In the middle of last year Nintendo announced it would try out the whole free-to-play scheme with Steel Diver, to the collective sighs of relief from various Nintendo series fans. Now we have details on just how that pricing model is going to work, and it's a bit of an odd one.
I also got to play the new Steel Diver: Sub Wars, which is dramatically different from its 2D predecessor. This time around, it's fully 3D ship warfare with 4 versus 4 multiplayer.
Leave it to Nintendo to make "free to play" weird.
This time, thankfully, it's my kind of weird. Rusty's Real Deal Baseball is not a baseball game. Rather, it's a compilation of baseball-themed minigames. There's a hitting minigame, for example. Perched at home with a bat, you eye a pitching machine at the slab. Then it erupts from the ground and you find that it is a man in a suit with a pitching machine for a head that pitches you the balls to hit with his man arms.
Also, there's a dog whose wife left him and you have to haggle with him to buy more minigames with real world money.
Aban Hawkins & the 1000 Spikes was a great concept. It launched way back in 2011 on the Xbox Live Indie store for a whole dollar, and remains one of the best games on the marketplace to this day. But the folks over at Nicalis knew that it was meant for something greater -- enter 1001 Spikes.
This confusingly named follow-up is set to rock on the Wii U, 3DS, Vita, and PS4 sometime this year, and if what I've played of an updated version is any indication, it's worth the wait.
While some games in the Mario Party series are easily better than the others (*cough* Mario Party 2 *cough*), I think we can all agree that each one has been fun to play. Mario Party: Island Tour for the 3DS is no different, ...
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call is more of the same, but I doubt any Theatrhythm fan will be complaining about that. More music from more Final Fantasy games and more tapping action. More just-misses. More cramped hands. I can't wait.
My preview of Pokemon X and Y last month left me plenty excited. There was a lot to take in: Mega Evolutions, a lunatic scientist, an extra dimension. However, the demo also left something to be desired in its strange, cobbled together nature. It was the same demo meant to be played at the Pokemon Game Show in Japan, with a 10 minute time limit. Enough to whet your appetite and enjoy just how darn good the game looks despite the jump to 3D that left many (unduly) nervous.
Earlier this week, I got to take a Pokemon cart from "New Game" to as far as I could sojourn in an hour. After skipping Black/White and Black 2/White 2 (it's been over five years since I've played a Pokemon game!), it felt a bit like returning home.
Sega is showing off its new puzzle game Puyopuyo Tetris here at their already super busy TGS 2013 booth. As a fan of both games, I gave this cross-up a spin on the 3DS. Puyopuyo Tetris is also coming to the Vita and PS3 as well as the Wii U, with a motion control scheme set for the latter.
After choosing a character, the game asks which of the famed puzzlers you'd like to play. I'm much better at Puyo than Tetris, so I went in confident. In a classic competitive match, the other game you did not choose ends up being your opponent's game. This had me setting up combos and matching colors to send obstacle lines (complete with cute/angry little Puyo faces) to the computer opponent's Tetris board. And in turn, his line clears sent random blocks to mess up my beautifully laid chain stacks.
Tucked away in a corner below The Wind Waker HD and behind Pokemon X/Y at PAX is a small kiosk featuring Retro City Rampage and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, both on the 3DS. Stop by if you have the chance. The games are both fantastic, and on top of that, their developers should be standing by to chat you up. Make time for them if you can.
Pirate's Curse may be one of the most attractive games at the show. WayForward has really gone all out this time, using the sprites from Shantae: Risky's Revenge as a base, while adding additional colors and frames of animation. The 3DS screen makes for a larger playfield, lending to more intricate environmental puzzles, more enemies on screen, and more action in general. It's easily their prettiest handheld title yet.
As those of you who've been following the series so far already know, Shantae has lost her former half-genie powers, and has been forced to team up with criminal pirate troublemaker Risky Boots in order to try to get them back. Risky ends up rubbing off on Shantae in more ways than one. Not only will Shantae learn pirate-styled attacks and abilities, but she'll gradually begin to behave more like a pirate as well.
Pokemon X and Pokemon Y are currently playable in Japan at the Pokemon Game Show. We got a look at the same hands-on demo, minus the 10 minute time limit and the assuredly hours-long line.
The demo opens with you as a random trainer -- there are six core options that can be customized -- with one of the three starter Pokemon. I began as the delightful, pink hat clad Yvonne, with a Fennekin. It's been a long while since I've had a fire starter and I have to admit that the cute little guy warmed my icy heart.
Back in February, PlayStation 3 and Vita owners finally got their taste of the motorcycle madness found in the Trials HD series that Xbox owners have been enjoying for years. Sadly, Urban Trial Freestylejust didn't seem to hold up to the standards set by RedLynx, even if it was still an enjoyable ride. Then, with nary any fanfare, the same title that hit PS3 and Vita snuck its way onto 3DS -- and with an exclusive mode, no less.
Is its new track-editor feature enough to make Urban Trial Freestyle on 3DS the definitive version? Not exactly.
Activision’s Skylanders franchise has always smelled of a money grab to me. Copperish, like the smell of old pennies scrounged up by hard-working parents so little Linda Anne can have all the newest and coolest Skylanders characters while mom and dad work three jobs amidst recession. Jim Sterling is rather partial to the plastic lot, however, so they can’t be all bad, right?
In fact, they’re not. The new Skylanders: Swap Force is indeed rather cute and pretty fun. Vacuous, but quaint enough.
Skylanders is videogames as toys; or, Toys: The Videogame. I guess I forgot that videogames practically were, once upon a time. It’s no less inane and gimmicky and capitalistic than the stupid garbage we pestered parents for 20 years ago, but it’s a heck of a lot more polished and less likely to break like the slot cars I took around hairpin turns too quickly causing them to go flying off the track. Plus, what can be more embarrassing than having paid money for pogs?
Not to be outdone by its contemporary, Adventure Time, and the upcoming Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, Cartoon Network toon Regular Show is getting a long-titled game of its own, Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land.
In Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby In 8-Bit Land, Mordecai and Rigby get transported into some of their favorite video games. The duo will have to use their best skills and unique abilities to traverse the various challenges to escape and return home in this ‘eggscellent’ journey.
I'm less familiar with Regular Show than I am Adventure Time, having only caught a few episodes of the former, but Destructoid's own Tony Ponce raves about the show ad nauseam. In the linked piece, in fact, Tony notes the show's predilection towards retro games, which is quite appropriate for 8-Bit Land. I may not be all that familiar with the show, but I'm more than familiar with the genres it's employing.
I'm a big fan of the Ace Attorney series but fell off the wagon somewhere between the Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth games, so it's exciting to see that Phoenix is making a comeback in Dual Destinies. The game takes place a few years after he last practiced and this time he's accompanied by his sidekick, Athena Cykes, who has the special ability to sense emotions on her mood matrix machine. Apollo Justice also makes an appearance, having just survived a bombing incident, and I also heard through the grapevine that Edgeworth will be back in some capacity.
Prior to the E3 festivities, Disney demonstrated the upcoming cash grab Disney Infinity to a room teeming with journalists. The focus of the event was on two of the in-game worlds plus the oft-touted Toy Box mode.
The first world, based on Pixar's Monsters University, has been discussed before. The second world, based on the Gore Verbinski revival of The Lone Ranger, was only announced a few days ago and was thus the bigger draw. I was ready to hop on Silver and ride like the wind.
Prior to today, my only knowledge of Disney Infinity was what was covered in our hands-off preview a few months ago. Now that I've been able to play through some of the game for myself, I'm having reservations about Disney's unbelievably high ambitions for the nascent franchise.