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The ten best videogame laughs EVER!

Jun 27 // Chad Concelmo
[embed]229682:44186:0[/embed] The videogame laugh that started it all. In classic NES shooter Duck Hunt, if a player lets the on-screen ducks fly away without shooting them, the supposedly helpful hunting dog pops up from behind the grass and just laughs. Right in the player’s disappointed face. Just laughs and laughs and laughs ... What’s so funny, dog?! Those ducks were our dinner! Without that food, our family will starve. Including you! Not so funny now, huh?   [embed]229682:44187:0[/embed] This one is just strange. At one point in the first half of Final Fantasy X, Tidus is depressed about ... something. (Honestly, he’s a male lead protagonist in a later Final Fantasy game. All their dramatic problems blur in my mind.) To help cheer him up, Yuna recommends he laugh out loud. Sounds sweet and helpful, right? As good as her intentions were, I don’t think Yuna was expecting the creepy robotic cackle that comes out of Tidus’s mouth. And even crazier: SHE JOINS IN THE MADNESS! The whole scene is just amazingly insane.   [embed]229682:44188:0[/embed] Skip ahead to 8:30 in the above video. When buying something from the old, lazy librarian in classic PlayStation game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, he will give a quick chuckle and offer a friendly “thank you.” This would not be that memorable if it didn’t happen over and over and over again. If you keep buying items, the “laugh and thanks” combo will not stop. It just keeps playing until, honestly, you almost don’t want to buy anything anymore. Maybe that’s the merchant’s tactic to avoid running out of items. Almost out of cloaks? No problem! HEHEHE THANK YOU! HEHEHE THANK YOU! HEHEHE THANK YOU!   [embed]229682:44189:0[/embed] Boo’s devious giggle, featured in many Mario games, may be short and sweet, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. It makes me smile every time I hear it. Yes, Boo would probably hate this -- he would want his laugh to instill fear and make me run away in terror -- but how can anyone run away from something so cute? If I ever met Boo at a party, I would tell him a joke (a Goomba, a Koopa, and a P-Switch walk into a bar ... ), wait for him to laugh, and then give him a huge hug. Which might be impossible, since I would have to turn towards him to do it.   [embed]229682:44190:0[/embed] There are many great laughs in Punch-Out!!, but none as memorable as Bald Bull’s. I will never forget that laugh. In the (maybe literally) millions of times I played Punch-Out!! on my NES as a child, I heard that laugh more times than I can count. It would drive me crazy. And it wasn’t just the laugh that got me. It was that mocking, rhythmic head movement that accompanied it. I always wanted Little Mac to get back up from the mat and punch Bald Bull in his smug mug every time he laughed at me for losing. Sure, it wouldn’t be very sportsmanlike, but referee Mario and I had an understanding. He would have looked the other way.   [embed]229682:44191:0[/embed] Before watching the above video, I bet you could have mimicked not only Bowser’s laugh from Super Mario 64, but the music cue that comes right before it. They are both so iconic! Every time Bowser sends Mario a message in the revolutionary Nintendo 64 game, it is accompanied by the same music and deep, guttural laugh. In the real world, this added laugh would be the equivalent to including a frowny face emoticon in all your e-mails. The message you already have may be intimidating and grumpy enough, but that frowny face just makes your point perfectly clear: You are not happy about saying what you have to say. Come to think about it, the next time I want to add a frowny face to an e-mail, I am going to attach Bowser’s laugh instead. That’ll teach Netflix to ship me the wrong disc for Breaking Bad – Season 4!   [embed]229682:44192:0[/embed] This is, by far, the cutest laugh on this list. Clank’s laugh is the very definition of infectious. Whenever the adorable robot sidekick giggles, it just makes me so ridiculously happy. Listen to the tone of his perfect little laugh. It’s so cute and joy inducing! BLARGH I JUST WANT TO SNUGGLE WITH A PUPPY RIGHT NOW!   [embed]229682:44193:0[/embed] Zelda II for the NES is hard. Actually, it’s more than hard. It’s brutal. Nothing is more fun than making your way through a long, challenging dungeon, only to be accidentally knocked back into a pool of lava, killing you instantly and forcing you to start back at the beginning of the level. Oh, wait, I know what is more fun than that: Hearing Ganon laugh at you after all this happens. Jerk.   [embed]229682:44194:0[/embed] Ugh. This laugh. When I used to play Kung Fu on the original NES -- and I played it a lot -- I used to hate hearing this laugh. It plays whenever a boss defeats you, and the bosses defeated me all the time in this ridiculously tough game. In a weird way, though, this laugh only motivated me to keep playing. After hearing it, I was determined to beat the game and put an end to that frustrating sound once and for all. Ah, I can still hear it ringing through my ears. Now I have to go play Kung Fu again. It’s like a Pavlovian response. I also really feel the need to tight roll my jeans.   [embed]229682:44195:0[/embed] As great as all the laughs are on this list, nothing can top Kefka’s laugh from Final Fantasy VI. Kefka is evil, pure and simple. And his in-game laugh reflects this. Even though it is coming from a 16-bit game, the sound of his laugh somehow perfectly captures the combination of sheer madness and lunacy that Kefka possesses. The laugh is used at all the most tragic of times. After poisoning an entire kingdom full of women and children, Kefka laughs. After killing a once loyal ally, Kefka laughs. Even after mocking the main characters for attempting to do something good, Kefka laughs. He just laughs and laughs throughout the entire game, shaking his head and swinging his arms with a demented glee after something truly horrible has happened. Damn, Kefka is a bastard. And his laugh is sure to haunt your dreams.   ----- Since there have been a lot of great videogame laughs over the years, here is a list of runners-up. These laughs are all very memorable, but just missed the final cut. Calisto Yew (Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)Norstein Bekkler (Chrono Trigger)Zoltun Kulle (Diablo III)Rudy (Funhouse)Villain (Impossible Mission)Heaven Smile (Killer7)Kun Lan (Killer7)Colonel Volgin (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)Soda Popinski (Punch-Out!!)Merchant (Resident Evil 4)Sagat (Street Fighter)   Engineer (Team Fortress 2)   ----- What do you think? Do you agree with my picks for the best videogame laughs of all time? What other laughs do you love (or love to hate)? TO THE COMMENTS!
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I have a very loud laugh. Some people say it is infectious, but I have been paranoid about it my entire life. When I am sitting in a movie theater, sometimes I laugh so hard that people think something is wrong with me. I eve...

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What is the most consistently great series of all time?


Jun 21
// Chad Concelmo
After yesterday's official announcement of Metal Gear Solid 5 (woot!), I started thinking about how there really aren't any bad games in the entire, long-running Metal Gear series. All of the Solid games are near perfect, the...

The winner of the battle of the E3 2012 predictions!

Jun 14 // Chad Concelmo
    If you want to get the details of how these questions were asked and the answers that were given, you can read the original predictions post right here. For this follow-up post, I will just get to the results. Because that's why you all are here, right? Here is a chart of which contestants made which predictions, and the results based on what was announced at E3. Remember, these things could happen eventually, but if they weren't talked about at E3, the result is "no." The original questions are on the left; results on the right. The correct predictions are highlighted in yellow, while the incorrect answers are in grey. After counting up all the correct answers, the winner is ... THE GAMER! Congratulation to Bill Platt on an outstanding victory! Nice job! But, as you can see, it was a close race between the gamer and the analyst. Only one correct answer separated the two! In a surprise, the horse and coin both put up some pretty solid numbers as well. Sorry, Sadie the toddler. You are so unbelievably cute -- and your positivity is infectious! -- but all those "yes" answers were your downfall. Here is an exact percentage breakdown of how many predictions each contestant got correct: The analyst - 38 out of 50 correct. 76%The gamer - 39 out of 50 correct. 78%The toddler - 11 out of 50 correct. 22%The horse - 25 out of 50 correct. 50%The coin - 22 out of 50 correct. 44% What do you think of the results? Did you pick the correct winner? Who were you rooting for? Are you surprised by any of this, or were you expecting the gamer to take it? It was an interesting E3. Only 11 and a half more months until next year! I am excited already. [UPDATE: The analyst, Jess Divnich, is such an amazing guy. To congratulate the gamer, he is donating $200 to Child's Play in Bill Platt's name and buying him a game of his choosing. CLASS ACT!]
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Before E3, I posted Destructoid's annual E3 predictions. It was an epic competition for the ages. A competition even more brutal than the Thunderdome, Hunger Games, and Battle Royale COMBINED! I asked a videogame analyst (Jes...

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Pre-order '31 Days of Zero Suit Samus' right now!


Jun 12
// Chad Concelmo
Friend of Destructoid and Weekly Geek host Chris Furniss, along with many other remarkably talented artists (including Destructoid's own Ashley Davis!), recently put together a book of videogame art pieces entitled "31 Days o...

E3: Hands-on with Rayman Legends

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
This game will make you want to buy a Wii U. It is that good. So far it is a Wii-exclusive, and, if it stays that way, this game could really be a system seller. If Pikmin 3 wasn't in the picture, Rayman Legends would easily be the best Wii U game I played at the show. Even me typing this hyperbole feels a little crazy, as the only thing on-display for Rayman Legends was the game's co-op mode. The single-player mode -- and the game definitely has one! -- was not playable. To fall this in love with an "extra" mode is insane. I can't imagine how incredible the single-player campaign will be. When I say "co-op mode," I don't mean it in the regular sense of the word. While you can play up to four-play co-op with four characters on-screen like in Rayman Origins, there is a new co-op mode that involves one player playing with the new Wii U Pro Controller and one playing with the GamePad. Let me break down how this works. As mentioned, one player controls the main character on-screen with the Wii U Pro Controller (you can read my impressions on that fantastic controller right here). The other player holds the GamePad and uses nothing else but the built in touch screen. While the first player is running through the splendid levels, the other player is "assisting" them by interacting with the world around them. This could be very basic like the co-op mode in Super Mario Galaxy, but it is not simple at all. There is so much variety to this "assisting" that it is always interesting and fun. In fact, it is so impressive that I gasped on multiple occasions because I was so impressed with what the game was letting me and my partner do. At first, the assisting is much easier. The second player can cut grass by swiping the touch screen to uncover shiny lums, tap on something in the background to open a secret area, or grab enemies and hold onto them to help the player. As the levels progress, things get much deeper (and much more fun!). In one section, the second player has to shoot projectiles at dragons in the background to protect the first player. In another, player two can grab parts of the environment to help player one proceed further. And this is some of the stuff that impressed me the most. In one level, a huge wooden wheel was in front of Rayman. The wheel had a complicated maze-like passage through it that needs to be traversed in order for the first player to proceed. In the passage were deadly, one-touch-and-you're-dead spikes and hooks to grab on to. In order to proceed, player two has to grab hold of the wheel and turn it for player one. To to this, the second player taps the touch screen to lock in the hold and rotates the actual GamePad back and forth. There is no lag and everything is smooth and intuitive. When the wheel is placed in the right direction, the first player can move forward. This dance between both players takes a lot of cooperation, and, when successful, is ridiculously satisfying. There were several puzzles like this, and they were all extraordinary. And then the second part of the demo started. I was already impressed by everything I played, but the second part of the demo involved Rayman running through a fast, auto-scrolling level timed to the music being played and activated by the second player. It's hard to describe unless you see the video (watch it right here!), but, basically, every jump, item grab, and movement the first player makes is timed to the music playing in the background. To help with the beat, the second player can tap on-screen statues. It is unbelievably cool and one of the most impressive levels I have ever seen in a 2D platformer. After talking about all this, I didn't even mention how beautiful Rayman Legends looks. I mean, it kind of goes without saying. But it should be mentioned. Rayman Legends is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. One of the best-looking 2D platformers ever. Hell, one of the best-looking games ever. I didn't think it was possible, but Rayman Legends looks ever better than Rayman Origins. And, keep in mind again, that I saw only two small sequences in the game. I can't imagine how amazing everything is going to look when all the various levels are opened up. Ubisoft and Nintendo were smart to show off the co-op version of Rayman Legends on the Wii U. A single-player demo would have been a nice bonus, but we already know what that is going to look like -- we have Rayman Origins to play over and over. With Rayman Legends, Ubisoft has taken things to a whole new level. The game looks incredible, it plays just as well as its predecessor, and the Wii U-specific co-op features are fun and never once feel gimmicky. Rayman Legends is a masterpiece in the making. If the final game is as strong as the demo, this could be some serious Game of the Year stuff.
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Rayman Legends is the direct Wii U-exclusive sequel to the beautiful, gorgeous, sublime 2D platformer Rayman Origins that was released last year. The good news if you were a fan of Rayman Origins: Rayman Legends is even more ...

E3: Hands-on with ZombiU

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
Let's get to all the good stuff first. Even though zombies are completely overused in videogames, ZombiU surprisingly feels fresh. This is due to a few key things. One, the controls. The Wii U GamePad feels great, and playing a first-person shooter like this with it is totally comfortable. The draw to this game -- and the feature that drew the most applause during the Ubisoft press conference -- is the cool implementation of the GamePad controller. While running around doing normal zombie-killing things, you can use the GamePad for many different things. When opening a box, you can see the contents on your touch screen. Just tap what you want and slide it into your inventory! Get to a door that needs unlocking? You can pick the lock in a super easy (almost too easy) lockpicking minigame on the GamePad! Need to type in a code to open a door? Type it in on the touch screen! This stuff is fun (if a little gimmicky) and helps mix up the action. Another cool addition to the game is permanent death. When you die in ZombiU, you die forever. There are no retries or lives in the game. When you die, you restart as a brand new survivor, with your old character walking around the level as a zombie. It's a really neat addition and makes death feel so much scarier than in most games of the type. Now ... the not so good. First, ZombiU doesn't really look that great. Compared to the Wii, the game looks incredible. The textures are detailed, the lighting is slick, and the environments are appropriately atmospheric. But when you compare the game to other current gen games of the same type, it doesn't hold up. If it was very stylized, this comparison wouldn't be fair. But it's not. It is supposed to look as realistic as possible, and the graphics just don't feel as advanced as they could. The game doesn't look bad by any means, but it's hard not to compare it to similar games on other systems. The comparison is inevitable. Another problem with the game is also one of the ZombiU's greatest strengths: the implementation of the GamePad controller. As mentioned, there are some really cool things about the new control scheme -- lockpicking and item management is particularly neat. But there are some sequences that are just plain weird and a little awkward. Some parts of the game have you hold up the GamePad screen and look "through" the touch screen. Sometimes this is used for aiming with your sniper rifle, which is pretty cool, but most of the times it is used to "scan" the area and find secret thing using a special kind of vision. In concept, it sounds neat, but it doesn't work very well and totally takes you out of the action. (It is also accompanied by a very awkward on-screen animation of your character also looking through the same type of tablet screen. Why does he/she have this device in their backpack?) Adding a few clever elements with the GamePad is great, but add too many and the game collapses under its own cleverness. And, unfortunately, ZombiU falls into this category more often than not. Some of this stuff could be cleaned up before the final version, but, as of now, the game just feels to unsure of its own strengths and weaknesses to excitedly recommend it. Seeing an M-rated game being promoted on the Wii U is very exciting, and bodes well for the future of the system. With ZombiU, though, a little more work needs to be done to stay away from the gimmicks and focus on the core gameplay. I liked ZombiU, but didn't. I was impressed by some of the new features, but confused by them as well. I had fun with the game, but also was frustrated. So, in short: Huh.
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Huh. That was my first reaction after playing ZombiU for the Wii U at Nintendo's booth during E3. Huh. Now, "huh" usually has a negative connotation, but that is not necessarily the case with this particular game. The "huh" i...

E3: Daedalic and the return of the classic adventure game

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
The two games Daedalic Entertainment showed off were The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav and Deponia. The Dark Eye is a more traditional fantasy adventure game like King's Quest, while Deponia is a wacky adventure set in space that very much reminded me of Space Quest. Both games look absolutely gorgeous, with hand-drawn backgrounds and smooth animation. Just looking at the games for the first time brought back such memories of how beautiful adventure games used to look with their hand-drawn and hand-painted art. As great as the little I got to see of Deponia was, that game is still a little ways off. I will focus on The Dark Eye, as that is the game that featured an extended demo. It will also be available on Steam on June 22, so the release date is only a few weeks away! Like most point-and-click games, The Dark Eye involves a main character exploring a vast world, interacting with characters, and solving puzzles to reach the end of the game. Obviously, the first thing you will notice about the game is how gorgeous it looks. The fact that a small group of people made a game that looks this good really boggles my mind. It's incredible how talented some people in this world are. Exploring the world is as simple as clicking on any object or character you want to interact with. Again, it is classic graphic adventure stuff. In addition to this, a very large inventory system is also used. Like most adventure games, you can pick up a ton of items, some so random you won't even know where to use them until just the right time. One addition to The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav is a basic, yet effective magic system. Along the way, the main character can learn spells that will interact with the environment. One spell will break items. This can be used in many scenarios with no real result -- it is more of an aesthetic thing. But some items need to be shattered to solve puzzles. In one scenario in the demo, the main character was tied up and trapped in a cave. By using his magic power combined with many items in his inventory, he eventually escapes in a plan of almost Rube Goldberg-proportions. It was quite complicated, but very well-designed, so the solution could be figured out eventually with some focused thinking. In fact, all of the puzzles in the Dark Eye felt very challenging, but never too challenging to be frustrating. I am one of the first people to admit being driven to madness in some old adventure games, due to the puzzles being near-impossible. That is not the case with Dark Eye. Yes, the puzzles are tough, but they are never too daunting. If I had to have one negative about both the Dark Eye and Deponia, it would be the localization. So far, the localization is not perfect, leaving jokes kind of hanging and some dialogue very awkward. It is not a deal breaker by any means, but when the games are so visually strong and beautifully designed, you want everything about them to be perfect. The same can be said for the voice acting. While not bad, it definitely could use a little work. Outside of these small issues (or big, depending on what you look for in an adventure game), both The Dark Eye and Deponia look great. I adore adventure games, and I am very much looking forward to playing both of these promising games. Deponia is still in production, but The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav is set to hit Steam on June 22. If you are a fan of classic adventure games, you will want to check this one out.
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One of my favorite things to do at E3 is visit the smaller publisher and developers and try out their games. Usually creative and made with such a large amount of heart, the smaller games at E3 are always a breath of fresh ai...

E3: Hands-on with Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion was inspired by the classic Mickey platformer Castle of Illusion for the Genesis. This inspiration shows from the minute you start the game. The graphics -- while obviously improved for the slick 3DS -- look very similar. Even the animation and controls are very reminiscent of the original classic ... but I am getting ahead of myself. Not much is known about the story in Power of Illusion, but, as in Castle, Mickey is tasked with journeying through multiple Disney-themed worlds to put an end to the evil witch Mizrabel (who looks eerily similar to Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty). Along the way -- and this is the best part -- he will run into and rescue many Disney characters from different movies and TV shows. Seeing these awesome characters in the game was both surprising and exciting. As a huge Disney fan, I squealed with happiness when I found Scrooge McDuck and smiled when I talked to Rapunzel. The whole gang is included, and the game's creative director, Peter Ong, promises there are many, many appearances in the final game. To control, players use the slide pad or D-pad to move Mickey around the screen. Jumping is done with one button, and, like, Castle, a stomp is performed by hitting the jump button once again. You can also shoot paint and paint thinner projectiles by pushing the attack button. These controls, while very similar to Castle of Illusion, are only the very tip of the amazing iceberg. Like its console Epic Mickey counterparts, in Power of Illusion, Mickey can use paint or thinner to draw objects or take them away. This is done using the touch screen of the 3DS. When an object can be interacted with, it will appear glowing in the map on the bottom screen. By tapping this, a "paint" screen will be shown. In this screen, players will have to "paint," or outline, the object to make it appear, or erase it with the thinner to make it disappear. While only a few levels were shown in the demo, this technique was used to fantastic effect. Sometimes it was simple, just having to erase a vine blocking your path or painting a block to stand on. Other times things were more complicated. In one section, a series of cannons was on the screen that Mickey could launch himself with. Some cannons needed to be painted and some needed to be erased in order to form the perfect path to move on to a high platform. Since the action pauses when painting, some of the cannons had to be painted while in mid-flight. It made the sequence not just about strategy, but timing as well. To add more detail to a constantly deepening game, the painting mechanic is graded on how good of a job you do with painting the items. The better you do, the better rewards you get. For example, if you paint a stone column perfectly, fewer enemies will attack in the next section. If you do a bad job, more enemies may be waiting for you further on in the level. In addition, special painted objects can be found, unlocked, and carried with you throughout the game. As in Metroid, these acquired powers can be used at any time and help you access hidden areas and defeat enemies. In the demo, you could carry two special objects. One was a "Thwomp"-like enemy that would crush anything underneath it (even Mickey!). By drawing it anywhere on the screen, the monster will slam down and destroy anything underneath it. This is very helpful in defeating enemies that may be a little out of reach or guarding a tough platforming section. And, again, if you paint it perfectly, the enemy is more powerful and slams to the ground more times. The other item was a chest that would release helpful items such as money, more paint, or helpful hearts. The graphics and animation in the game are truly wonderful. DreamRift's other games -- Henry Hatsworth and Monster Tale -- have very similar, 16-bit retro graphics, but Power of Illusion seems to look even better! It's hard to tell in the screenshots, but parallax scrolling is in full effect, with backgrounds and gorgeous out-of-focus foregrounds looking incredible. And seeing this all in 3D makes everything look even more colorful and stunning. If this was the entire game, it would be great. But there is so much more! After rescuing the numerous Disney characters, they will return to your castle and find shelter in one of many rooms. These rooms can be upgraded to look more and more like scenes from the characters' respective universes. For example, I upgraded Scrooge McDuck's room and it was a perfect recreation of his office from DuckTales (complete with giant vault door!). And these upgrades aren't just aesthetic. After fully upgrading, characters will help out Mickey on his quest! Some may open a shop to sell helpful items, others may offer new powers, and others will assign side missions that can be completed for even more fun rewards! There is so much to do in Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion and so much to gush over. It truly is a beautiful game with fun gameplay, clever mechanics, and many surprising Disney appearances. I can't wait for Power of Illusion. As a fan of both retro 2D platformers and Disney, this game is a dream come true.
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I haven't made a final decision as to what my favorite game at E3 2012 is yet, but Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion for the 3DS is right up there. When DreamRift's game was announced a couple of months ago, I was shocked. Inste...

E3: Interview: Yasuhiro Wada on 'Project Happiness'

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
My interview with Yasuhiro Wada was very casual. We sat down together with his kind and professional translator and immediately started talking videogames. As a fan of Harvest Moon, I told Mr. Wada how much I respected the things he has done for videogames. I told him that I thought his games were refreshing in a sea of videogames that are starting to look and feel the same. He expressed gratitude for the kind words and agreed that he likes to create games that mean something to the player and aren't just a bunch of muted colors and loud noises. This brought us to his new game, codenamed "Project Happiness." As of now, "Project Happiness" is shrouded in secrecy, with only a loose 2013 release date attached to it. According to Mr. Wada, "Happiness" will take place in small village that will grow larger as the game progresses. You play a shopkeeper that will have to collect and sell items to the people in the village. Instead of the items doing generic things to generic villagers, Mr. Wada is designing the game to really establish an emotional connection to the things sold in the store. For example, some of the people in the town (all of who will have elaborate backstories) may have one particular item that makes them happier than all others. It is the job of the shopkeeper (and, in turn, the player) to figure this out and help make the villagers' dreams come true. In addition, there will be many moral choices in the game that will really help shape the entire story, which, according to Mr. Wada, will feature one of the most powerful and emotional endings ever experienced in a videogame. This may sound like a bold statement, but after talking with him and thinking back at his body of work, I am confident that Mr. Wada may be speaking the truth. The Harvest Moon games are brave in that they follow around the life of an ordinary farmer and his family. This seemingly simple concept is surprisingly emotional, and Mr. Wada knows how to take everyday experiences and relate them to the player. He revealed to me his favorite game in the Harvest Moon series is A Wonderful Life for the GameCube, and this bodes well for the future of "Project Happiness." A Wonderful Life is also my favorite game in the series and features a very sad, extremely moving ending. If "Project Happiness" has a similar emotional experience, we are all in for something truly special. "Project Happiness" will be released sometime in 2013 for unspecified platforms. We will keep you updated when more information comes in for this promising title. Thanks again, Mr. Wada, for a wonderful chat. The videogame industry needs people like you.
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Interviewing the creator of the Harvest Moon series was one of my highlights of E3. In fact, it may have been the highlight. Yasuhiro Wada is an amazing, talented person with an unbelievably refreshing attitude about videogam...

E3: Hands-on with Project P-100

Jun 08 // Chad Concelmo
While not nearly as violent as MadWorld or polished as Viewtiful Joe, Project P-100 still has that weird, fascinating vibe that only Platinum Games knows how to create. It almost feels like a hybrid between Pikmin, Little King's Story, and old arcade classic Smash TV. In the game, you play as a group of washed-up superheroes -- superheroes that, alone, don't amount to much at all, but, together, can almost do anything! Project P-100 is entirely controlled with the new Wii U GamePad. The group is moved around the screen with the left analog stick, and all attacks are done with the face buttons. In addition to these normal attacks, special moves can be performed with the GamePad's touch screen or right analog stick. On the touch screen, images of different things are displayed. In the demo, there were three special moves: a sword, a fist, and a gun. By "drawing" a specific shape on the touch screen (like Okami!), the superheroes combine and form whatever power you are summoning. The sword is a great, powerful melee weapon, while the gun is good for long-range attacks. The fist can be used to turn cranks and solve puzzles. Like Pikmin and Little King's Story, all of the heroes move around in a giant group. At certain points, and after defeating certain enemies, citizens can be rescued to join the group and make it bigger. The bigger the group, the more powerful the attacks. It's a simple concept that is made more interesting in a few ways: First and foremost are the somewhat odd controls. Moving around and attacking is easy enough (and really fun!), but accessing the touch screen is really tough to do while holding the GamePad. It just doesn't feel natural. If there was no time limit on drawing your shapes, this would not be as much of a problem. But you have to activate these special powers during some pretty intense battles. It was a stressful process and needlessly difficult. The powers throughout the game can also be "drawn" with the right analog stick, but that is almost trickier, since the accuracy is tough when not using the touch screen. The graphics in the game are colorful and polished, if a little simple. And, at times, some things even looked low-res, which was very strange. All in all, though, Project P-100 looks pretty good and uses a refreshing, bright color palette when compared to many other recent games. My favorite part of the demo was a section when your superhero group enters a warehouse. After entering by turning a crank with the fist power to open a door, the leader of the superhero group runs inside the building. Since the game is played in an isometric, top-down view, the insides of buildings are not shown (the roof blocks the view!). Because of this, the action moves to the Wii U GamePad's screen. Once inside a building, the leader of the group runs around in a third-person perspective as the player navigates him through some simple, yet fun puzzles. The graphics on the GamePad touch screen are really great and it was fun and surprising to switch play to the GamePad and then back to the T.V. screen once exiting the warehouse. It was a great sequence and made me think about all the cool possibilities that could happen with the GamePad in the future. Overall, I liked Project P-100, but didn't love it. I liked the interesting style and gameplay, but did not like the awkward, tricky controls. This could be remedied once the final game is released and players are not just thrown into the middle of the confusing action like the demo, but, as of now, I am hesitant if Project P-100 will be a must-buy when the Wii U is released later this year. If anything, Platinum Games did a good job of surprising with such a different game.
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Project P-100 (working title) from Platinum Games (creators of Viewtiful Joe and MadWorld) was one of the strangest Wii U games I played on the show floor at E3. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. In a way, it reminded ...

E3: New details on Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
First thing I want to get out of the way: There were no partners in the extended demo we saw. This got me nervous. What is a Paper Mario game without the myriad of fun and unique partners that can join your party in the game? No word on whether partners will be in the final game -- outside of the one lone screenshot in the gallery that shows someone named "Kersti" who may or may not be an actual partner -- but in the demo, at least, they were absent. I am holding out hope they make an appearance in the final game. Also strange and a little troubling: There are no experience points in Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Yeah, I know. Between this and the lack of partners, things sound scary for this new sequel to the charming RPG series. BUT NOT TO WORRY! From what we were shown, the game still looks pretty great. A few details: -Replacing experience points are other ways to "level up" your character. By discovering secrets, hidden chests, or helping out NPCs, Mario is awarded bonuses that will boost his maximum heart points. This replacement is a little odd for fans of the series, but, in practice, it looks like it will work just fine. -The "stickers" from the title really do make up a bulk of the gameplay. In battles, you don't have normal menu-based selections like usual. You actually attack, block, and use special moves by selecting stickers from your giant sticker book and placing them on-screen. The stickers seem to be everywhere in the world, but I am curious to see what happens if you ever run out. Can you not attack? Can you "recharge" your stickers somewhere? -Usually, only one sticker can be used in a battle at a time, but there is a fun new mechanic during battle that's let you use your coins to take a chance on a slot machine. When this slot machine is activated, Mario can try for more sticker slots to attack more than once. Also, if all three slots are matched, a huge bonus is awarded, like coins or more stickers. -Environmental stickers look like the most fun in the game. At times, Mario will run into giant objects that are rendered as if they are from the "real world." Seriously, there is one point where he finds a fan that looks like an actual fan. He can collect these items and bring them to a magic wall and transform them into stickers. From here, he can use these stickers to solve puzzles later in the story. It's a pretty cool addition and seems to add a lot to the game. -As far as the look of the game, the graphics look just as topnotch and stylish as the previous games in the series. We obviously couldn't see the 3D effect, but I imagine Paper Mario being the perfect game to display this featured effect. -The general gameplay is also the same gameplay you know and love. Battles are turn-based and involve hitting the buttons at the exact right time to do extra damage or block attacks. -Only a tiny piece of the game was shown, but a town was talked about during the demo. This is a good sign, as I want the final game to be as robust, long, and RPG-like as the older games in the series. The Paper Mario RPGs have always had such great stories set in such a huge world, and I don't want to lost that in the transition to a handheld. Final thoughts: I thought the demo of Paper Mario: Sticker Star was really solid, with great graphics and a welcome, refreshing sense of humor that the series has always been known for. But I am not going to lie that I am just a tad bit worried. Not that the final game won't be great. Nintendo makes great first-party games, and this looks to be no exception. I am just worried that the final game won't be as epic in length and scope as the previous games in the Paper Mario series. With no experience points and the chance of no partners, I am slightly concerned that some sacrifices were made to put the game on the 3DS. Also, I still have yet to see a giant variety of worlds and characters, which also gets me a little nervous. But I only saw a short demo. All these fears could be put to rest when the game releases this holiday season. I can't wait!
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Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS is not playable on the show floor at E3. Let me say that again: Paper Mario: Sticker Star is not playable. WHAT THE HECK, NINTENDO?! Of all the games here at E3, I was really hoping to ge...

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E3: Ranking the games of Nintendo Land


Jun 07
// Chad Concelmo
There will be twelve total minigames in Nintendo Land for the Wii U, but only five were on display in the Nintendo booth. Now that I have played and previewed them all, which did I like the best? Since this list will change t...

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: DK's Crash Course

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
The concept of the single-player Donkey Kong's Crash Course is simple: You just have to guide a rolling, triangle-shaped vehicle through a crazy, complicated obstacle course without crashing it or flipping it over. It sounds simple, right? It's not. Crash Course is super-challenging, and, my God, so much fun. The only "simple" thing about it is the controls. All players have to do is tilt the Wii U GamePad back and forth to roll the vehicle left and right. Occasionally, the ZL and ZR triggers are used to activate levers and cranks, but, outside of all this, the controls are very easy to learn. Mastering them is an entirely different story. As you can see in the screenshots, the course in Crash Course is HUGE! And these screens don't even give you the entire picture. The level actually scrolls way up, so it is much larger than the images indicate. Everything starts out easy enough, with some hills to navigate over. Just tilt the GamePad and the vehicle rolls. If the hill is big, just tilt the GamePad even more more and the cart will roll much faster. But you don't want it to roll too fast. If it does, it could easily crash or flip over when you get to the next obstacle. You have to be slow and meticulous. And as the obstacles get more complicated, things get tough! BUT SO MUCH FUN! The whole thing reminded me of a combination of Uniracers and The Incredible Machine -- which is kind of the best combination ever. Some of the obstacles involve navigating giant loops with cranks, riding elevators, and navigating a crazy series of steep hills. To help you out, there are checkpoint markers every once in a while that you spawn from if you die. But with only five lives, getting through the entire course is tough. I played the game multiple times, and never made it. Is is really challenging. To add incentive and competition to the proceedings, your time and distance is recorded on a leaderboard, making getting farther and earning high scores oh-so tempting. I really, really loved Donkey Kong's Crash Course. It was such a breath of fresh air and a genuinely fun and surprisingly deep minigame. I can't wait to play more and finally make it to the end of the course!
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This is the last in the series to preview all five of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. (You can check out the other previews here, here, here, and here! Whew!) Let's talk "Donkey Kong's Crash Course!" I am going ...

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: AC: Sweet Day

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
Why did this game surprise me? Well, when I saw video of it, Sweet Day looked the least interesting of all the Nintendo Land games. The good news: It's not. It's actually very fun! Although somewhat similar to Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Sweet Day has enough differences to make it feel unique. In the game, four players control the townsfolk with the Wiimotes, while one player controls the evil chefs with the GamePad. And, yes, I said chefs. With an "s." In a cool mechanic, the player with the GamePad actually controls two chefs at the same time. One is controlled with the left analog stick and one is controlled with the right. This can be tricky, but that is part of the challenge. The other four players have to run around the screen and collect pieces of candy. This can be accomplished by two players standing next to each other on a set of buttons. Once done, the candy flies out of a tree and all over the screen. In total, 50 pieces of candy are eventually released into the Animal Crossing-themed arena. To win, all four players have to pick up all 50 pieces between them. When attacked by a chef, all candy is dropped and the player is stunned. If all 50 pieces are collected in the time limit, the players win! What is really neat about the game, is that when you pick up a piece of candy, your character starts to slow down. Pick up a couple dozen and you almost grind to a halt. This makes it almost imperative to split up the candy collection between the four players, as when you start to move really slow, the chefs can easily stab you with their giant knives. Yup, they have giant knives. Although simple in concept, there is a surprising amount of depth to Sweet Day. Something I wasn't expecting at all. This polished, colorful little game is a welcome addition to Nintendo Land and very fun with five players. It was a good time!
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Only two more left! This is the fourth in a series to preview all of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. You can check out the other three here, here, and here! I swear, I really had a great time with the Nintendo L...

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Takamuru's Ninja Castle

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
Takamuru's Ninja Castle uses the WIi U GamePad in arguably the most creative way. By holding the GamePad to the side, players slide their fingers forward on the touch screen to shoot throwing stars on the T.V. screen. It is a smooth, intuitive, very effective mechanic and works perfectly! If you barely move your finger forward, the throwing star will just fall to the ground. You really need to slide your finger as fast as possible, as speed totally matters. In this minigame, the player is tasked with battling off an army of ninjas through different levels. Each ninja has different specialties, with some just jumping around, others throwing stars back at you, and some super-powered ones attacking with bombs and giant swords. Every time you hit a ninja, the multiplier starts. By not missing, you can rack up your score to be ranked on the in-game leaderboard. Get hit by too many projectiles, though, and it is game over. This was easily the most basic of all the minigames in Nintendo Land, but it was still really fun. Aiming and throwing the ninja stars was completely easy and felt really solid. Of all the Wii U games I played, this is the one that "casual" gamers are going to get the most excited about. Similar to the excitement of playing the Wii for the first time, there is something to interacting on the screen and actually "throwing" things from the GamePad to the T.V. screen. It is a clever gimmick and fun to do over and over again as the ninjas start to fill the screen. Of all the Nintendo Land games, this one may end up being the most repetitive, but with a little more variety in the levels, Takamuru's Ninja Castle could turn out to be an addictive little distraction. At the very least, I know my mom is going to love it.
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This is the third in a series to preview all of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U. You can check out The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest here and Luigi's Ghost Mansion right here! Ninjas star in some of my favorite g...

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Luigi's Ghost Mansion

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
Nintendo Land: Luigi's Ghost Mansion primarily takes place on one screen. Four players control their Miis on-screen (with cute Luigi hats!) while the fifth player controls the terrifying ghost. The twist: The ghost is invisible on the main T.V. screen. The ghost can only be seen on the GamePad screen, which the ghost player uses to control. The object of the game is for the four players to survive for five minutes, or destroy the ghost using their flashlights. The ghost has an opposite, and very nefarious, goal: TO KILL THE FOUR PLAYERS BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT! Well, technically, the players just "faint" when attacked by the ghost ... but we really know what is happening. The ghost only has to touch a player to make him faint, but it is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, the game felt surprisingly balanced. I played the demo so many times, and felt the players and ghosts won equally, which is a really good sign. When a ghost is close, the players controlling with the Wiimotes turned to their side will feel their controllers rumble. The closer it gets, the more intense the rumbling becomes. This is how they know the ghost is around. During the demos, we would yell out "He's by me! Yellow!" while playing to let everyone know where the ghost was. It was a fun bit of interaction. When the ghost is hit by the flashlight, its energy is drained from 100. When it hits zero, the players win! If a player is knocked down, though, they can be revived if another player (or players!) revives them with a flashlight. It is a slow process, but that just adds to the tension. As mentioned before, the ghost just has to touch the player once to make him/her faint. In a nice touch of detail, the ghost has to drag the player for just a few seconds before he officially faints. This is important, as in that brief period of time, another player can hit the ghost with a flashlight and the ghost will drop the captured player. There were some exciting last minute saves during some of my play-throughs that had everyone screaming and laughing in relief. And that's what is so great about Luigi's Ghost Mansion: Everyone was having a great time. Nintendo's E3 2012 theme of "together" is never more prominent than when playing this game. Every person I played the demo with loved it and had a really great time. We all screamed when the ghost would pop out. We all would cheer if we emerged victorious and defeated the ghost (not an easy task). It was a truly fun experience and one of my favorite on the show floor. If all the other minigames are as entertaining as Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Nintendo Land is going to be something pretty special.
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Next up in my series to preview all five of the games within Nintendo Land for the Wii U is Luigi's Ghost Mansion. (Check out The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest right here!) With Luigi's Ghost Mansion, Nintendo Land is bringin...

E3: Hands-on with Nintendo Land: Zelda: Battle Quest

Jun 07 // Chad Concelmo
During the Nintendo press conference, the main message about the Wii U was "together." And after playing all the minigames in Nintendo Land, this message is  most definitely clear. The games in Nintendo Land are meant to played together with a group of people. They are designed around cooperation and friendly, fun competition. As a guy who has a lot of friends who don't play videogames very often, this is very appealing to me, as I know my friends will look forward to diving into a minigame compilation like this ... and having a blast in the process. The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest has an interesting look -- one I didn't expect. It looks a lot like Kirby's Epic Yarn and shares the same fabric aesthetic. In this minigame (I am remiss to even call them "minigames" as they feel like more), three players have to work together to make it through a series of dungeons. The game is "on-rails," meaning you don't control the forward movement of your character at all. That part is controlled for you. This is not a huge deal, though, as the game is not about exploring. It's about working together, fighting monsters, and solving puzzles. Two players control with the Wii Motion Plus controller and one plays with the Wii U GamePad. The players with the Wiimotes have swords and swing the Wii Motion Plus to attack. Just like in Skyward Sword, the angle you strike is key, as the one-to-one movement will help you make sure you are attacking the enemies in the right spot. Also like Skyward Sword, your shield can be activated by holding down the trigger to block incoming attacks. The player with the GamePad is the archer, and this is admittedly the most fun part. By holding the GamePad upright, players can actually look through it like looking through a sight and move the entire controller around to aim. A cross-hair appears on the GamePad and players can use it to shoot arrows at enemies. Holding down the trigger button longer to fire will result in a much more powerful and long-reaching shot. While shooting and/or stabbing, the players move slower through the world. By not doing anything, the on-screen Mii Links (Liinks?) move much faster. This can be used to get through the dungeons quicker if needed. In addition to battling enemies, puzzles can also be solved. The only ones I saw in the demo were simple "switch" puzzles, but there were fun and provided some much-needed variety to the action. By hitting switches (some at the same time), locked doors can be opened to move on. Some switches are high up, requiring the use of the archer to access. In addition to all this, a health meter is shared between the players, meaning they have to work together to make sure the life is not depleted. If all hearts are gone, everyone perishes. From what I played, I had fun with The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest. It wasn't the deepest thing in the world, but the variety in play made it interesting. I am not sure how repetitive this will get, but if the dungeons have a large variety of enemies and puzzles, this could be really fun! Check out my hands-on with the other four Nintendo Land games, coming later today!
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Nintendo Land: The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is one of the twelve Nintendo character-themed minigames that will appear in Nintendo Land for the Wii U. Five of these minigames were playable on the show floor. The other sev...

E3: Hands-on with Pikmin 3

Jun 06 // Chad Concelmo
There were two levels to play in the E3 demo. The first was a more traditional Pikmin level and the second was an extraordinary boss battle. Let's get into the first, more classic level first. Pikmin 3 can be played with either the new Wii U GamePad or the Wiimote-and-Nunchuk combo -- very similar to the way the Pikmin Wii re-release plays. Actually, exactly like that. The GamePad was great and comfortable (and the map on the touch screen wonderfully helpful), but I actually preferred the Wiimote and Nunchuk. It felt great and made controlling the Pikmin easy and accurate. But I have to reiterate: the GamePad is fantastic and I will most likely use that when the final game is released. Not being that familiar with it yet, though, the Wiimote and Nunchuk made it easier for me to jump right in. The first thing you will notice about Pikmin 3 is that it is DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS! The animation and colors on the Pikmin are slick, but the backgrounds -- my God, the backgrounds are exquisite. The lush foliage and swaying grass are so detailed and almost photo-realistic that they need to be seen to be believed. Everything just looks so amazing. I can't imagine how incredible everything will look once more varied areas are introduced in the final game. As far as gameplay, things were instantly familiar. For the demo -- a level that is most likely not in the final game -- some things were left out. Your Pikmin couldn't die (and, if they could, not easily at all), and there was no respawning by growing Pikmin from the home base onion. There was only a limited time with the demo, so some sacrifices had to be made to let players do as much as possible. But keep in mind that this stuff will be in the final game. I mean, what is Pikmin without growing and managing your multi-colored troops? The classic Pikmin we all know and love will be back and better than ever. This was just a simple demo. In the level on display, you must use your red Pikmin to collect fruit and kill enemies. The blue and yellow Pikmin were absent from the demo, but they will, of course, be in the final game. After traveling through the gorgeous level, you run into a giant floating jellyfish. Throwing your red Pikmin on the jellyfish to destroy him unlocks the newest member of the Pikmin family: the rock Pikmin. Outside of being AWESOME, these rock Pikmin are very similar to the purple Pikmin in Pikmin 2, as they are super-strong. Instead of just using them to easily kill enemies, though, these new rock Pikmin can do so much more. There are glass walls and rocks everywhere that can only be broken with these powerful Pikmin. This use of specific-colored Pikmin adds more strategy to the proceedings. (More on this deep mechanic when I get to the boss battle later.) A wide variety of enemies and environmental obstacles was present in the booth demo, each more beautiful and daunting than the last. One nice change to the formula comes in the form of bridges and slides. In the last two Pikmin games, bridges were automatically made by Pikmin in certain spots. In Pikmin 3, there are piles of rocks that much be carried to make the bridge. Each rock piece forms the bridge, so it all feels much more realistic than before. The slides are fun pieces of the environment that Olimar and the Pikmin can slide down. (In the demo it was a blade of grass formed in a fun spiral.) These slides are great as shortcuts, but can only be used one way and Pikmin cannot carry certain items down them. They just add to the subtle strategy of the level layout. I really can't stress enough how beautiful and polished this game looks and feels. Everything just comes together perfectly and truly feels like a classic Nintendo game. After collecting a bunch of fruit, killing a bunch of meddlesome creatures, and traveling through a gorgeous world, the demo came to an end and I couldn't have been happier. It felt exactly like Pikmin, just more detailed, smooth, and BEAUTIFUL! Everything I could have asked for. And then I played the boss. And I think I may have died from happiness. The boss in the Pikmin 3 demo was a giant caterpillar/scorpion/beetle kind of thing. Huge, fluid, and gorgeous. The bosses in the other two Pikmin games were great and well-designed, but this boss took things to a new level. Both the red and rock Pikmin needed to be used in this fight. The rock Pikmin had to be thrown first to break apart the hard metallic shell of the monstrous creature. Once the individual sections were shattered, the red Pikmin had to be used to do damage. You see, the only way to damage the boss was to have the Pikmin grab onto the exposed skin and attack away. The heavy rock Pikmin, with their skinny arms, could not grab onto the fast-moving beast, and therefore could not do damage outside of breaking the shell. This attention to detail made the boss even more fun and challenging than I could have imagined. I loved it so much. There's no word on whether the final version of Pikmin 3 will be more like the first Pikmin with its above-ground levels and more straightforward goals, or Pikmin 2 and its deep, wonderful dungeons and higher challenge. I am hoping for something closer to Pikmin 2, but, either way, Pikmin 3 promises to be an unbelievably welcome sequel and an outstanding addition to the early Wii U library. I adored my time with Pikmin 3 and think it is my favorite game of the show so far. I can't wait to play more. No, seriously, I am going to lose my mind waiting for this to be released.
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This is it. The moment I have been anticipating for years. I am a giant fan of the Pikmin series. GIANT! And every year for the last few years, I have hoped and prayed Pikmin 3 would be official and announced at that year's E...

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E3: New Paper Mario: Sticker Star images to love


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
The Paper Mario series is one of my favorite Nintendo series ever, so you better believe I was excited to see Paper Mario: Sticker Star make a way-too-short appearance during the way-too-short 3DS portion of the Nintendo pres...

E3: Hands-on with New Super Mario Bros. U

Jun 05 // Chad Concelmo
If you have played New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you are familiar with the basic formula. Hell, if you have played any 2D Mario game you are familiar with how it works. Run right while jumping over obstacles and stomping enemies as you make your way to the flag pole at the end of the level. The gameplay is as smooth and joy-inducing as you would expect. The first thing you will notice when playing New Super Mario Bros. U is the graphics. They are gorgeous. They don't have a super original art style like Kirby's Epic Yarn or Rayman Origins, but the game still looks fantastic. The colors are bright and vibrant, the textures are crisp, and the layered backgrounds are stunning. Once you see a Mario game in HD for the first time you will kind of lose your mind. Especially if you are a huge fan of the Mario games. As far as gameplay, there were three levels on display on the show floor. One was a traditional forest level, one set in the cliffs on the Mushroom Kingdom, and the third was in a star-covered world at night. Each level showed off something new to do and really focused on how cool the new Wii U features are. As a single player, the game can be played with either the Wiimote turned on the side or with the brand new GamePad. Both are great and work pretty much exactly the same. You run with the directional pad and jump with the face buttons. The real features of the GamePad come into play when a second player joins the fun. This second player uses the GamePad to create small platforms which the first player can jump on or use to trap and redirect enemies. This happens with a simple press of the finger on the touch screen. Since the entire game is being streamed on the GamePad touch screen, all the second player has to do is touch anywhere on the screen to create a platform. It is a very simple concept, but really helps add a touch (hehehe) of strategy to the proceedings. It reminded me a lot of the two-player option in Super Mario Galaxy. Yeah, the second player is not doing much, but it is fun to have a friend help you out as you try to make it through a tough level. It wasn't playable, but the menu screen had the option for more than two players, meaning four player co-op like New Super Mario Bros. Wii is likely (and all but confirmed in the screenshots for the game). Heck, five players may even be possible, with one on the GamePad and the rest on the Wiimotes. No confirmation, but I think it will happen. As for the levels themselves, they were classic Nintendo: well-designed and so much fun to play. Outside of the Wii U features, there were two new "power-ups." The first was Flying Squirrel Mario, which is as cute as it sounds. After picking up a special mushroom, Mario puts on a flying squirrel costume and is awarded special powers. He can float in the air when holding down the jump button, or take flight for a short time by shaking the Wiimote. It is awesome and really easy to control. In addition to this, there was a baby Yoshi that Mario could carry around. By shaking the Wiimote, Yoshi blows up into a huge balloon and gives Mario an extra high jump. As far as I could tell, this is infinite and can be used continuously until Mario dies or Yoshi is thrown into a pit by accident. Yes, I did this. BUT IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! Not much was shown of New Super Mario Bros. U, but the stuff I played I totally loved. Even looking past the fact that the game looks amazing in HD, the gameplay was so solid and the new Wii U features so fun that this is shaping up to be a great addition to the classic Mario series. I wish I could have played more.
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Let's get this out of the way right now: Seeing a brand new, 2D Mario in HD is surreal. I have been waiting for so long to finally see a Nintendo franchise in high-definition, so seeing Mario run around the Mushroom Kingdom d...

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E3: MARIO IN HD! MARIO IN HD!


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
With the release of the Wii U, gamers around the world will finally be able to see what a Mario game looks like in HD in the form of New Super Mario Bros. U. I have seen it, played it, and drooled over it (hands-on impression...
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E3: Wii U launching in white; black ... coming soon?


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
As I was walking around the Nintendo booth, I noticed that some Wii U consoles were white and others were black. We had been introduced to the white one already, so I was curious to know if the black console was official ... ...
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E3: Hands-on with the Wii U Pro Controller


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
Outside of the Wii U GamePad, the other controller that Nintendo had on display in its booth was the Wii U Pro Controller. A more traditional controller, the Wii U Pro is another option of playing games on the Wii U. Between ...
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E3: Hands-on with the Wii U GamePad


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
One of the things I was most looking forward to at this E3 was seeing and touching the new Wii U GamePad. I had played with it last year, but knew that some major aesthetic changes were made, and wanted to see if I liked what I saw ... er, felt. What did I think? Was it tablet-riffic ... or tablet-errible?
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E3: My thoughts on the Nintendo press conference


Jun 05
// Chad Concelmo
I am a giant Nintendo fan -- maybe the biggest on the site! So it goes without saying I was excited for the Nintendo press conference this morning. Now that it is over, what did I think? Was it everything I could have hoped for? Or did I leave disappointed. I know you have a lot to read about today, so I will make this quick.
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The Last of Us is beautiful. During the demo at the Sony press conference, I gasped several times. And not even because of the action on-screen. That was cool, too, but the game was so gorgeous I couldn't help but stare in a...

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E3: Sony announces Wonderbook for the PlayStation 3


Jun 04
// Chad Concelmo
Using the PlayStation Eye, the Wonderbook makes books come to life! Imagine reading a page about a dragon -- with Wonderbook, the dragon will fly off the page and, I don't know, set the curtains in your living room on fire? N...
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E3: Journey is the 'best selling PSN game of all time'


Jun 04
// Chad Concelmo
During Sony's press conference, Jack Tretton announced that Journey is officially the best selling PSN game of all time. Quite a feat. Quite a great game. This is exciting news for fans of the game and great news for developer thatgamecompany. If you haven't bought the game yet, go download it! It is wonderful.
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E3: Watch this Rayman Legends demo AND BE HAPPY!


Jun 04
// Chad Concelmo
This is the kind of stuff that makes me happy. When Rayman Legends was announced as a Wii U exclusive at the Ubisoft press conference, the above outstanding, joy-filled footage was shown. As much as I love it all, check out ...
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E3: This Assassin's Creed III demo is pretty great


Jun 04
// Chad Concelmo
We all knew Assassin's Creed III was coming. We knew its setting. We knew about the main character. But this is the first time most of us are laying eyes on the extended demo. And it looks pretty great. It's still a little h...

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