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Wii U

You don't need a GamePad to play ZombiU

Aug 18 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]306573:60033:0[/embed] Still, it's not anywhere near a deal-breaker. The Xbox One controller and DualShock 4 are serviceable in their one-button press menu summoning. It all just requires a little bit more care. Honestly, if you're playing Zombi carelessly, menu navigation is the least of your concerns. There are some other slight drawbacks in the Xbox One version of Zombi. Textures and character models seem a bit outdated, which can be expected from a game that launched before current consoles released. Also, the frame-rate tends to dip when action gets too thick. Those annoyances are nothing too detrimental to Zombi, though. The captivating environment and the unique survivor-after-survivor gameplay easily overshadow the flaws. And, we shouldn't view the switch from GamePad to regular controllers as a downgrade; we should view it as a fantastic opportunity for a wider audience to experience everything Zombi has to offer.
Zombi impressions photo
Well, just 'Zombi' now
To date, ZombiU has been one of the best (and only) non-Nintendo published Wii U exclusives. It has turned into something of a cult classic, as many have praised the way that it felt more like a survival game and resiste...

I can't keep up with all these Splatoon updates!

Aug 17 // Patrick Hancock
[embed]305716:60031:0[/embed] Patch 2.0 Heavy Splatling This is definitely one of my new go-to weapons. I still don't feel completely comfortable while using it, but I can already see its potential. The Heavy Splatling needs to spin up before firing, but does not need to be fully spun up to begin firing. The longer the player spins up, the more shots will come out before stopping.  I've been using the Splatling as a more defensive weapon, similar to a Charger-type weapon. It's natural to want to go on the offensive with it since it seems to beastly, but it's just not as effective at in-your-face killing compared to most other weapons. However, using it to hold a location? That's when it shines like a rainbow after a storm!  The Splash Wall is a great pairing for the Splatling, since it's great to use as cover while charging up. It definitely helps to have some Sub Saver abilities on hand though, since the Splash Wall takes a ton of ink to deploy. Slosher I thought the Slosher would be a new favorite of mine, considering I prefer to play up close and personal, but I just haven't jived well with it. It takes two sloshes to kill, so springing up and surprising someone isn't as effective as I'd like. Due to its solid range and accuracy, those who are effective with the Slosher are the ones who hang out at the edge of its range and are constantly moving around in squid form. I'm also not a fan of the pairing of the Slosher with Burst Bombs. I feel as if they serve the same purpose. I can't think of very many situations in which throwing a Burst Bomb would be better than just sloshing it up. Maybe one of you pro Slosher users can enlighten me... New Music [embed]305716:60005:0[/embed] First of all, let me just say how much I love the fact that the in-game music has in-game bands. It's the dedication to things like this that make Splatoon so consistently awesome. The new battle tune is great. I love the chiptune-y vibe from it. I'm also really glad to have more than one single music track for battles. The music that plays during the last 15-30 seconds of the original track was starting to make me go crazy... New Urchin Underpass So, I wasn't completely sure why Urchin Underpass needed a makeover, but after playing its new incarnation, I'm happy to never ever go back. The new map is so much more open than the original. The tree near the spawn apparently caused issue for players, so they moved them to the very center of the map. This is actually a brilliant decision, since these trees perfectly obfuscate part of the center of the map so snipers can't just sit on the elevated sides and wreak havoc.  I didn't mind the map before, but now Urchin Underpass is easily one of my favorites. I feel as if there are a lot of options at any given moment, which is really when Splatoon shines the most. Splatfest Victory Conditions So they changed how Splatfest victories are calculated, and increased the victory part of the equation to count four times. We've since had a Splatfest, which was Marshmallows VS Hot dogs in North America. Marshmallows had a huge popularity lead (64/36), and Hot Dogs had a slight victory lead (48/52). The result was a close one at 256 to 244. So, is this the solution? Personally, I think it's a good idea. I don't mind that popularity factors in to the equation.  Victories are definitely important, and now are weighted way more heavily as a result. Although the change didn't give team Hot dogs the victory, it did make it very close, which is impressive considering the population gap.  Rainmaker Mode This isn't part of the 2.0 patch, but did hit the game very recently. It's a new mode that works a lot like capture the flag. There's a weapon, called the Rainmaker, in the center of the map, and your goal is to bring it to your opponent's base. The Rainmaker acts like an Inkzooka, but can be charged for a much bigger tornado blast. It's a great addition to Ranked mode, but people clearly need some time to understand it. The weapon is enclosed within a shield when it is dropped, and the shield must be popped to pick it up. My advice to all you squidkids out there: pay attention to your surroundings before you pop the shield! I average around 15 kills in this mode, simply because people are staring with tunnel vision at the Rainmaker, ignoring everything else. Teamwork is essential, since movement speed is lowered while holding the weapon. Moving with a squad to protect the Rainmaker feels great, similar to how protecting the payload cart feels in Team Fortress 2.  Okay, I think I'm caught up now with the major Splatoon updates. Unless they just announced one while I was typing this....did they?
Splatoon updates photo
So much new content
It seems like every time I boot up Splatoon, Callie and Marie are telling me about something new added to the game. Weapon variations are added all the time, and just recently, a big 2.0 patch hit. New gear, new types of weap...

Super Mario photo
Super Mario

Super Mario's Question Block has come a long way


I remember my first encounter
Aug 17
// Chris Carter
One of my favorite gaming experiences is playing something completely blind. That's just what I did for my first ever Super Mario playthrough on NES. While I played with my parents at my side, they didn't really know a ...
Super Mario Poi photo
Super Mario Poi

Poi looks like all the best 3D Mario games combined into one


Now on Kickstarter
Aug 15
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Added some gameplay videos below] We have written about Poi prior to now, but somehow it flew under my radar. Poi looks like all the best parts of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy&n...
New Splatoon mode photo
New Splatoon mode

Splatoon's Rainmaker mode looks fantastic


Launching tomorrow at 7:00pm Pacific
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
I'm not usually one for capture the flag, and I've stayed away from Splatoon's ranked battles for the most part, but I'm loving the look of the upcoming Rainmaker mode. Teams compete to shatter the Rainmaker's shields, then s...

Nintendo Download: Pandora's Tower

Aug 13 // Chris Carter
If you missed last week's edition, here it is. As for what I'm getting, I can't resist the call of Pandora's Tower again. For those who are interested, sales are going on for both the Wii U and 3DS.  
Nintendo Download photo
Also, Garfield Kart
Pandora's Tower is awesome. It's also coming out on the Wii U today for $19.99. In addition, you'll find Wind-up Knight 2 on the eShop. That's basically all she wrote for the Wii U. It seems as if Freedom Planet has been...

Woah Dave! Cross-Buy photo
Woah Dave! Cross-Buy

Woah Dave! is out next week on Wii U, Cross-Buy with 3DS


Out on August 20
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
I didn't really dig Woah Dave!, but a lot of people did, and those folks will be able to enjoy it on Wii U next week. As announced by developer Choice Provisions, it will be Cross-Buy with the 3DS, and if you already own...
Pandora's Tower photo
Pandora's Tower

Pandora's Tower, one of my favorite Wii games, hits Wii U this week


Nice!
Aug 13
// Chris Carter
One game you don't see mentioned very often is Pandora's Tower. To me, that's a shame. It was a really fun and unique action romp that was kind of left in the wake of the Wii, despite being one of the fabled "Operation R...
Forever A Loan photo
Forever A Loan

Are Animal Crossing amiibo cards worth $6 per six pack?


Walmart is listing them as such
Aug 12
// Jed Whitaker
Walmart is listing Animal Crossing amiibo cards on its website for $5.96 for a pack of six, so essentially a dollar a card. That isn't that surprising as they go for around the same price when imported from Japan, though...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker's level components will be drip-fed


Tools, sounds, and effects unlock
Aug 12
// Darren Nakamura
Every time I think I know what to expect out of Super Mario Maker, a new video shows up with a little more information. The video below was just released and I'm having trouble keeping the hype in check. Here's what's new to ...
Rodea: The Sky Soldier photo
Rodea: The Sky Soldier

Rodea: The Sky Soldier delayed again


Now planned for November
Aug 12
// Kyle MacGregor
NIS America has once again delayed the release of Rodea: The Sky Solider. After initially planning on a September release, the publisher pushed the game back a month. Now it's happening again. The new target dates are Novembe...
Devil's Third MP photo
Devil's Third MP

Yep, Devil's Third's multiplayer still looks really fun


Let's Plays from Japan
Aug 11
// Chris Carter
Want to see tons of Devil's Third footage? Well, it's out there, as Japan has had the game for roughly a week, and tons of new videos are available, including this one above that starts out really, really strangely. But...
Runbow photo
Runbow

Runbow's character list includes Gunvolt and Mutant Mudds cameos


The game launches August 27
Aug 11
// Chris Carter
Nintendo Life has revealed more of the growing cast of characters that's joining Runbow, and some of them are pretty surprising. Most notably there's Gunvolt from Azure Striker Gunvolt, as well as Teslamancer, Clone, ARID, Xe...
Yokai Watch x Just Dance photo
Yokai Watch x Just Dance

Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version is a thing that is happening


Surprise!
Aug 11
// Kyle MacGregor
For the love of money, Level-5 and Ubisoft are joining forces to put out Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version, a crossover (for Wii U of all things) that's a sure-fire bet to sell millions.
gamescom trailer photo
gamescom trailer

Soul Axiom is looking good and weird


Hey Soul Axiom...
Aug 10
// Steven Hansen
While I've known Soul Axiom to be a distinct game, the mix of games with Souls in the name and Axiom Verge this year has muddled my brain up. Soul Axiom is looking like it will muddle my brain up, too, from this surreal trai...
GameStop amiibo photo
'Exclusive pre-order event'
[Update: you can grab the 3-pack online now at GameStop's website in the US. My guess is this is leftover pre-orders from the event, and will shut down once the allotment is out.] [Update: Here's a link to pre-order...

Octoling > Squids photo
Octoling > Squids

Splatoon player finds a way to play as an Octoling


Get your tentacles ready!
Aug 09
// Jed Whitaker
Splatoon player and self-proclaimed hacker Nikki has found a way to play the game as an Octoling. For those not in the know, Octolings are the octopus-like bad guys in Splatoon's story mode, and normally aren't playable. How...

Here's what the first ever Super Smash Con looks like

Aug 07 // Chris Carter
[embed]297294:59877:0[/embed] That right there [above] is the major tournament area, where players are hard at work qualifying for the major tournaments. The turnout is actually pretty good, as most of the massive parking lot at the expo center was filled, but there's plenty of space to walk around inside, and a plentiful amount of arcade cabinets and console stations. In addition to a smaller arcade section and a small gaming museum exhibit, there's a ton of indie game setups, as well as homebrew spots and retro areas to game in. My favorite part was probably the little signs that displayed random factoids about the series, like "17 of the 36 characters in Mario Kart 8 also appear in Smash." It's not at the size of say, the current era of MAGFEST (there were only 12 exhibitors or so here, and although they are across the street from a hotel, the expo center isn't as massive as your typical con), but again, it's a great start -- I'm looking forward to getting back to catching the matches throughout the weekend.
Super Smash Con photo
I'd say it's a success
Today is the first major day for the first Super Smash Con, taking place in Virginia this weekend. While I covered the major happenings here as well as all the pertinent info you'll need for tournaments and streams, I also ha...

Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Rayman creator designed a level in Super Mario Maker


Despite not liking Mario
Aug 07
// Steven Hansen
Remember when Rayman creator Michel Ancel admitted he doesn't like Mario games? They weren't his cup of tea, he said, which is silly, because of course they are not a cup of tea, belonging to him or otherwise. Anyways, be the...
Shovel Knight photo
Shovel Knight

Check out this Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows info blowout


This game still has a lot of DLC left
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
Nintendo UK caught up with Yacht Club Games, and chatted a bit about what to expect in the new Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows DLC coming up. As a note, although they state that it will be coming to "Nintendo platforms...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Splatoon now has a nifty little web app


Japan leads the way
Aug 06
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo has launched a website for Splatoon that lets players preview the current and upcoming map selections, spy on friends, and double check their online loadout and stats. Yep, I sure do love the Krak-On Splat Roller. Th...

Nintendo Download: Super Smash Bros. N64 DLC

Aug 06 // Chris Carter
If you missed last week's edition, here it is. As for what I'm getting, it's the N64 levels all the way. I also enjoyed Astral Breakers for the most part, despite some issues. For those who are interested, sales are going on for both the Wii U and 3DS.
Nintendo Download photo
Also, Astral Breakers
It's an interesting week for the eShop, especially after a few poor showings these past few weeks. As of a few days ago, players were able to snag Super Smash Bros. DLC for both Wii U and 3DS, including Peach Castle and Hyrul...

Review: Astral Breakers

Aug 06 // Chris Carter
Astral Breakers (PC, Wii U [reviewed])Developer: Intropy GamesPublisher: Intropy GamesRelease Date: August 6, 2015MSRP: $4.99 The gist of the story is that a Big Bang-style event creates "Astral Spheres," which the 12 Zodiac constellations then fight over as they vie for power over the universe. Kira, a helpful star, has tasked you with restoring order. It's cute but shallow, with very little in the way of world-building or exposition. It also doesn't help that the sidebar dialogue consists of uninspired meme-filled jokes. By the time you actually start up the game though, things get much more exciting. In essence, you're dropping orbs down in a straight line, trying to connect as many like-colored ones as possible. After dropping several orbs your cursor at the top of the screen will start glowing, which allows you to press a button to drop a "breaker," which will blow up any connecting orbs of that color. Think Puzzle Fighter, but you get to choose when to drop breakers. What's really cool about this system is that you control your destiny. Players can set up chains by preloading breakers at all sides of structures, all of which are easy to see due to their bold color schemes. It's fun to take risks and build massive combos (here's an example), which will in turn drop more trash (the puzzle term for orbs dumped on the opposing side's screen) on your enemy, screwing up their board. It's fast, and the controls are responsive. There's also another layer of complexity involved with said trash drops, as each character has a different style denoted by an "intensity" rating. High intensity characters will drop easy to solve trash but at a faster rate, changing up the way you approach the game, and forcing players to act quickly and make lots of smaller moves. On the flipside, low intensity players will rely on meticulous big combos. After playing for a bit, you'll also have the opportunity to design your own sign and style, which is neat. [embed]297134:59784:0[/embed] Solo mode is very limited, because after you've defeated all the opposing zodiac signs in combat, it ends. Naturally the difficulty ramps up towards the end where the AI will start putting up more of a fight, but since it only takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, the good stuff is over before it starts. Thankfully there is a versus AI mode on top of the campaign, but it also has the same crescendoing difficulty scheme which can get boring during that initial climb. To really enjoy Astral Breakers to the fullest, you'll need a friend, especially since there's no online play. To augment your standard versus mode there's also a co-op setting, which can get really fun as you attempt to score as many points as possible. Like most versus puzzlers, if you can find someone to share it with, you'll get a ton of leeway, especially given the strong foundation. I wish Astral Breakers had a more involved single player component and a smoother visual style, but for the most part, there's a serviceable core experience here. Just don't dive in alone. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Astral Breakers review photo
Gemini Man
I'm lucky that I've had a number of friends to play games with growing up. Before the dawn of online play (I didn't leave the house for a week when I discovered dial-up Diablo and Xbox Live), the only option was to pull ...

Telltale photo
Telltale

Telltale's Walking Dead might be headed to Wii U, three years later


Boxed version of Seasons 1 and 2
Aug 06
// Chris Carter
After years of being absent on Wii U, Telltale might be bringing its acclaimed Walking Dead adventure series to the platform. GAME has listed a new boxed release up for pre-order, priced at £29.99 with a launc...
Splatoon update photo
Splatoon update

Squid Girl outfit coming to Splatoon this week in Japan


You gotta be squiddin' me
Aug 05
// Ben Davis
[Update: We've spotted all the Squid Girl gear in the U.S. build of the August update. Thanks, Nintendo! Please do Ranma 1/2 next.] Ever since Splatoon's characters were first announced, I've been seeing comparisons between t...
Devil's Third photo
Devil's Third

Devil's Third still looks batshit in this new launch trailer


Not necessarily a bad thing
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
Devil's Third has had a bumpy ride, but it's nearly out in Europe -- it's set for an August 28 release date. In the meantime, you can take a look at what the game is all about in this new launch trailer, and man is it both intentionally and non-intentionally funny. Despite all of the issues previewers may have with it, I'm still very interested in trying it out for myself.
LEGO Marvel photo
LEGO Marvel

LEGO Marvel's Avengers pushed back to January 2016


Block quotes
Aug 05
// Steven Hansen
LEGO Marvel's Avengers will miss its fall 2015 release and instead come to North America on January 26 and Europe on January 29. Some real missed holiday sales opportunity there, looks like, especially with it coming to every...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

Comcept finally confirms that the Mighty No. 9 2016 delay is REAL


Told you
Aug 05
// Chris Carter
Late last week, Mike Futter at Game Informer and I broke the news that Mighty No. 9 might be getting a last-minute delay. It was set for a September release date, but rumblings suggested that it would be pushed into 2016...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live's new batch of songs is... actually pretty good


Boston, Rush, MGMT, and others
Aug 05
// Darren Nakamura
Past updates to the Guitar Hero Live set list have puzzled me, betraying how out of touch I am with popular music, but this one brings me back. I don't care how many times I have played Boston's "More than a Feeling" in a mus...
Jonathan Holmes vs Jed photo
Jonathan Holmes vs Jed

Splatoon Splatfest Faceoff: Marshmallows vs Hot Dogs


Holmes vs Whitaker / Nipples vs Weiners
Aug 03
// Jed Whitaker
Get your tentacles ready, there is about to be another Splatfest in Splatoon for those of us in North America and this time the theme is marshmallows versus hot dogs. Jonathan Holmes and I decided to debate why our side...

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