless. Seconds later, I hit another random encounter against the same two enemies but now with the amount of health I had after the first fight. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. I gave up. 7th Dragon III Code: VDS wasn't going to work out for me. I know when I'm bested, and I absolutely was. Maybe I was missing something important and it's really not all that hard. Maybe it's tough as nails. Whatever the case, it sent me packing with my tail between my legs, and it's been a long time since a demo has been able to do that to me.
RPGs that are hard af photo
Maybe both
As I spend the week demoing games that are entirely in Japanese, I accept that I'm not going to understand a lot of things. I know the kanji for "forest" and that's the extent of my fluency with the language. Dialogue's the f...

Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Free Shovel Knight DLC

Also, Skylanders
Sep 17
// Chris Carter
We already have a heads-up on what's going down this week on the Wii U and 3DS eShop, and the headliner is easily the free Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows update. This expansion will be integrated into the game by way o...
Ace Attorney 6 photo
Ace Attorney 6

Ace Attorney 6 trailer is looking pretty feudal

Nice beard, judge
Sep 17
// Darren Nakamura
Capcom has a new Japanese trailer up for the recently announced Ace Attorney 6. Though I don't know what they're saying, it has all the desk-pounding and witness-badgering we have come to expect from the series. Also, check o...

Very Quick Tips: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows

Sep 17 // Chris Carter
General tips: Although Plague Knight's explosion is mostly meant for horizontal movement, you can actually trigger an up-explosion as well. It gives you a lot more control and is generally a whole lot safer. Note your invincibility frames during your explosion attack. You can briefly avoid damage with the initial blast, but anything that hits you directly after is fair game. Don't recklessly use the explosion to avoid constant damage. Additionally, getting hit allows you to start charging an explosion, and since Plague Knight flinches quite a bit, you'll want to remember this. You can also charge during screen transitions and in-game animations. The best time to use health potions is either the start of a level you are confident with, or right before a boss fight. Don't waste precious temporary health slots on a blind run of a stage until you learn the layout. If you find a potion on the way to a boss and are at the maximum allotment, drink one to pick it up. Attacking mid-air delays your descent, but you'll need to attack more than once to cue the slow. You can also combo into more explosions to nudge over to a ledge or avoid enemies on the ground. Collect the Cipher coins -- seriously. If you avoid everything else, including cash, just get the Coins. They're vital to opening up more upgrades in the shop. Though the standard equipment is enough to complete the entire game, the host of options available might suit your personal playstyle better.
Shovel Knight tips photo
I can dig it...wait
Much like Shovel Knight, the Plague of Shadows expansion was pretty top-notch. Since the new anti-hero controls rather differently than the titular hero, I figured I'd share a few tips in regards to the changes.

Hyrule Warriors Legends photo
Hyrule Warriors Legends

Hyrule Warriors Legends is releasing in Japan on January 21

Ganondorf's luscious locks on 3DS!
Sep 17
// Joe Parlock
The 3DS re-release of Koei Tecmo’s Zelda game, Hyrule Warriors, has been dated in Japan. We also got a shiny new trailer showing off what's new in the game. Hyrule Warriors Legends, which introduces a crapton of new st...

Monster Hunter Stories takes the series in an entirely different direction

Sep 17 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]311169:60408:0[/embed] Because of the language barrier (the demo was entirely in Japanese), it was unclear to me if this is solely a random event or if there are patterns you can pick out. Fortunately, the rest was easy enough to figure out just from familiarity with turn-based games. Replenishing health was necessary a couple of times via healing potions; otherwise, attacking was the way to go. All that was training for the quest's final boss: some sort of giant, unhappy dragon. His health bar was obscured by question marks, so all I could do was fight on and hope that he was near death. It added a nice sense of tension. I fought alongside my humble looking monster in hopes of taking down this formidable-looking foe. We didn't stay side-by-side the entire time, though. Eventually, something called my Kizuna Stone filled up and I could hop on top of my monster for a particularly powerful group attack. This was accompanied by a slick animation to verify that, yes, whatever was happening was indeed special. A few of these, some solo attacks, and a couple rock, paper, scissors victories later and the dragon was defeated. We did it, monster buddy. It may be more Pokemon than Monster Hunter, but Stories is undoubtedly entertaining. It's breaking the series formula to try something new, but piggybacking on franchise popularity. At least it's thematically consistent. After all, piggybacking's kind of the entire point in Monster Hunter Stories.
Monster Hunter Stories photo
Ride or die
In a lot of ways, Monster Hunter Stories doesn't necessarily feel like Monster Hunter. It shouldn't; it's different. The Monster Hunter series that has grown an immense following basks in constant action and team-or...

Project X Zone 2 is more of the same, with new faces

Sep 16 // Chris Carter
To be clear, Project X Zone 2, so far, seems to be more of the same. Although Bandai Namco has promised advancements when it comes to the combat system, it's still very simplistic, and more style than substance. That's not to say that there's no strategic depth involved in general though, as the decision to employ defensive options at the cost of SP is alive and well, in addition to the general placement of your characters in each mission's grid. It just isn't nearly as nuanced as a lot of other SPRGs on the market. During my hands-on time with the game I was able to play a full level, which followed the mundane task of "killing all enemies," an objective typically found in the first iteration. Having completed the original it was an all-too familiar sight, albeit with the typical rush of playing as some of my favorite video game characters. During the demo I had access to Dante/Vergil, Chun-Li/Ling Xiaoyu, Strider Hiryu/Hotsuma, Kazuma Kiryu/Goro Majima teams, as well as the solo units of Captain Commando, Phoenix Wright, and and Ulala. As expected, the flair didn't disappoint. Dante/Vergil were a joy to play as, and the ninja team of Strider/Hotsuma (Shinobi) was just perfect. Seeing Captain Commando was also a treat, as he doesn't get nearly enough respect these days. Every single character is represented well, even the ones that can merely be called in by core units. It may be fanservice, but developer Monolith Soft is handling it in stride. Series producer Kensuke Tsukanaka was on-hand to talk about the game, and noted that in particular, they want people to know that this is a character-focused game, so the opening animation will not only feature every playable hero, but will clock in at just over two minutes in length. Tsukanaka went on to state, "We're aiming to look for new fans with an even bigger cast. We want people to see a new character and ask 'what game is this from?' We want them to become even more involved with the industry as a whole." The team is also stepping up the original animation with the sequel, as there will be more artwork than before both in and out of combat. I noticed this particularly during my demo session, as supers and abilities had a bit more visual flair than usual. When asked how this collaboration was even possible, Tsukanaka replied that "all of us have a mutual respect for each other. We've also collaborated for years with one another, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to create this project. The rivalry still exists, but it's a friendly one." Project X Zone 2 is still set for a November launch in Japan, and a February 16 date for the US was just announced.
Project X Zone 2 photo
Your mileage will vary
Based on the reception to Project X Zone 2, it's clear to see that it's a "hate it or love it" affair. Fans seemed to really take to the idea of playing as a cavalcade of heroes from some of their favorite franchises, but oth...

Project X Zone 2 dated photo
Project X Zone 2 dated

Project X Zone 2 will arrive overseas in February

2/16 for the US, 2/19 for EU
Sep 16
// Chris Carter
Today at TGS, Bandai Namco announced that Project X Zone 2 will arrive in the US on February 16, and in Europe on February 19. This isn't too far off from the Japanese release, which is still on track for November 12, 2015. I'll have my first hands-on impressions to share soon.
Mega Man amiibo photo
Mega Man amiibo

Mega Man Legacy Collection on 3DS will support amiibo

When it arrives in 2016
Sep 15
// Chris Carter
So it's a major bummer that Mega Man Legacy Collection isn't coming to 3DS until 2016, but apparently it will arrive with extra features not present on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One editions of the game. As detailed by Capco...
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson out now for 3DS

Hakuna matata
Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, the latest entry in Marvelous and XSEED Games' bawdy action franchise, is now available for Nintendo 3DS in North America. The new release is available via the eShop for $39.99, as well as ...
Sonic Boom delay photo
Sonic Boom delay

New Sonic Boom delayed over quality concerns

Slow down, Sonic
Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Sega has hit the brakes on Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, postponing the Nintendo 3DS exclusive's launch date to give developer Sanzaru Games additional time to polish and improve the experience. The publisher says "it&rsqu...
Story of Seasons photo
Story of Seasons

Nintendo publishing Story of Seasons in Europe

Better late than never
Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Story of Seasons, the latest actual "Harvest Moon," is coming to Europe, courtesy of Nintendo. The platform holder just revealed plans to bring Marvelous' latest farming sim across the pond in Q1 2016, following the titl...
Mario Maker Smash stage photo
Mario Maker Smash stage

Super Mario Maker stage coming to Smash Bros.

Battleground madness
Sep 14
// Nic Rowen
A brand new stage based on Super Mario Maker is heading to Super Smash Bros. on September 30th, and it looks exactly as crazy and whimsical as you'd want it to be. Embracing the creative chaos of Mario Maker, the stage will be constructed differently at the beginning of every match and constantly edited and fussed with throughout by a stylus gripping hand like so many Duck Amuck shenanigans.
Woof! photo

New Pokemon from XY & Z revealed!

More Zygarde and Greninja!
Sep 12
// Jed Whitaker
The latest issue of CoroCoro has leaked online revealing multiple new never before seen Pokémon from the anime series Pokémon XY & Z. First up is a new version or color variation of everyone's favorite frog ...
Etrian Mystery Dungeon photo
Etrian Mystery Dungeon

Etrian Mystery Dungeon out now across Europe

Good lord, finally
Sep 12
// Kyle MacGregor
After an extended wait, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is now available in Europe, NIS has announced. The roguelike RPG launched in North America in April after debuting in Japan the previous month, and earned praise from Destructoid's reviews pope Chris Carter, who called the crossover "a match made in heaven" in his appraisal of the localized release. (Check out the full review here.)
PONIES photo

GOTY contender Horse Life 4 galloping to 3DS

Sep 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Horse Life 4, the most anticipated game of the year, is trotting to Nintendo 3DS on November 13, and not even the cover girl's demonic eyes can bridle my excitement for this game. Sure, her colt blue peepers might be the stuf...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Super Mario Maker

Also, Hatsune Miku
Sep 10
// Chris Carter
This is a big week for the Wii U, with Super Mario Maker's release scheduled for tomorrow, both digitally and at retail. Also on Wii U you'll find Tecmo Bowl, Explody Bomb, Funky Physics, Q.U.B.E. Director's Cut, Star Sky, an...
Suge Knight? photo
Suge Knight?

Free Shovel Knight expansion out September 17

To all platforms and regions
Sep 09
// Steven Hansen
Yacht Club Games just announced Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is coming to, "all existing platforms and regions on September 17, 2015." The free expansion is a completely remixed story mode starring Plague Knight and featu...
Hyrule Warriors 3DS photo
Hyrule Warriors 3DS

Hyrule Warriors 3DS adds Toon Link and the Helmaroc King

They're pulling me back in
Sep 09
// Jordan Devore
I'm trying not to pay too much attention to Hyrule Warriors Legends knowing full well how much time the original Wii U game ate up. But the expanded 3DS release sounds alluring, what with its on-the-fly character switching an...
Project X Zone 2 photo
Project X Zone 2

Project X Zone 2 will have Segata Sanshiro

Also, Captain Commando!
Sep 09
// Chris Carter
Project X Zone 2 is getting some badass new characters, including Segata Sanshiro, one of Sega's old mascots. I have many fond memories of those wacky commercials. Captain Commando, who is also new, means a lot to me. He was...

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