hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

DS

Nintendo missed fiscal year targets for 3DS, Wii U

Apr 24 // Tony Ponce
Numbers for DS and Wii were also given. The Wii struggled to hit 3.98 million sales this year, while the DS performed even worse with 2.35 million. Not surprising considering that their successors are already out in the market, but clearly those old owners are not upgrading. Getting those folks to step up will be Nintendo's prime directive for the new year. Despite the rather miserable results, Nintendo is comfortable in predicting 9 million Wii U sales and 18 million 3DS sales by next year. The company even believes it can squeeze out another 2 million Wii sales! Unfortunately, no forecast for the DS was given, lending to the notion that its official retirement is just around the corner. Let's see what Satoru Iwata, SUPER CEO, can do! Nintendo misses its fiscal forecasts as the Wii U struggles to sell [Gamasutra]Nintendo FY13: $70M Net Income; WiiU 3.45M, NDS retires, 3DS/WiiU miss expectations [NeoGAF]
Nintendo FY13 photo
Still made a $71.4 million net profit due to depreciation of the yen
Nintendo's fiscal year 2013 report was just released today, and the details are... well... umm... they're certainly something alright. Neither hot nor cold. Just... there. For the year ending on March 31, 2013, Nintendo poste...

 photo

Pachter: Nintendo should leave the console business


Analyst in "pisses off Nintendo fans again" SHOCKAH!
Apr 09
// Jim Sterling
In the latest episode of Michael "Frisky Buns" Pachter Says Things About Nintendo And Everybody Gets Angry, the industry analyst was asked if he hated Nintendo. The slick-tongued gentleman said he didn't actively dislike the ...

Preview: First look at LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

Apr 04 // Abel Girmay
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii U, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, DS)Developer: TT GamesPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentRelease: Fall 2013 The story of LEGO Marvel straddles a similar line to LEGO Batman 2; a comic book-style story with a liberal helping LEGO silliness. Like the recent LEGO City: Undercover, the story here is fully voiced. Speaking with TT Games producer Phil Ring, he said the team "wanted everything to feel alive, and more than what we had in LEGO Batman 2 where characters only spoke in cutscenes. We wanted bosses shouting at you and characters talking with each other, so we're recording a lot more audio for this game." Having a fully-voiced story also affords more opportunities for humor, outside of the physical comedy gags that are common to the series. It works to good effect, too -- the banter between the less than sharp Hulk and the always-on sarcasm of Iron Man played like a Saturday morning cartoon. Less-referenced Marvel entities will be making appearances as well. At the end of the demo, when Iron Man and Hulk help Nick Fury (modeled after the recent Ultimate/Sam Jackson version) take Sandman into custody, you could spot three day workers with Damage Control marked across their uniforms. Ring continued: "If you're a Marvel fan, there's plenty of small references like this you'll get, and if not, then what the hell, it's just three clean up guys in uniform." The script itself will see stewardship by Marvel writer Matt Hoffmeier, so there should be no shortage of Marvel cameos, references, and the like. The moment-to-moment gameplay of LEGO Marvel looks very much like a traditional game from TT. You'll run around the environment, smashing pieces and reconstructing them into new objects to move forward. That said, you do get a host of heroes and abilities to play around with. Full disclosure, our presentation was hands off, so I can't say how well the powers feel, but the combat didn't look particularly amazing. Really, it's those classic problem-solving moments that make better use of the hero license. Going up against Sandman, Iron Man and Hulk need to come up with a way to get past his giant sand wall. Hulk's brute strength won't work and neither will blasters. With a little searching, we get Iron Man to blast a nearby fire hydrant and generator, then have Hulk revert to Bruce Banner to reconstruct the pieces into a giant water cannon to solidify the sand so Hulk can break through it. It's the way each of the characters, and their abilities, play off each other in these puzzle-esque scenarios that gave the LEGO games their charm, and that much looks well intact here. Though TT is staying hush hush on some details, there will be side activities to partake in outside of missions, such as explorable miniature hub area of New York. "There is a hub world...you can go into new areas and explore including some places significant to the Marvel Universe and other like the Statue of Liberty, but it's all miniaturized of course...it's very much a LEGO world," said Ring. Basically, if you've enjoyed LEGO titles in the past, you should be right at home here. There doesn't look to be crazy breaks in series tradition -- just refinements and augments. And if you're a Marvel fan, then I suppose that only sweetens the package.
Marvel Super Heroes photo
A more traditional LEGO experience
Just when you thought they were out of good licenses to adapt for LEGO videogames, they pull one back in. Among others, we've explored the adventures of Indiana Jones, the far away galaxy of Star Wars, and the hallowed halls ...

Cat Girl Without Salad photo
Cat Girl Without Salad

Cat Girl Without Salad is the new best thing ever


It's a videogame for all whom are living
Mar 31
// Jonathan Holmes
The announcement of DuckTales Remastered caused a lot of people to freak the hell out, but that wasn't the only trick WayForward had up their sleeves. They've got a new IP coming "exclusively" to Nintendo 3DS, DS, Wii, W...
Rune Factory photo
Rune Factory

GDC: Rune Factory development resisted by Marvelous, fans


A franchise that almost never happened
Mar 27
// Jayson Napolitano
Apparently development staff and even Harvest Moon fans didn't see the need to add combat to the farming formula. Marvelous AQ Executive Officer/CCO Yoshifumi Hashimoto shared at a panel this morning that he didn't have many ...
DS and 3DS are BS? photo
DS and 3DS are BS?

FEZ creator thinks DS and 3DS are bullsh*t


Indie dev Twitter rage! Fun, fun, fun!
Mar 23
// Tony Ponce
Indie game developers are certainly an outspoken lot, aren't they? Phil Fish, creator of the dimension-flipping XBLA platformer FEZ, finally decided to hop on the Monster Hunter train starting with Ultimate for 3DS. He thinks...
Pokemon event photo
Pokemon event

More details on upcoming event Pokémon Meloetta


A better look ahead of next week's distribution event
Feb 25
// Jordan Devore
Beginning March 4 in North America, there will be a limited-time Pokémon distribution event for Meloetta at GameStop. After that date, you'll have three weeks to make a trip over to secure this Normal- and Psychic-typ...
Pach-Man photo
Pach-Man

Pachter talks more about Nintendo's Wii U 'mistake'


Clarifies the company's not in danger, but its glory days may be over
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
Following yesterday's angry protests from Nintendo fans, industry analyst Michael "Fishy Sunday" Pachter took to NeoGAF to clarify his statements.There was uproar when Pachter said the Wii U was a mistake Nintendo may never r...
Portal on DS photo
Portal on DS

Do want! Homebrew Portal gameplay on the DS


What's not to like?
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
There are many things that make me proud to be a gamer, and one of them is the homebrew/fangame community. To me, there's almost nothing better than a group of passionate fans getting together and creating something ...
Pokémon photo
Pokémon

Pokémon Black and White 2 getting hilarious event Pokémon


Splash!
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Every once in a while Nintendo emerges from its ivory tower to participate in special charity events where it provides free Pokémon for the unwashed washes to enjoy. Sometimes they're cool, other times you ge...

How Nintendo breaks hearts with the D.E.N.N.I.S. System

Feb 06 // Jim Sterling
[embed]244154:46787:0[/embed] While the system is designed for Dennis to trick women into having sex with him before abandoning them, its applications in business are frightening, and Nintendo's mastery of it is absolute. Like Dennis, Nintendo is able to seduce and conquer its fans by demonstrating value, engaging physically, nurturing dependence, neglecting emotionally, inspiring hope, and then separating entirely. Do you remain skeptical? Read on and understand.  Demonstrate Value This one's easy, because we already know, by Nintendo's own admission, that it secures customer loyalty by demonstrating the value of its product. Through marketing promotions, competitive pricing, and pledging to offer the widest variety of games to the widest variety of consumers, Nintendo attempts to demonstrate its value to the user. More often than not, it succeeds. In fairness, all videogame companies utilize the first step of the system. Duping the consumer into believing a product is worth the entry fee is what the game industry is all about. Nintendo's as committed as any when it comes to demonstrating its value.  Engage Physically No other company works harder to engage its customers physically than Nintendo. With the Wii, the DS, the 3DS, and the Wii U, Nintendo has been doing more to encourage physical interaction with users than any other company in the games market. Whether you're waggling a remote, tapping a touchscreen, or tilting screens left and right, when you're on a Nintendo system, you're 100% physically engaged.  Even those shy to embrace Nintendo's whimsical world of bodily nonsense are eventually suckered in. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword test the resolve of even the most adamant anti-waggle gamer, and the excellent Nintendo DS library has us all dragging styli around like they're little Weekend at Bernie's corpses! If you're a Nintendo customer, consider yourself physically engaged.  Nurturing Dependence  Nintendo has the key to the cage of some of gaming's most beloved and cherished franchises. Your inner child is Reggie Fils-Aime's bitch. Miyamoto is the way and the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Mario except through him. To get your hands on Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, and so many more, you depend entirely on so-called Big N.  Nintendo knows it, too. It knows what you like, and it knows you have nobody else to turn to. Games like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. feed your nostalgia, remind you of happier times before you became an evil-hearted adult, and convince you to stay with Nintendo if you want to keep getting that sweet, sweet hit. One look at the dogged loyalty of Nintendo's most ardent fans will tell you this has already been achieved. They remain hopelessly in the thrall of their master, suckling at its red, cracked teats with all the gratitude of a freshly-fed dog.  We're halfway through the system, and Nintendo's three for three! Neglect Emotionally Nintendo's demonstrated its value to you. It's engaged you physically with its cool new toy. It's nurtured your dependence with the allure of childhood memories and honest-to-goodness gaming. What happens next? Wii Music happens next.  Yes folks, you've just been neglected emotionally! Satoru Iwata's band of merry men are wizards when it comes to this step, leading fans on for so long before totally cutting them off. After stringing gamers along, Nintendo does an about-face, making its press conferences and announcements all about family-friendly crap that nobody cares for. We get some maniac woman on a stage, grinning like a bargain basement Joker as she tells you she's going to put a smile on your face. We get promises of Pikmin 3, but no actual news, while other favorite franchises are completely ignored. Reggie tells us Animal Crossing is a hardcore game and can't understand why anybody's feeling shortchanged. "Nintendo has abandoned the hardcore gamer," the cry rings out, over valley and hill. My Lord, why hast thou forsaken me? The answer is clear -- Nintendo's neglecting you emotionally. Inspire Hope Wait, they just announced Pikmin 3? Holy shit, was that a new Kid Icarus? New Donkey Kong? And what's with this Wii U eShop? It's, like, actually good. Nintendo's got a new online strategy, Nintendo's promising more core games. Nintendo's back, everybody! Nintendo finally gets it.  "Nintendo finally gets it." I've honestly lost count of how many times I've read that phrase over the years. After neglecting us emotionally, Nintendo makes some announcement or presents a fresh feature that has everybody (myself included) pull a U-turn and declare that, this time, Nintendo finally understands what we want, and at last knows how to give it to us. We are relieved. We are appreciative. And then ... we bang. Separate Entirely Weeks without games. A sudden 3DS discount that pisses off everybody who supported the system early. The eShop turns out to be bereft of content and shit as always. A reality that fails utterly to live up to the promises we breathed in like sweet oxygen. And all the while, Nintendo sits there, deaf to our pleas, blind to our entreaties. It's working on something else now, and has cut its consumers loose. It's okay, though. You need not be alarmed. Nintendo will be back, next time it needs to demonstrate its value to you. And the D.E.N.N.I.S. System rises again.
D.E.N.N.I.S. System photo
It's Always Sunny at Nintendo
Earlier this week, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto claimed his company had failed to "communicate the value" of the Wii U to consumers, a turn of phrase that struck me as quite amusing. As a fan of It's Always Sunny in Phila...

Pokemon event photo
Pokemon event

Here's how to get Meloetta in Pokemon Black and White


North American distribution event next month
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
March? I don't even want to start thinking about March yet. That said, it's nice to get the heads-up on the planned distribution event for the Mythical Pokémon Meloetta in North America. You'll want to take a trip...
3DS Pokedex Decal photo
3DS Pokedex Decal

Here's how to turn your 3DS into a Pokedex


All you need is $15 and master sticker placing skills
Feb 02
// Brett Zeidler
Who out there is unlike me and doesn't still have their original Pokedex from back in the day? Well, if you have a 3DS and/or 3DS XL you can turn that boring device into a freaking Pokedex! Etsy shop GameThemedThings&nbs...

Top ten best THQ games: Remembering a giant

Jan 31 // Allistair Pinsof
Anyone who knows me, knows that I loves me strategy games. I love StarCraft, Rise of Nations, Sins of a Solar Empire, Civilization -- you name it. Company of Heroes was probably the first one that got me really into WWII from a strategy perspective. It is also one of the first games that took advantage of advanced graphics -- namely, destructible environments -- that have a huge effect on gameplay. As tank shells create craters, for example, your infantry can use the modified terrain as cover. Subtle details like that keep gameplay fun and dynamic and also provide a refreshing twist on the classic RTS. - Daniel Starkey [Take a look back at our previous Company of Heroes coverage.] Licensed games, as a general rule, tend to be rather uninspired affairs. Relic Entertainment's acclaimed Warhammer 40,000 titles fly in the face of that trend. Space Marine and the Dawn of War series are genuinely entertaining titles that pay homage to Games Workshop's license rather than abuse it. Relic has delivered quality experiences time and again, developing games capable of standing on their own merits while still providing ample amounts of fan service for the already initiated. As someone who has spent more than a fair share of hours painting miniatures and rolling dice, it's clear Relic has a great deal of reverence for the source material. Captain Titus' battle with Ork and Chaos forces on Forge World Graia brought that universe to life for me. I wish Relic the best and hope that their new overlords at Sega allow them to keep making these games for a long, long time. - Kyle MacGregor [Take a look back at our Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine review.] While the game was initially buggy, a heroic modding community has managed to make S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl into something worth celebrating; despite its dreary setting and almost constant peril, the Zone was a place that oozed life. It is a brave game both mechanically and tonally, considering no FPS has come close to what S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl attempts is slightly sad; the singular highpoint of the whole Call of Duty franchise is when the series visits Pripyat in the irradiated zone. - Alasdair Duncan [Take a look back at our S.T.A.L.K.E.R. coverage.] It feels wrong to love Saints Row 2, but it feels even worse not to. The presentation lacks polish, the writing is tasteless, the focus is aimless ... but it's so fun!  Where Saints Row made a marked improvement on the GTA series' controls, Saints Row 2 makes a remarkable improvement on almost every other level. GTAIV offered flawless presentation but boring combat; Saints Row 2 is just the opposite. It's the sandbox game I've always wanted, where nothing matters but the player having fun. Want to surf on a car for no reason?  Hell ya!  Want to ride golf carts through a mall while doing a drive-by?  YES! Even the music is awesome in this game. GTA is great but nothing compares to firing infinite rockets at cop cars while driving to Hum's "Stars". If only I could merge Saints Row 2's gameplay with GTA4's presentation and story, I'd have the greatest game ever. For now, I'll take Saints Row 2 over GTAIV.  After all, I can watch The Wire if I want inner city drama.  - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at the only Saints Row 2 video that matters on the internet.] Lock's Quest is one of the most unique games released on the Nintendo DS. It spices up tower defense with direct character control and RPG elements.  Long before Iron Brigade and Starhawk, Lock's Quest had players building walls and constructing turrets to later fight among them. The ability to directly control Lock on the battlefield may seem trivial at first, but it adds an entirely different prioritization element to tower defense, where Lock's location, health, and special abilities all factor into the decision making process.  As a tower defense game, it really shines in that it's not unforgiving in its difficulty, but the later levels really feel like they push you to your limits. While it's satisfying to have a great base built that easily repels the hordes of robots, it doesn't get much better than feeling all is lost only to scrape by with a well timed electrical explosion that takes out the last of the advancing enemies. Lock's Quest is pure fun, whether you are a fan of tower defense or not. - Darren Nakamura [Take a look back at our Lock's Quest review.] 50 Cent: Bulletproof was an awful waste of time. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, on the other hand, stands as the greatest guilty pleasure for any person who was brave enough to try it back in 2009. 50 Cent and G-Unit are playing a venue somewhere in the Middle East where his payment is in the form of a diamond skull, because why the hell not? As luck would have it, that skull is stolen and 50 Cent goes on a bullet hose rampage, destroying the country and yelling "you fucked up!" at everyone until he finds it. Because no one takes Fiddy's skull. No one. - Brett Zeidler [Take a look back at our 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand review.] Red Faction: Guerrilla is initially interesting for its building destruction mechanics. It's quite a hoot to blow up a building's support beams and watch it tumble down into pieces on top of anyone around it. I might die in the process, but it hardly matters since I'll just get a new guy and have at it again. That's when it hit me: these thoughts and ideas have a lot, perhaps too much, in common with those of terrorists. After all, the goal is to drive these uninvited invaders off of the planet, since they're only there for economic reasons. Guerrilla explores terrorism in an almost uncomfortable way, by executing it perfectly. Throwing away a life in an explosive raid is okay to do within the game, though it does make me a bit uncomfortable. And I love that. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Red Faction: Guerrilla review.] Very few games have warmed my heart like Costume Quest. There's just something about it. Although many people were quick to point out it was a very basic RPG experience, for a downloadable title it was perfect. Subtle changes to RPG tropes, like candy as currency and trick-or-treating as quests, helped showcase that the game wasn't merely a homage, but a labor of love. Combat has elements reminiscent of Super Mario RPG and exploring the whimsical world never felt like a chore. Double Fine did a great job recapturing the spirit of every child's favorite evening, and THQ did the right thing by publishing it. - Chris Carter [Take a look back at our Costume Quest review.] Until the arrival of Darksiders 2, drawing comparisons to Zelda was used interchangeably as a slight and compliment. Whether shamelessly cribbing from God of War, Portal, and Panzer Dragoon made the game stronger or not was also a point of contention. Never before had a game attempted such blatant copying of contemporary, popular games. Though some resisted Darksiders -- and still do -- for me, it showed that there is no shame in copying others when quality and holistic design come before tribute. The variety of level design comes from copying other titles, but Vigil Games is what made all the disparate parts come together in a game that continues to surprise until its end. When stripped away from its idols, you get Darksiders 2, the equivalent of a dried-out sponge. - Allistair Pinsof [Take a look back at our Darksiders review.] Some people may say that its predecessor, Saints Row 2, was a funnier and better game. These people are afraid of change. The Third is the full realization of what the series had been working towards. It is utterly ridiculous and doesn't pretend to be anything but. By doing this, the actions of the player outside of cutscenes fall in line with the character's actions within them, unlike a certain other company's open world games.The http://deckers.die mission in particular is what skyrockets this game above any other. In a single mission you become a toilet, a sex doll, use the Mega Buster, participate in a text adventure, and fight a boss that simulates lag. I truly hope that when future generations talk about the best levels in video games, deckers.die is sitting alongside the classics. - Patrick Hancock [Take a look back at our Saints Row: The Third Dildo Baseball Bat review.]
Top Ten THQ Games photo
From wrestlers to panda-suit-wearing sociopaths
When assessing a publisher's impact on the industry, we tend to focus on the highs rather than consistency. THQ was anything but consistent, putting out Nintendo DS shovelware, rushed licensed games, and taking part in one of...

Nintendo sales photo
Nintendo sales

Nintendo is profitable again, cuts Wii U / 3DS targets


Wii U projection down to 4.0 million from 5.5 million
Jan 30
// Tony Ponce
It's good news, bad news time. Good news: After suffering a rough year of losses thanks to the 3DS' sluggish start, Nintendo was able to become profitable again through the first nine months of the 2012 / 2013 fiscal period. ...
Fire Emblem photo
Fire Emblem

Character progression in Fire Emblem: Awakening explained


Everything you need to know, and more
Jan 29
// Brett Zeidler
Fire Emblem: Awakening is almost here, guys. Just one more week; you can make it. To get you ready and up to speed, Nintendo has produced a new video that completely explains the character progression system in the latest in...
Nintendo Network offline photo
Nintendo Network offline

Nintendo Network is going down for maintenance


Here's what will be affected and when
Jan 28
// Jordan Devore
Beyond Nintendo's regular maintenance of its online services, the company will be going through a brief period of emergency maintenance for the Nintendo Network this week. If you experience any odd behavior over the next two ...

C'mon, Level-5! Localize Ni no Kuni DS already!

Jan 21 // Tony Ponce
[embed]242714:46443[/embed] The original Ni no Kuni was announced way back in 2008. It would be nearly two years, mere months before the DS game's release, before any mention was made of a PS3 version. Wrath of the White Witch is no mere update of the DS version, subtitled The Jet-Black Mage. From what I've gathered, both games were developed separately and feature several elements that differ in significant ways, even though the general framework is the same. Even if Mage and Witch were identical save for the graphics, I still believe there would be strong interest in the former. The large library of quality RPGs on the DS and PSP indicates that the genre has found a cozy home on handheld devices. It's ironic that a genre infamous for demanding massive time investments would adapt so well to the style of bite-sized gameplay fostered by portable hardware. Level-5 envisioned Ni no Kuni as a franchise, thus there is no reason why anyone ought to picture Mage and Witch as anything but complementary experiences. I understand that the big draw of Witch is how closely the in-game assets resemble the original artwork, but it's not like Mage is a slouch in the art department either. [embed]242714:46442:0[/embed] It doesn't end there! In order for Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi's score to sound as crystal clear as possible, Level-5 opted to use a 512 MB game card, the largest of any DS game. "Compromised," The Jet-Black Mage is not. More important than graphics and card space is the fact that Ni no Kuni is a major milestone for an animation studio that has historically avoided getting involved with videogames. Ni no Kuni is technically not the first time Ghibli had a hand in a game's art direction -- Magic Pengel on the PS2 holds that distinction -- but the level of involvement here is unprecedented. Why would you not want to experience such an event firsthand? But Wrath of the White Witch was announced for the West, while The Jet-Black Mage wasn't. Localization for Mage was definitely considered, but according to Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, the big spanner in those plans was the book bundled with every copy of the game. For those unaware, the 352-page Magic Master book is a companion guide that details in-game lore, creatures, and magic runes that can be drawn on the touchscreen to cast spells. This book is a crucial element of the game, and its existence as a physical object was intended to add an extra layer of immersion. Apparently it was too expensive to translate, and even if it were translated, there would be the issue of printing enough copies for each game and expecting consumers to pay a premium for the bundle. I'm sure Level-5 could have found a decent workaround, but I do understand the cost concerns. Disappointing news, but that's the way the world turns, right? By the way, Witch also requires the use of the Magic Master book, but instead of being a physical object, it's an in-game item accessible from the menu. And oh yeah, US publisher Namco Bandai is selling a limited "Wizard's Edition" bundle that includes a physical version of the book, now called the Wizard's Companion. WHAT. THE. FUCK. So all that talk about expense and translation hurdles was just bullshit? I'm trying to be as rational as I can, but the only conclusion I can draw is that neither Namco nor Level-5 thought Ni no Kuni would have been able to sell on the DS. I don't see how it wouldn't unless Namco wasn't planning on advertising the game at all. Look, I'm glad that Ni no Kuni is coming out for PS3, but we are still being robbed of delicious Ghibli goodness! There has got to be a way for the DS game to make it out here somehow. Here's what to do The DS is a lame duck. There might be a studio or two still releasing new DS software, but most have moved on to its successor. Therefore Level-5 should port Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage directly to the 3DS. The team won't really need to touch it up too much -- as you saw in the footage above, its a very beautiful game, I would say even by 3DS standards. With this platform transition, Mage would benefit from the larger game card capacity -- cards at the 3DS' launch could already hold 2 GB, four times the size of the DS' largest. I'm going to take an educated guess and assume that Mage's card was fairly packed, thereby preventing Level-5 from -- oh, I don't know -- including a digital version of the Wizard's Companion. Because 3DS game cards are much roomier, the already translated book ought to fit in nice and neatly. There you have it! Players now have in-game access to the book, just as PS3 players do, and they won't be prevented from casting spells be drawing the runes. And for those who desire the original experience as intended, there could be a 3DS version of the "Wizard's Edition" as well. [DS version unboxing by Espelancer] But what of the argument that a currently two-year-old game from a previous generation platform would be a hard sell no matter the pedigree of the parties behind it? If Namco doesn't want to play ball, Level-5 should take its business to a progressive company like XSEED, which has recently shown great willingness in taking chances on niche but highly demanded RPGs on Nintendo consoles. XSEED has already been rewarded for localizing The Last Story, and even Xenoblade Chronicles, which Nintendo of America itself published two years after its Japanese release, has done "quite well" by the company's expectations. If Wrath of the White Witch performs to Namco's satisfaction, there ought to be no reason to hold off on localizing The Jet-Black Mage any longer. But if Witch does not meet its goal, Mage should nonetheless be given a shot for the sake of sharing one of the most beautiful-looking games in recent memory with the rest of the world. We have evidence that low-print software runs can pay off handsomely, just as long as the parties involved keep modest expectations. I just want some Level-5 / Studio Ghibli magic on the go. Is that so much to ask? Am I asking for the sun and the moon? Am I being naive in regards to the nature of big business?
Ni no Kuni DS, please! photo
And here's how to do it
Tomorrow, January 22, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch finally arrives on US shelves. The PlayStation 3 role-playing game is a collaboration between developer Level-5, and animation house Studio Ghibli -- two companies th...

 photo

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes announced for this fall


100+ characters from the Marvel universe
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
Mixing LEGOs, videogames, and comics together has always seemed like a good idea -- certainly something I would have loved to see as a kid. TT Games is pressing on with yet another title, and this time it's LEGO Marvel Super ...
 photo

Warner Bros. announces three LEGO Legends of Chima games


All of them are releasing this year
Jan 02
// Jordan Devore
If you had told me that Legends of Chima was already a successful LEGO property, I would have believed you. But it's not! Not yet, anyway. Described as a "fantasy adventure set in land inhabited by different magical animal tr...
 photo

Be a McDonald's Store Manager in Dragon Quest VII game


Or a crew member
Dec 28
// Dale North
You'd expect to play as a wizard or warrior in a Dragon Quest game, but in this McD DS downloadable promotional game in Japan, you can also play as a McDonald's crew member or store manager. DS title Dragon Quest VII: McDonal...
Adventure Time photo
Adventure Time

Listen to the Adventure Time 3DS OST now on SoundCloud


Greatest. Soundtrack. Ever.
Dec 20
// Brett Zeidler
Guys, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!! (also known as the greatest thing to ever happen to me) has an amazing soundtrack. I don't even know how to begin to describe it to you guys. Which is good, ...
 photo

The 3DS game card case is back up in Club Nintendo


This is weirdly the greatest thing to happen to me all day
Dec 19
// Brett Zeidler
All the coolest stuff goes way too fast in the Club Nintendo shop. Once it's gone, it's gone for good. That is until the rare occasion that Nintendo realizes just how popular an item was, and brings it back for a limited time...
 photo

SEGA to sue Level-5 for patent infringement


Another day, another lawsuit
Dec 12
// Jim Sterling
SEGA is taking Level-5 to court over its Inazuma Eleven soccer games, claiming they infringe on a patent the larger publisher holds.  The bone of contention is the ability to move characters via a finger or pen on a...
 photo

Wii U sells 400,000 units


Reggie claims system is selling out too quickly
Nov 26
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo of America's minestrone president, Reggie Fils-Aime, has taken to CNET to proclaim the Wii U a sellout and reveal the sale of 400,000 units since launch last Sunday. For comparison, the Wii was also able to get anoth...
 photo

Sup Holmes gets rad with WayForward's Sean Velasco


Fight for right, the might of the dragon!
Nov 25
// Jonathan Holmes
[Destructoid's Director of Communications Hamza Aziz asked Jonathan Holmes to make a show called 'Sup, Holmes?' so that Destructoid could later sell a t-shirt that says 'Sup, Holmes?' on it. This is that show. Subscribe ...
 photo

What WayForward took from Studio Ghibli and slasher films


Nausicaä and Jason Voorhees' made babies together
Nov 24
// Jonathan Holmes
Last week on Sup, Holmes (available now on iTunes) we were graced with the presence of Adam Tierney, director of such games as Silent Hill: Book of Memories, Aliens: Infestation, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Centipede...
 photo

Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG!?'s Secret Self Portrait Screen


Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start
Nov 24
// Jonathan Holmes
It's feels a little wrong write this post. Publicizing the existence of this "secret screen" obliterates any semblance of secrecy that it once had. I blame Pendleton Ward for this. Some secrets are just too gr...

Review: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal...

Nov 22 // Jonathan Holmes
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! (3DS [reviewed], DS)Developer: WayForward IndustriesPublisher: D3 PublisherRelease: November 20, 2012MSRP: $29.99 / $39.99 (Collector's Edition) Adventure Time: HIK!WYSOG?! starts with a nightmare where an owl kicks your ass. From there, things quickly transition to a conversation between a boy named Finn, his shape-changing dog Jake, and a little Game Boy-esque robot named BMO. The robot encourages the boy and his dog to destroy every tea cup in the basement. Next, the two protagonists talk to another robot -- one that looks like a talking microwave -- about stat building (of course), before leaving the house. Just as they step outside, an old flying man steals their garbage. The heroes deem that behavior to be unethical, so they decide to go to the old man's house and beat him up. To Adventure Time fans, all of this will seem perfectly normal, and only works as a teaser for what's to come. To those who've never seen the show, it's a perfect primer for the brazenly bizarre, effortlessly charming world of Adventure Time. [embed]239115:45880[/embed]  Like some of the best episodes of the show, the game's storyline is fairly barebones, but the writing is excellent. I laughed out loud and not just because I'm a fan of the show. In fact, I'd wager that a lot of the charm and humor in the game may have a greater effect on people who aren't already familiar with Adventure Time, as the concepts and characters will feel more fresh. If you're a fan of the style found in games like Katamari, Scott Pilgrim, Earthbound, Animal Crossing, or other sweet and strange videogame series, chances are you'll feel right at home.  The similarities to Scott Pilgrim go deeper than that. Paul Robertson, one of the head animators on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, worked on the art for Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG. If you're as big a fan of Mr. Robertson's work as I am, you'll pick up on his style right away, as it's quite prevalent during some of the bigger, more beautiful enemy graphics. Mr. Robertson was joined by Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg, one of the best sprite artists in the business, as well as Shiho Tsutsuji, a 10+ year veteran in the pixel art field, whose past credits include the Fire Emblem series and just about every 2D Kirby game of the past decade. All of these artists under one roof makes for one of the best-looking sprite-based games in recent memory. The animation here is more fluid and expressive than just about anything you might find on television, including Adventure Time.  The sound design and score on the game are equally impressive. Sound effects and voice samples from the show's excellent cast are peppered throughout, which comes as no surprise. The quality of the original songs and arrangements by Jake "Virt" Kaufman of the WayForward sound team are another subject entirely. They came out of left field, and totally blew my mind. There are a shocking amount of songs that feature full vocals, from the opening theme, to the candy graveyard theme (complete with creepy ladies whispering "death" in your ears), to a new song written specifically for a 1,000-year-old vampire queen, and many more. These songs don't mimic the exact songwriting style you'd find in the show, but that's a good thing. They stay true to the feel of the source material while giving even diehard Adventure Time fans something that they've never experienced before. The ending theme includes the lyrics "our friendship is stronger than any butt." I shouldn't need to tell you that you've just witnessed greatness. While the writing, graphics, and sound are all near perfect, the actual game design is more of a mixed bag. The game takes inspiration from Zelda II, offering a 2D, top-down RPG overworld and side scrolling town/dungeon/set piece action sequences. The pacing is far more dense than Zelda II, with important locations much closer together, faster-paced combat, and fewer instances of unavoidable random battles in Ooo to slow you down.  You'll need to have a healthy sense of exploration to get through the game, which requires searching both the overworld and the sidescrolling areas for new items and abilities in order to proceed. The structure is generally fetch-quest focused, which some may qualify as "padding," but if you love being in the game's world as much as I did, you'll take any excuse to spend more time with Peppermint Butler or the Earl of Lemongrab, even if it means searching every corner of Ooo looking for Wildberry Princess's diary. Thankfully, you'll need more than passive item collecting to pass through some of the game's various gates. There is also a fair amount of ability collection for both Jake and Finn, both of whom are controlled simultaneously. (Jake's actions are mapped to X and R, while Finn's actions are controlled with the remainder of the inputs.) Jake starts off with nothing more than a slow, weak, long-distance punch (he's clearly feeling lazy), but through various tomes of knowledge and personal experience, he learns to float in the air, Princess Peach style, to form an ear shield that protects from projectile attacks and repels harsh winds. He can also learns to turn into a cute little boat, and much more. Finn's abilities are more direct, generally focused on swordplay. He starts with a slide attack, ground pound, three-hit-punch combo, and an uppercut, but over the course of the game, he acquires a sword and multiple ways to make use of it.  To further mix things up, Finn and Jake can grab various pick-ups from enemies and treasure chests. Other than the well-hidden Wizard Stars which are generally used for health recovery, temporary stat enhancement, and special moves. Most of these items have links to the show, like the frozen business man's brief case, the crystal apple, beauteous wings, everything burrito, tiger hand, etc. Quite a few of them are rare, which makes hunting for them all the more fun. Only truly dedicated explorers find The Enchiridion (note: I still haven't found it myself). To add a further sense of discovery, there is an item-mixing system that can lead to unexpected results. Mix salt with a milkshake and chug it down -- you'll begin to spout ice shurikens straight out of The Chamber of Frozen Blades. It's a shame that this aspect of the game wasn't more fully integrated into the overall design. You can go the whole game without mixing a single item, or bothering with any non-quest oriented pick-ups. That speaks to my main issue with the game -- it doesn't ask enough of the player. Most enemies are fairly passive beasts. They have distinct and expressive attack patterns, but are all fairly easy to defeat or avoid. All the game's bosses have easy patterns to learn too. Other than the last two fights, experienced players will likely beat them all on the first try. Worse, the game is over way too soon. I didn't up my speed stats -- which increase your overworld and side-scrolling area walking speed -- until close to the end of the game, and I did a fair amount of extra running around and exploring (though there are still plenty of secrets I've yet to see), but I still beat the game in less than six hours. Although there is a New Game+ option, it's largely the same experience. In both difficulty and length, Adventure Time: HIKWYSOG?! feels like an extended first level of a much larger, potentially more challenging game. It's better that WayForward and D3 used their resources to create a short but expertly crafted game than to use the same budget to make a larger but more watered-down experience, but that doesn't change that fact that most consumers will expect a larger game for the retail asking price.  As for the collector's edition stuff, it's fairly barebones, but still worth owning for hardcore fans of the show. Like the game itself, the overworld map and bestiary book are small but made with genuine love of the source material. You also get a plastic stylus in the shape of Finn's sword, which will likely be most appealing to those with smaller hands. My favorite bit is the Enchiridion-shaped metal case the package comes in. It's extremely well put together, and gives even an old jerk like me a sense of wonder.  There was a time when a game like Adventure Time: HIK!WYSOG?! would qualify as a near perfect game, length and all. Ironically, WayForward's own excellent digital offering Mighty Switch Force has caused that standard to change. The game feels more like a top class, $15 download than retail title. That said, it's still an incredibly well-crafted game, and easily the best piece of self-contained Adventure Time artwork I've seen yet. With 50+ characters from seasons 1-3 of the show in appearance, it feels like more than a love letter to fans. It's closer to an expertly blended Megazord of everything that makes the show great. If you are a huge fan of Adventure Time, and/or are a less experienced videogame player, feel free to tack two points on to the score.
 photo
I don't love it when you get small, Jake
Adventure Time is currently my favorite show on television. It offers the same kind of nonchalant surrealism, iconic but expressive characters, and the simple delivery of complex themes that got me interested in videogames in...

 photo

Battle against Pokemon World Champions' finalists


Are your Pokemon ready?
Nov 19
// Harry Monogenis
Before the launch of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 it was revealed that select winners from this year's Pokémon Video Game World Championships (which ended back in August) would have their characters ...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -