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Deals photo

Cyber Monday deals for Wii U and New 3DS XL

Spartan but servicable
Nov 30
// Dealzon
We stretched our robot eyes as far as the nanolayer allowed, but there just weren't as many Nintendo Cyber Monday deals this year compared to years past. (Or maybe they've always been a slight letdown.) On the Wii U side, the...
Splatoon photo

It's burgers vs. pizza in the newest Splatoon Splatfest

Like there's a choice
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
I love the forced extremes of the Splatoon Splatfests -- it's one or the other. In this case, it's a no-brainer choosing pizza over hamburgers. I mean, what culture doesn't love pizza? It utterly surprised me during my first ...
Lost Reavers photo
Lost Reavers

Lost Reavers is being developed by a younger core staff

At the request of Harada
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's still unknown whether or not the Wii U's Lost Reavers will sport a fair free-to-play scheme, but for now, it's looking interesting enough for me to keep following it. Speaking to Famitsu, producer Katsuhiro Harada (...
Xenoblade photo

Video Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

X gon' give it to ya
Nov 30
// Myles Cox
Xenoblade Chronicles X is certainly one of those games that you probably have to see to believe, rather than simply just taking some stranger's word for it. The written review just doesn't do it enough justice in my humble o...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

New Mighty No. 9 trailer showcases additional modes

Oh that Beck he's so wacky
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mighty No. 9 is going for that "kooky weird Saturday morning cartoon" vibe with this new trailer, meant to showcase some of the game's new modes, and that ever-popular brand™ building Minecraft pre-order bonus ski...
Mario Kart 8 photo
Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart 8 is getting a TV special on Disney XD this week

Haha what
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mario Kart 8 came in with a bang, and ended up lasting quite a while with its two amazing DLC packs. While I still play it on occasion, its fire has unfortunately died down a bit, partially due to the horrible battle mode tha...

Review: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Nov 30 // Chris Carter
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U)Developer: Monolith SoftPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 29, 2015 (Japan), December 4, 2015 (EU, US)MSRP: $59.99 X's timeline starts in 2054 AD, when a mysterious alien race assaults the Earth and decimates the human race as we know it. Arks deploy across the universe, and the only known survivor is the White Whale, which crash lands on the distant planet Mira. Cue a quest to kickstart mankind's new home, and you have your basic gist of what's going on. To be clear, the story is not related to the original Xenoblade in any way. You do not need to have played the other game to have an idea of what's going on, and by JRPG standards, X's story is rather clear and concise. The player goes through the experience as a silent protagonist, with a minor amount of dialogue choices (more like moods) in tow. There is no branching narrative here -- instead, you'll follow a linear storyline, with the ability to take control of any party member as your primary avatar, including the one you create. Where X really shines isn't by way of its serviceable, yet sometimes drawn-out story; it's the ability to create your own adventures. Through the use of a lone base (New LA) and a formidable, yet vulnerable organization called BLADE, you'll slowly learn more about Mira, the creatures that inhabit it, and the dangers involved beyond the alien race trying to wipe out your species. The giant, sprawling maps (of which there are five, all accessible at the start) are a dream come true for exploration enthusiasts, with secrets at every turn and points of interest every minute or so. While the visuals aren't anything to gawk at on a grand scale, the draw distance is absolutely incredible, to the point where I'm in awe Monolith was able to squeeze these textures into a Wii U title. Walking around in X is wondrous, and spotting giant screens-high enemies and world bosses (Indigens and Tyrants, respectively) is something you need to do yourself to truly grasp the game's scale. [embed]322015:61313:0[/embed] Players will start off with a male or female avatar of their choosing, and it's off to the races, with a rather quick tutorial session. From there, the game completely ceases to hold your hand, which is going to be a massive point of contention for some. Point blank, X is not a game you can casually pick up and play -- you need to immerse yourself in it. This not only goes for leveling up your character, but unlocking the requirements for story missions. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a tough and unforgiving game if you have no affinity toward the JRPG genre. Sure, there are a few modern conveniences peppered in, like fast travel, a detailed world map (accessible at all times on the GamePad screen), and the ability to save anywhere, but you will need to master nearly every facet of X to progress past the first few chapters. Hell, you'll need to actually read the manual to pick up on a few major things, old-school style, and I ended up taking paper notes just like I did in the NES days. It's going to be a polarizing thing for sure, but personally, I'm stoked to play something like this again. Learning all the game's ins and outs was a joy. It's particularly satisfying to take everything in and feel like you've accomplished something. The battle system is just as unforgiving as a lot of other aspects of X. It's based on an auto-attack system that presents you with a few skills at the start (such as power attacks or debuffs), but after a few hours the learning curve really ramps up. Players will have to juggle between ranged and melee attacks and abilities, both of which have their own styles, pros, and cons. By way of an MMO hotbar with icons and cooldowns, you'll have to micromanage all of the tools available to you, learn what abilities combo with others, and divine the right time to use them. Combat is also nuanced in practice, as enemies often have appendages that can be broken for strategic value. On paper it sounds like basic stuff, but once I earned the dodge and block abilities, timing became absolutely key to surviving a boss battle. Additionally, mastering other facets like the Soul Voice system (a harmless QTE that pops up occasionally, allowing you to heal your party), and knowledge of passive skill synergy will help. If all of that sounds scary, maybe Xenoblade Chronicles X isn't the game for you. Don't worry about the controls though. They work great, mostly thanks to the GamePad. As mentioned previously, it's constantly available as a map and fast travel datapad of sorts. If you're so inclined you can also use the Wii U Pro Controller, which works fine as well. In terms of length, X hits that sweet spot a lot of games in the genre tend to provide -- 50 hours or so for the story, and double that to do everything. What sets this JRPG apart from most of the competition however, is its ability to grab the player's attention throughout, and not just during specific juicy story sections. I would often spend hours at a time just aimlessly wandering around, finding mining locations to raise my income, and hunting down Tyrants. Every zone has a distinct feel to it, and in all, I've probably spent 10 hours in each individual area. Skells (mechs) have been a huge part of the game's marketing scheme, and it's important to know that you won't get them until roughly 20 to 30 hours into the core story (this is assuming you only do a light amount of exploring on top of that). After unlocking the opportunity to even obtain the license to pilot one, you'll have to complete a lengthy multi-tier optional questline. When I had first heard that figure based on player's experiences with the Japanese version I was turned off, but actually playing X, I quickly forgot about them, and when Skells did arrive, they felt like a cherry on top, opening up brand new exploration options via flight. Xenoblade does come with an online component, and just to be clear, I wasn't able to fully test it out. In addition to multiplayer squad support, there's also a system where you can recruit or interact with potential party members in an asynchronous manner, the latter of which I personally did have access to during my review period. It's a nice little bonus, as adding in a member from a vast online pool of players (even pre-launch) can help you fulfill a need in your party makeup that may be missing. Otherwise, this can be played completely offline, without any fear of missing out of an essential part of the game. This is one of the more interesting reviews I've done as of late because I know Xenoblade Chronicles X will be divisive. But it truly feels like an MMO world I've been living in for several weeks now. The more grimdark theme isn't quite as charming as the original Xenoblade, but everything else makes up for it. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Xenoblade review photo
I'm really feeling it
When Xenoblade Chronicles was announced for localization on the Wii, my heart skipped a beat. While there are plenty of JRPGs to go around, the more the merrier, and I wouldn't pass up the chance to experience another Monolith Soft game. I didn't quite have the same reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles X at first, but it really grew on me over time.

PlayStation 4 photo
PlayStation 4

Research group says millennials prefer PlayStation

Especially on Black Friday
Nov 30
// Mike Cosimano
Shopping research group InfoScout has published its post-Black Friday findings as they relate to video game consoles. As you can see in the chart below, 40% of participating millennials (defined as ages 18-35) buy PlayStation...
Deals photo

Cyber Monday deals on Wii U, Xbox One, & PS4 bundles over at eBay

Of course it starts on a Saturday
Nov 29
// Dealzon
Update: Cyber Monday is over and thus only two deals remain. Listed below. Its not quite Monday yet but eBay deals are flooding with various Cyber Monday deals on Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 console bundles. If you slept pass Bl...
Nintendo photo

The Nintendo UK Store just got a huge amiibo restock

An official online store, imagine that
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
In the UK, Nintendo has a dedicated online store where you can go online, and buy amiibo straight from the source. I know right? Here in the US we have to hunt for retailer exclusives and hope that our F5 tactics actuall...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

You'll want to watch this Xenoblade Chronicles X map guide video

Haha, this game
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
If you're hyped up for Xenoblade Chronicles X, you'll probably want to take the time to watch this nine minute video regarding the game's map system. It's pretty complicated, and X doesn't actually explain everythin...
amiibo photo

PSA: Ike and other rare amiibo are back at GameStop

It's a Black Friday miracle!
Nov 27
// Mike Cosimano
GameStop has made good on its advertised Black Friday amiibo restock. Not only are stores packed with the promised Ike amiibo, but you can also find the other restocked figures through its website. As of writing, the reissued...
Super Mario Maker photo
Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker adds the frog suit, NES Remix course

Great news
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
Nintendo has provided a new course for Super Mario Maker, based on the NES Remix series. After completion, it will net you the frog suit from Mario 3, which wasn't in the game previously -- it's important to note h...
CronusMAX Plus photo
CronusMAX Plus

The CronusMAX Plus V3 allows interchangeable PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U controllers

I put it to the test
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
For weeks now, readers have been asking about the CronusMAX Plus. With its grand claims of using "almost any controller on any console," a lot of people wanted to know if it worked, especially given the pricey $50 price tag for what essentially amounted to a fancy dongle. After some initial issues, it ended up taking me by surprise at how well it worked.
Dragon Quest X photo
Dragon Quest X

Dragon Quest X is getting a Wii, Wii U, and 3DS bundle in Japan

Nov 26
// Chris Carter
Another year, another lack of Dragon Quest X in the west. Square Enix has added insult to injury recently too, as it just announced a new Japanese bundle that includes the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS versions of the game. So if...
Nintendo Download photo
Nintendo Download

Nintendo Download: Cyber Deals

Also, Konami Krazy Racers
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
Well, this is an awkward digital Thanksgiving dinner. Nintendo sent over the main courses for the available 3DS and Wii U eShop downloads today, and they're rather paltry. Wii U will see Konami Krazy Racers and Cutie Pet...
Hyrule Warriors Legends photo
Hyrule Warriors Legends

Watch Skull Kid do his thing in Hyrule Warriors Legends

Nov 26
// Chris Carter
One of my most anticipated new features of Hyrule Warriors Legends, an expansion of sorts for the original Warriors, is Skull Kid. The new attacks shown in the video look amazing, and include moon abilities, as well as a fig...
Angry Video Game Nerd photo
Angry Video Game Nerd

Two years after its PC launch, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures Wii U is coming to Europe

December 10
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was a pleasant surprise for me, but unfortunately, Europe still hasn't gotten the Wii U edition of the game. It looks like it will finally hit on December 10, according to a listing at Ni...
Modern Mario photo
Modern Mario

Don't go to a Walmart tomorrow: get the Modern Mario amiibo online now

It's up
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
Recently, Walmart tried to tempt folks into walking into a store and picking up one of "at least" 21 Modern Mario amiibo, but don't do that -- instead, just pick one up casually online. Why are these such a big deal? Well, th...
Deals photo

$249 Black Friday Wii U with Smash & Splatoon available at midnight

Walmart strikes first blood
Nov 25
// Dealzon
Update: Deal is now live but Walmart servers are being hammered. FYI, Target's similar deal is available in store only. For those unaware, Walmart will be selling the popular Black Friday Wii U Deluxe bundles with Super Smash...
Sup Holmes photo
Sup Holmes

Rally 'round the family with Runbow and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Sup Holmes every Sunday at 2:30pm EST!
Nov 25
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sup Holmes is a weekly talk show for people that make great videogames. It airs live every Sunday at 4pm EST on YouTube, and can be found in Podcast form on Libsyn and iTunes.] With Thanksgiving almost u...
Level-5 photo

Level-5 CEO dishes on possibility of Wii U, NX games

Go go Yo-Kai Watch
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
Level-5 is no stranger to Nintendo platforms. While they got their start making fantastic games like Dark Cloud and Jeanne d'Arc, they shifted over to the DS with Professor Layton, and saw great success there for many ye...
Twilight Princess photo
Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Wii U will likely support Wiimote and Nunchuk controls

And the GamePad
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
Well this is interesting. Fans have been speculating as to the control schemes that will be supported in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, and according to the official Nintendo Sweden landing site, we're in for some...
Nintendo deals photo
Nintendo deals

Nintendo's big 3DS and Wii U eShop sale is up

Now I just need storage
Nov 25
// Jordan Devore
Y'all ready for some cyber deals? Nintendo kicked off its big eShop sale on Wii U and 3DS titles today with discounts up to 50 percent off. Wii U The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD ($34.99) Pikmin 3 ($38.99) Captain Toad...
Xenoblade Chronicles X photo
Xenoblade Chronicles X

Don't worry Europe, you can download the Xenoblade Chronicles X data packs soon

Already available in the US
Nov 25
// Chris Carter
As previously discussed, Xenoblade Chronicles X has data packs that are available prior to launch in the US. You can download them from the eShop, and at the cost of 10GB of HDD space, textures will be enhanced, and load...
Hyrule Warriors photo
Hyrule Warriors

They finally gave Ganondorf a trident in Hyrule Warriors Legends

A (Tri)force to be reckoned with
Nov 24
// Brett Makedonski
Ganondorf wasn't given a trident in Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. That seems like a missed opportunity of sorts. It was his weapon of choice in some of the best Zelda games ever made. That misstep is being rectified w...
Minecraft screenshots photo
Minecraft screenshots

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 3 screenshots, we got 'em

Look at last
Nov 24
// Darren Nakamura
The third episode for Minecraft: Story Mode is out today, and it's actually not half bad. I think I took more screenshots this time around than in the first two episodes as a result. Going through these after the fact, it's o...

Review: Minecraft: Story Mode: The Last Place You Look

Nov 24 // Darren Nakamura
Minecraft: Story Mode: The Last Place You Look (iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Telltale GamesPublisher: Telltale GamesReleased: November 24, 2015 (Mac, PC)MSRP: $4.99, $24.99 (Season Pass)Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit After having found Ellegaard the redstone engineer and Magnus the griefer in the previous episode, the gang needed only to locate Soren the architect for the full original Order of the Stone to be accounted for. The journey to find Soren takes the party to some peculiar locations, most located in The End. However, since Soren is a master builder, the areas highlighted are more diverse than the typical darkness of The End. Between Soren's feats of engineering in the overworld and colorful constructions in The End, it's a nice nod to Minecraft proper players who are known to build some of the craziest things. Soren himself is a much more likable character than some of the other members of the Order of the Stone. Where Ellegaard and Magnus were basically insufferable (especially after they were brought together), Soren is quirky and at times genuinely funny. Voiced by John Hodgman, he's neurotic and paranoid, but still fun to be around. [embed]321869:61211:0[/embed] Overall, the quality of the writing has taken a half-step up from the previous two episodes. None of the jokes elicited any sustained belly laughs, but I did let out a few snorts and chuckles along the way. The Last Place You Look started up a running gag where Axel falls on top of Lukas repeatedly, which happens just enough to be comical without getting tired. Some of the seeds of drama sown in previous episodes have begun to sprout, and while it still maintains the kid-friendly narrative, it's finally beginning to feel like the events happening matter and Jesse has an important role to play. The greatest success of The Last Place You Look is that it allows the player to feel accomplished while still moving the narrative along. This is, after all, only the third episode in a five-episode season, so anybody who knows Telltale knows everything won't be resolved here. But even so, the climax of this episode feels like a high point for the team. Sure, they're not done with their mission, but they did something, at least. There's never really any downtime during this episode either. Though there are a few sections of walking around and talking or searching for clues, they all serve a purpose and generally lead to action sequences. The first action sequence in particular is probably the best so far in the series, melding the fantastic environments, a sense of danger, and the classic Telltale decision-making into a tight opening credit roll. One thing that might turn some off is the quiet lowering of the bar for success during the action sequences. Some of the quick-time events seem more demanding here than usual, but I noticed after I flubbed a button press or two, the resulting animation didn't seem to react accordingly. Perhaps it takes multiple failures in a single section to make a difference. More experimentation is necessary. As much as I may praise The Last Place You Look, it is with respect to the first two episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode. It definitely is an improvement, but an improvement from mediocrity is just okay. The comedy is slightly improved, but still doesn't hold a candle to that of Tales from the Borderlands. The characters are becoming easier to sympathize with, but they aren't are interesting as those from The Wolf Among Us. The drama is beginning to heat up, but it doesn't come close to what we saw in The Walking Dead. Perhaps it's unfair to compare Minecraft: Story Mode to Telltale's more adult-oriented series. This is built for a particular demographic, and it seems like it's really hitting with that audience. The Last Place You Look is more of the same -- and slightly better, if anything -- so those who have enjoyed the series thus far will be pleased to just keep on trucking. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Minecraft review photo
Looking up
Minecraft: Story Mode didn't impress me with its first two episodes. Aimed at young players and Minecraft super fans, its writing didn't have a whole lot going for it past its Saturday morning cartoon plot and series in-jokes...

Guitar Hero TV photo
Guitar Hero TV

Guitar Hero TV is getting 34 new songs this week

Including 'Jerry Was a Race Car Driver'
Nov 24
// Chris Carter
At this point, Guitar Hero Live's GHTV function will have 300 songs to choose from this weekend, with 34 new tracks dropping tomorrow. The full list is below, but the obvious highlights include Judas Priest, Tenacious D, Huey...
Wii U photo
Wii U

You can now buy replacement Wii U GamePads... in Japan

Unfortunately they're region locked
Nov 24
// Laura Kate Dale
Way back in 2012 when the Wii U was initially announced, Nintendo stated that down the line players would be able to buy a second GamePad separately for dual-GamePad games on the system. This dual support never actually came ...

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