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1:15 PM on 04.17.2014

Super Smash Bros screenshot extravaganza: 130 new screens

Here is a blowout gallery of 130 new screenshots from the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., featuring new looks at new characters Zero Suit Samus, Yoshi, Sheik, Charizard, and Greninja. This comes hot off the Nintendo ...

Dale North


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Review: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars photo
Review: Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars
by Dale North

Serina is objectively the Best Girl.

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Super Smash Bros. 3DS out this summer, Wii U version out in winter photo
Super Smash Bros. 3DS out this summer, Wii U version out in winter
by Chris Carter

Nintendo has dropped a huge bomb on us at the start of the Smash Bros. flavored direct. The 3DS version will be released this summer, and the Wii U version will be released this winter. Yes, that's months after the 3DS iteration.

Wow! That's one way to get you to buy the game on 3DS. Smash director Sakurai notes that the 3DS version will run at 60fps, even in 3D, but some of the Pokemon will run at 30fps. It looks pretty great so far, but I know more than a few people will be pissed at this development.

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Review: Yoshi's New Island photo
Review: Yoshi's New Island
by Chris Carter

The original Yoshi's Island is one of my favorite Mario games of all time. I don't know if it's the numerous and remarkably unique boss battles or the whimsical charm of throwing strategically bounced eggs, but it really resonated with me. I've gone back to it time and time again, and the DS remake was great for when I was on the go in its own way.

Yoshi's New Island for the 3DS seeks to bring back those good times, and the good news is Yoshi fans will mostly enjoy it. The bad news is it's not all that special.

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Inafune's new game: Azure Striker: Gunvolt first hands-on photo
Inafune's new game: Azure Striker: Gunvolt first hands-on
by Dale North

At BitSummit today, Inti Creates and Keiji Inafune announced a brand new side-scrolling adventure called Azure Striker: Gunvolt. It's coming this summer to the 3DS via Nintendo's eShop.

Listen up, Mega Man fans: Keiji Inafune is the Executive Producer, and Yoshihisa Tsuda (Mega Man X2, Mega Man 7, 9, 10, and more) is the Game Director. Yoshitaka Hatakeyama (Mega Man 9) is on art, while Takuya Aizu (several Mega Man games, as well as Mighty No. 9) acts as Producer. Finally, Ippo Yamada is over music and sound effects.

Naturally, we ran over to see it immediately.

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Meet Yoshi's New Island, same as the old island  photo
Meet Yoshi's New Island, same as the old island
by Steven Hansen

Do you know what's fun? Making Yoshi noises. Come on. Do it. The tongue grab. The flutter jump. The ground pound. Such an animated dinosaur. Hamza and Dale are really good at making Yoshi noises.

Yoshi's New Island is also fun.

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Review: Inazuma Eleven photo
Review: Inazuma Eleven
by Wesley Ruscher

When I was a young kid, I loved nothing more than playing classic sport video games like Bases Loaded, Blades of Steel, Double Dribble, Tecmo Bowl, and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!. While I enjoyed the likes of Super Mario Bros. and Zelda, hitting a game winning homerun was inherently more rewarding than sticking a silver arrow in Gannon's forehead ever was.

As I pushed through my junior high school years though, my tastes in games began to change. It was in these years that I was introduced to my deepest of video game loves: the Japanese RPG. Chrono Trigger and Lunar: The Silver Star opened my eyes to a much deeper world; a world where story was just as important as gameplay, and more importantly, could actually have meaning.

Nowadays, I find myself satisfied having quick flings with any action game that I can finish in a weekend. I still love RPGs and sports games, but the commitment to fully enjoy them is more than I can usually spare. If only there was a way I could enjoy both genres simultaneously; a way to go back to the days where time was in abundance.  

Inazuma Eleven is the time machine I’ve been looking for.

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Review: Weapon Shop de Omasse photo
Review: Weapon Shop de Omasse
by Kyle MacGregor

Level-5's Guild series started out as a bizarre anthology of pint-sized experiences from industry veterans. Initially released in Japan during the spring of 2012, the package would come to western shores later that year. Well, sort of. It was dismantled, shipped across the ocean, and sold piecemeal via the Nintendo eShop. 

One by one, the games trickled onto the handheld's online store -- with one notable exception. Weapon Shop de Omasse was oddly absent. For more than a year the final piece of the puzzle remained on the back burner, that is, until now. Better late than never.

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Sega reveals new Sonic Boom sub-franchise and game photo
Sega reveals new Sonic Boom sub-franchise and game
by Chris Carter

At the "Year of Sonic" event, Sega has revealed Sonic Boom -- a new sub-franchise in the Sonic world. The new brand will not only sport the previously announced TV show, but two new games on the Wii U and 3DS. This is part of the exclusive deal with Nintendo.

The Wii U game will be headed up by developer Big Red Button (led by a former Naughty Dog art director), and the 3DS version will be handled by Sanzaru Games (the studio that developed the new Sly Cooper). The games will serve as a prequel to the CG TV show.

We didn't get a hands on session, but based on the footage we've seen of the Wii U version, the worlds look massive (although it is confirmed that it is not one open world), and projectile combat seems to be in. In other words, Sonic Boom is looking a lot like Ratchet & Clank right now. It's also important to note that the CryEngine 3 will be used on the Wii U, and that this version is confirmed to support co-op play.

Sega of America president and COO John Chen stressed that "Sonic Boom will not be replacing the original franchise."

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Guide: How to use the Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter photo
Guide: How to use the Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter
by Jordan Devore

Originally set for release in North America in late December, the Pokemon Bank and Poke Transporter apps have only today become available for download from the 3DS eShop. (Europe, Australia, and Japan have had their launches already). While heavy network traffic pushed back the release last year, that doesn't seem to be an issue now, thank goodness.

We thought it would be useful to come up with a quick guide to the Bank and Transporter so you know what you're getting into, what with this technically being a paid service and all. The process of transferring your Pokemon collection into X and Y is quite a bit more convoluted than I was anticipating, and I was expecting a tedious process to begin with knowing Game Freak's history with these transfer tools. At least there are no minigames this time.

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The best and worst games of the week - A Bravely January  photo
The best and worst games of the week - A Bravely January
by Wesley Ruscher

January has come and gone, but that doesn't mean there weren't some great games to play. Just look at all the amazing "indie" games that hit the PC this month.

We had the fruition of two KickStarter campaigns finally see the light of day -- The Banner Saga and the first act of Double Fine's Broken Age -- the quirky Octodad, and the totally rad OlliOlii on PS Vita.

There was definitely some great stuff to keep us busy this month, and February is looking just as smooth. I can't even tell you how much I can't wait to get my thumbs on Bravely Default on the 3DS. Well... I guess I just did. 

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Nintendo details plan to turn around Wii U sales photo
Nintendo details plan to turn around Wii U sales
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Nintendo released their third quarter financial results which revealed an operating loss of over $15 million due to poor Wii U sales. While it wasn't totally bleak in sales in some regards, the company overall failed to meet revised sales projections thus causing Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to cut his salary in half.

So now what? Iwata just held a press conference in Japan tonight and detailed what his plan of attack is to turn the company around. For starters, Iwata stated that they won't be abandoning its hardware business, and game consoles will continue being the center of their strategy. That said, he admitted that adapting to change is necessary.

A revamp to their marketing is coming, with a big focus on the GamePad and it's capabilities, such as pushing the NFC function (tech similar to what Skylanders/Disney Infinity does). He admitted that the Wii U's weakness is the GamePad in that the recognition is low, and that people think it's an accessory for the Wii. Turning this around is the company's highest priority, such as how they'll be revealing new NFC titles at E3. They won't be cutting the price, however. We can also expect high-speed startups, so for instance you can instantly dive into games through the GamePad as your TV is powering up.

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So how about that topical section in Bravely Default? photo
So how about that topical section in Bravely Default?
by Chris Carter

Bravely Default is on its way to North America really soon, and it's glorious. As a return to the JRPGs of yore and a modern update, it should simultaneously satisfy pretty much every RPG fan out there.

But I noticed in the comment section of Dale's review, that many people who had already played the European or Japanese version of the game were speaking out about one story choice in particular. Since so many people are confused as to what that controversial tonal shift is, I figured I'd spell it out completely, so that people knew what they were getting into with Bravely Default.

While I will be discussing an event that takes place in Chapter 5 (which could be considered spoiler territory), please note that I won't ruin any character specific stories, or endgame story revelations.

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Review: Bravely Default photo
Review: Bravely Default
by Dale North

I'm not sure when it happened, but we've now fully moved away from the type of Japanese role-playing game we loved for three or four console generations.

What happened? Did we change? Did we stop liking this kind of game? Maybe we can blame that stretch of nearly-constant complaints of tired tropes and linear storylines there toward the end of it all. Maybe game makers just got tired of making these kinds of games.

Now we have RPGs that seem to go out of their way to avoid anything that would remind us of these games we used to love. But what's funny to me is that the more they seem to try to innovate, the less gamers seem to like them.

Me? I never became tired of what we would call an old-school RPG. In fact, I've been waiting for someone to make another.

Bravely Default is exactly that: an old-school RPG.

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Club a dragon in 2015 with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate photo
Club a dragon in 2015 with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
by Jonathan Holmes

Capcom has been pretty quiet on their plans to localize Monster Hunter 4, which had the West's small but dedicated Monster Hunter fanbase a little worried. Well worry no more, fictional animal murderers! Capcom has announced that they're launching a new version of Monster Hunter 4 called Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (Monster Hunter 4G in Japan). The game will have more multi-player features than ever before (including online play), plus other as yet unnamed features. 

No solid release date here other than "early 2015" in the West (Autumn 2014 in Japan), which feels like a world away at this point. Still, new Monster Hunter is better than no Monster Hunter, even though we'll all be a full year closer to death by the time we get to play it. It'll be interesting to see if Capcom explains the reasons for the long wait. I wouldn't be surprised if they're holding out to see if the Wii U install base grows enough over 2014 to warrant a simultaneous release on 3DS and Wii U like they did with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.  

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Atlus' baby-making RPG earns an 'M' rating from ESRB photo
Atlus' baby-making RPG earns an 'M' rating from ESRB
by Wesley Ruscher

Atlus' upcoming Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita role-playing rendezvous, Conception II: Children of the Stars has been rated 'Mature" by the ESRB. 

The M rating lists “Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity, and Sexual Themes” in the content descriptors for the game's 3DS iteration. Currently the Vita version's rating has yet has to be published.

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