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 bringing a very Pac-Man Vs. vibe to the Wii U. To anyone that remembers Pac-Man Vs. for the GameCube, the game was odd, but fun -- a five-player multiplayer extravaganza that was actually quite entertaining in practice ... despite the ridiculous amount of cords involved in the process.
Is Luigi's Ghost Mansion just as fun? The first bit of good news: there are no cords to deal with!
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 seven (or more?) will be revealed over time, with the final game seeing a likely holiday 2012 release.
If I had to put money on it, I would bet Nintendo Land will be packed in with the Wii U. It makes sense, and Nintendo Land is to the Wii U as Wii Sports was to the Wii. Solid, fun, minigame collections that really show off the capabilities of the console.
Since these "minigames" in Nintendo Land feel much more elaborate than normal minigames -- seriously, they are robust enough to feel like small standalone games -- I am going to write previews for each of them separately. Check them all out throughout the day!
Let's start with The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest.
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 E3. At first I thought it would be a Wii title ... and that never came true. Then I could have sworn it would launch with the 3DS ... and that never panned out as well.
Well, here we are, all these years later, and Pikmin 3 is finally official. And I have played it! I still can't believe it.
But what did I think about the game? Did I love this new iteration of the series? Or was I so disappointed that I dramatically knocked over the demo kiosk and ran out of the Nintendo booth with my arms flailing?
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 displayed in such gorgeous, colorful, eye-popping graphics kind of took my breath away.
As for the game? It played great. It truly feels exactly like New Super Mario Bros. Wii (one of the best 2D Mario games in a while), with some special Wii U additions.
To clarify, it's not Juliet's decapitated head - it's her boyfriend Nick's, though it may as well be hers. If you can tie your lover's head to a chain and swing him around in circles repeatedly pummeling any and all zombies in your path, then it's probably safe to make that assumption.
In fact, I did just that during my first ever hands-on session withLollipop Chainsaw this week, and I left feeling relieved (and mildly turned on, but that's another matter). The combat feels good without being overly repetitive, and the wide array of combo moves and colorful humor serve to add a decent amount of variety. Also, upskirts.
It's no secret that Borderlands 2 is one of my most anticipated games of this year, so understandably, I jumped at the chance to go hands on with its co-op mode last week. Our producer Zac was playing along with me, so we decided to run down both the good and bad of our experiences.
How does difficulty scale from single-player to co-op? Are boss fights more epic than those in the first game? Are there really a bazillion more guns? Is Maya as hot as Lilith? The answers to these questions and more, in the video above!
Hey guys! Earlier this week, I got some hands-on time with Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning, the mutant brain-baby of fantasy author R.A. Salvatore, comic book artist Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls series alumnus Ken Ro...
At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Team Ninja finally revealed that their fabled fighting franchise -- known for its fatal females and potent physics -- was returning, with Dead or Alive 5 (DOA5). Almost six years have passed since the previous game and, with that, former lead designer, ex-head of Team Ninja, Tomonobu Itagaki has long since left the prestigious game developer.
A lot of time has passed, bringing forth a lot of change, but it's within these obstacles that the series for the first time feels as if it is seeing a proper evolution in design, rather than just an aesthetics upgrade. The focus for DOA5 is creating "fighting entertainment" and after going hands-on with the game's first playable demo (a roughly 15 percent build) it's fairly easy to see that Team Ninja is achieving that goal.
The Nintendo 3DS is a system built around two simple concepts: portable 3D and dual-screen gaming. Unfortunately, the latter usually finds itself lent to making our experiences less intrusive by acting as a placeholder for maps, inventory, and other informative screens rather than evolving the creativity in design that is affordable with two screens.
Fractured Soul: Deep Void, by Endgame Studios, looks to change that by making each screen part of the action. In fact it throws the system's 3D capabilities right out the window in hopes of creating a unique action-platforming puzzle experience.
It goes without saying that Nintendo’s handheld needs games. As the system has been out for roughly eight months. one genre -- more than others -- that could use a little kick on the butt is the one that found such an impressive home on Nintendo’s previous handheld: the RPG.
From the minds at Renegade Kid, makers of the visually impressive Dementium series on the original DS, Planet Crashers 3D tosses out the dark demonic look for a cutesy family friendly vibe. Twisted Santa Clauses, a Halloween planet, and an unknown evil set on snuffing out the sun: these are just some of the bewildering things to encounter when Planet Crashers 3D smashes its way onto the Nintendo 3DS next year.
Housemarque has been in the business for over sixteen years, but it wasn't until Super Stardust HD (back in 2007) that the Finnish developers went on to make a name for themselves. Since then they've racked up quite an impressive number of critically acclaimed hits with the apocalyptic shooter Dead Nation and one of my favorite Metroidvania-style adventures, the visually stunning Outland.
So with all this newfound pedigree, the team behind so many great downloadable titles has set out to self-publish its first title, Furmins, an action-puzzle game for iOS-enabled devices.
After the announcement of the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, I was able to jump right into the game and get hands-on with the class and race. Upon being dropped into the new starting area, I was instantly awed by the overwhelmingly cool visual aesthetic of an East Asian-themed kung fu panda village. Small changes made to the graphics engine have allowed Blizzard to make the game look and run even better than what we initially saw in Cataclysm. The highly-detailed landscape, sharper textures, and better lighting really help to immerse the player in the new setting.
While I don't want to spoil any of the starting-area content, I will say that the quest lines and story progression was rather fun and interesting. I found myself reading through much of the quest text, invested in what was happening beyond just the amount of XP I would receive at the end.
It starts off as a simple journey, with the player being tasked with helping various masters, picking up new techniques along the way. It soon turns into an important arc for the player, revealing more about the Pandaren and their role in the world of Azeroth.
I am no stranger to the Battlefield series, at least not the console iterations. After sinking hours of my time into both Bad Company games and even convincing family and friends to buy the game so that we could spend countless evenings going online and 'squadding up' in both Rush and Conquest modes, I gradually weaned myself off. There were too many other awesome titles just sitting on my shelf forgotten amidst other less-spectacular games or collecting dust in some sad, neglected corner of my living room.
When I was given the chance to preview any slight bit of Battlefield 3, I jumped on it like flies on...well, scratch that analogy. Battlefield 3's single-player experience is shaping up to be as familiar and awesome as previous installments, but with a newer and arguably much prettier and more immersive Frostbite 2.0 engine powering the whole thing.
While my preview of the game was relatively short and offered the same bit of gameplay that has also been present at TGS, I definitely got the better view of this section from my center stage seat in a Dolby surround sound movie theater with only one other journo and three reps present. I even went ahead and stuck around a little longer just to watch the demo with a critical eye and to ask a few burning questions regarding multiplayer.
Skyrim can go ahead and come out now. Seriously, the potential to have a same-sex vampire couple? It's unbearable. I was already excited for the new Elder Scrolls title to finally hit my disc tray, but Max and Jim's sheer joy at having played it once more is making me more than a little jealous. They got some hands-on time at PAX and were given the coolest hats I've ever seen.
Max got to go hands on with Mass Effect 3 and, spoiler, it's totally still Mass Effect; that's not a bad thing. Putting the last title's gameplay with some welcome refinements looks to be coming together nicely. Max gets some hands on time with one of this generation's most anticipated titles.