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Nintendo Direct focusing on Hyrule Warriors headed our way

Holly Fellmeth On Jul 31st 2014 with 1 Comments

Nintendo of America’s official Twitter account has revealed that a Nintendo Direct broadcast focusing on Hyrule Warriors is on the way. The live stream of the Direct will take place this Monday, August 4, at 8:00PM PT on Nintendo’s website.

It’s a strange time for a Nintendo Direct (9:00PM my time, 11:00PM Eastern), but what are you hoping to see in the broadcast? There is a bit of an overabundance of female characters that are confirmed as playable in Hyrule Warriors (8 female vs. 2 male), so I’m expecting up to two or three character reveals.

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Review: SteamWorld worth digging into your wallet

Justin Riley On Jul 30th 2014 with 4 Comments

Retro-inspired platformers have taken the eshop by storm the past couple of years. Games like Mutant Mudds, Gunman Clive and the critically acclaimed Shovel Knight have all sold well and received glowing reviews. Another game inspired by the 8-bit and 16-bit era of gaming is Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig, a highly addictive mining adventure. Regularly priced just under $9, the game is currently on sale for $4.49 (Hurry, hurry, hurry…. the sale only lasts until July 31st).

Assuming the role of Rusty, a robot cowboy, you receive the deed to his deceased Uncle’s mine. The mine is located below the town of “Tumbleton: Population 3,” and you are quickly introduced to the towns residents. Dorothy runs the trade shop, where she purchases all the ores you discover while mining. Her father , Cranky, runs the upgrades store, where you can buy various tools and upgrades for your equipment. Cranky carries everything from stronger pick axes and larger pouches, to teleportation devices and pressurized steam tanks (all of your equipment is powered by steam, and gradually drains with each use, requiring fuel ups in underground pools scattered throughout the mine). The final resident of Tumbleton is Lola. She works at the saloon and appears to be the town prostitute.

Gameplay is simple, yet addictive. Equipped only with a lantern and a pick axe in the beginning, you explore the mine, digging deeper and deeper, collecting various ores. As you run out of steam for your lantern, or fill your pouch with ores, you must return to the surface. There you can sell off your ores and purchase upgrades required to progress through the mine. As you journey deeper and deeper into the mine Rusty uncovers more and more of his Uncle’s secrets. You discover teleportation devices, new tools and secret passageways. However, there is more than just ores and tools within the mine. Creatures slumber within the depths of the mine, and the deeper you dig, the larger and meaner the creatures get.

While the game is largely platform based, with Rusty digging deeper and deeper into the mine, SteamWorld also features some puzzle aspects, along with minor RPG elements. Within the mine you will come across areas that require deep thought and strategy to proceed through properly. Certain tunnels and side passages pose significant challenges, forcing you to “Self Destruct” and attempt them again and again, until you dig just the right tunnel to progress to the other side. Leveling up and upgrading your tools brings a slight RPG feel to the game, as there are certain areas that are impossible to maneuver through without improved tools.

The game does not bog you down with lengthy tutorials and trials. Instead it sticks to its 16-bit roots, and allows you to figure out the controls largely on your own. SteamWorld Dig respects you as a gamer, assuming you can quickly discover your own techniques. It doesn’t hold your hand, as many games do nowadays. It frees you to get right into the action almost immediately. The controls are simple and well laid out. Many of the classic platforming abilities are present: speed running, wall jumps and speed jumps all aid Rusty on his mining journey.

The music throughout is very minimalist, with only a handful of tracks present. The few scores featured have a strong western feel, capturing the sense of wandering into an old, deserted cowboy town. While the argument could be made for a larger variety of music, the few selections there are capture the mood excellently.

Where Mutant Mudds and Shovel Knight wear their 8-bit inspirations on their sleeves, SteamWorld Dig comes across as a brilliant throwback to the SNES era. The game features brilliantly sharp HD visuals, with stunning, crisp colors and imaginative characters. Cut scenes are quite minimal, with only a still headshot of each character shown as they speak.

While the game would have certainly benefitted from more varied NPC conversation and a larger soundtrack, overall, SteamWorld Dig is a cleverly original, and surprisingly addicting, puzzle platformer. A simple concept, with a unique twist, SteamWorld Dig will easily transform your cries of “One More Level” into cries of “One More Dig!”

Note: A Wii U release has been announced for Fall 2014

Score: 

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Bravely Default’s success could help return Final Fantasy to it’s roots

Justin Riley On Jul 30th 2014 with 5 Comments

With over 1 million copies sold worldwide, over 600,000 outside of Japan, Bravely Default’s success may have slapped some sense into the people at Square Enix.

The company well known for some of the greatest RPGs of the SNES era, had seemingly lost the plot as of late, particularly with the extremely popular Final Fantasy series. Having veered away from the traditional Japanese RPG model, recent Final Fantasy games have seen a serious dip in sales, surprising for a series that was once a guaranteed seller.

Enter Bravely Default, a throwback to the 16-bit era of turn-based JRPGs. Despite lacking the name recognition of a series like Final Fantasy, Bravely Default sold incredibly well, even outside of Japan. These sales figures have caused Square Enix to reevaluate the direction Final Fantasy has been headed. In a recent interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Square Enix president, Yosuke Matsuda, stated “In the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise… we lost our focus…. and not only did (those games) end up being games that weren’t for the Japanese, but they ended up being incomplete titles that weren’t even fit for a global audience.” He went on to say “On the other hand there are games like the JRPG (Bravely Default that) we made for the Japanese audience with the proper (and familiar) elements… (That) ended up selling well around the world.” It seems possible that Bravely Default’s success may help return Final Fantasy to its roots, likely a more turn-based JRPG approach.

A sequel to Bravely Default, entitled Bravely Second, is already in the works. There has been no confirmation of a worldwide release as of yet, but it would be shocking if they decided to only release this in Japan, particularly after the surprising success of the first game.

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New Paper Mario Stage Flips the Script on Standard Stage Design

Joseph Hernandez On Jul 29th 2014 with 0 Comments
New Paper Mario Stage Flips the Script on Standard Stage Design

paper mario stage ssbAnother new stage has been unveiled for Smash Bros, this time representing a series not yet visited in the franchise. The Paper Mario stage highlights some of the major mechanics of the series, as it is made of paper and is blown away by strong winds. It is currently unclear whether this will affect the gameplay of your fighters, but when the stage folds over and opens up again, it transforms into a completely new stage: the S. S. Flavion from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. 

paper mario stage ssb pt2The shift in stage design appears reminiscent of the screen-scrolling design of Rainbow Cruise or the field-changing evolution of Pokemon Stadium, and it’s great to see the Paper Mario franchise make its debut in the Smash Bros. series. What do you think of this new level? What series of games do you hope gets its own stage in SSB4?

 

 

 

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Infendo Radio Episode 318: Final Smash Predictions

Holly Fellmeth On Jul 28th 2014 with 3 Comments
Infendo Radio Episode 318: Final Smash Predictions

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Welcome one and all to episode 318 of Infendo Radio, in which Harrison Milfeld, Colin Crompton, and myself talk about The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS, E3, and more. When we say “final Smash predictions,” that doesn’t mean guessing what final smashes are going to be in the final Wii U/3DS games (though that’s not too bad a topic either): Smash Bros. for 3DS is nearly upon us, so the time for predictions is drawing to a close! We offer our final guesses as to what’s coming. Additionally, us podcast folks want to extend a formal welcome to two of Infendo.com’s newest contributors, Joseph Hernandez and Justin Riley.

Next week, we’ll be discussing the book Console Wars by Blake J. Harris, which I’m finally about to finish, so leave any questions you have about the book in a comment below or send them in an e-mail to contact@infendo.com. Any other Nintendo-related comments/questions are welcome as well!

Enjoy the show!

Click here to listen to the show on your Wii U!

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Link-inspired weapons and armor confirmed for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Holly Fellmeth On Jul 28th 2014 with 5 Comments

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Capcom has confirmed, via a post on their blog, that weapons and armor based on Link’s iconic appearance will make their way to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS. If you watch the trailer above, you’ll see two hunters dressed as Link, one wielding the master sword and Hylian shield, the other the fully upgraded sacred bow from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The Zelda-inspired equipment seems very true to the original, and I can’t wait to slay some monsters with that master sword.

According to Capcom’s Yuri Araujo, “more special equipment like this [is] planned for the title.” We have to wait to find out what it is, however! Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate hits North America in early 2015. What do you think of the newly confirmed Link gear and/or the game in general? What other “special equipment” is on the way? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

[Source: IGN]

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