Posts Tagged With 'Wii U'

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Pause Menu: What do you hope to see in the new Legend of Zelda?

After reading Holly’s Retro Redux, I was inspired to create an ongoing feature myself. As the title suggests, it will be a weekly article that I hope will provide food for thought for you readers. So welcome to the Pause Menu (thanks goes to fellow contributor  Justin Riley for the  title).

I really cannot wait to see more of this iteration of Link

OK, let’s start by being realistic; we are not going to see the release of the new Legend of Zelda game for at least another twelve months. Regardless, it is not too early to have a wishlist. For me, I really hope the structure of the game is like the excellent A Link Between Worlds, but takes the idea of doing the dungeons in any order a step further by returning to the sense of discovery found in the very first entry in the series. How good would it feel to stumble upon a dungeon that  no one in your circle of friends has found?

Another factor of Zelda games I hope to see expanded on is the story. I know Ganon is the over-arching villain but does he have to be in almost every Zelda game? I thought Majora’s Mask had a far more interesting villain in Skull Kid and I really hope they have a more intriguing villain in Zelda Wii U then just bringing Ganon back again.

His unpredictability was what made Skull Kid so interesting

I’m going to take a turn into somewhat controversial territory now and say this game needs to have voice acting in some form, whether it’s in the Elder Scrolls style, in which the protagonist is silent, or it has the same style that Darksiders had and Link finally has a voice. I have read of people saying this would detract from the spirit of Zelda, but I think adding voice acting will give Zelda an added air of maturity.

I hope the few ideas I have put down will give you some food for thought. I look forward to reading your comments.

Posted by Colin Crompton 28.08.2014 in All
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Review: Shovel Knight, A Brilliant Homage To The 8-Bit Era

 

What do Mega Man, Super Mario Bros. 3, Duck Tales and The Adventures of Link all have in common? Unique stories. Imaginative characters. Brilliant level designs. Fantastic music. They are some of the greatest platformers of all time, and helped define the 8-bit era. And now, they have all played a role in inspiring this years smash indie hit, Shovel Knight.

What started out as a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $75,000, quickly blew up up, blowing past its goal. Shovel Knight’s Kickstarter ended up collecting over $300,000, fulfilling all the stretch goals for additional features. Shovel Knight has already received great critical acclaim, with many people describing it as one of the top games of 2014, and, with more stretch goals to be released for free in the near future, should continue to impress for some time.

A thrilling 2D platformer, Shovel Knight pays great homage to some of the finest games from the NES system. The overworld map is instantly recognizable, as it is almost identical to the style used in Super Mario Bros. 3. The various levels appear on the map, and as you defeat certain levels more levels become unlocked. Occasionally a challenger will appear on the map, blocking your path, and moving spots on the map after each failed attempt (reminiscent of the Hammer Bros. from SMB3). Scattered amongst the levels are other areas where Shovel Knight can enter, talk to various villagers and purchase weapon and health upgrades (similar to the villages in The Adventures of Link).

Level layouts are much like those from the Mega Man series, largely linear, but not on a continuous straight line. Shovel Knight must occasionally climb ladders, drop down gaps, and traverse in both directions on the screen. The levels are all brilliantly designed, each with a unique theme and boss. Secrets are hidden everywhere, behind a cracked wall, under a suspicious floorboard. Exploration is crucial in this game, as every level is filled with extra treasures and collectables to be found. Shovel Knight is difficult but forgiving. Every level features several checkpoints, which can either be used as a new starting point should you die, or you can smash them up with your shovel for extra gold.

The games mechanics are simple, yet fun. Again, heavily inspired by Mega Man, Shovel Knight starts with only one weapon, the shovel, but gains various power ups as the game progresses. These power ups cause more damage to opponents, but require magic points to be used. Along with these weapons, Shovel Knight also possesses the ability to pogo on top of his enemies with his shovel (a direct homage to Scrooge McDuck’s cane in Duck Tales), which not only can kill his opponents, but also help bounce Shovel Knight to hard to reach places.

 

Shovel Knight continues it’s NES homage with brilliant music. Largely composed by Jake Kaufman, the soundtrack is a blast of thrilling chiptunes. Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae even makes a guest appearance, composing two songs for the game.

Visually, Shovel Knight is stunning. Sticking to the original color palette available on the NES, Shovel Knight features, beautiful 8-bit graphics. The screen layout is smart and simple, with the gameplay taking place on the top screen (on the 3DS version) and the various weapon upgrades selectable on the touch screen.

Shovel Knight is an extremely impressive platformer, living up to all the hype it has received in the past few months. A brilliant homage to a bygone era, yet an equally fresh, captivating and innovative game, Shovel Knight brings the past to the future in a beautiful way. Unique characters, brilliant level design, fun gameplay and a perfect soundtrack make this game a must have for gamers of all ages.

Score:

Posted by Justin Riley 28.08.2014 in All
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Impressions on today’s Mario Kart 8 update and DLC

YouTube Preview Image

One of the first things I wanted to do when I woke up this morning was to see whether the new Mario Kart 8 update was available. I was somewhat surprised to find out that it was, but surprise didn’t stop me from playing the game in the new Mercedes-Benz karts that are now available as free downloadable content. Here’s a quick run-down of the additions brought to the game and how I feel about them:

Mercedes-Benz Karts

I tried all three of the new kart bodies: the GLA, the 25 W Silver Arrow, and the 300 SL Roadster. As far as a kart’s stats go, handling and traction above all matter to me. I tried out the 300 SL Roadster first, due to its balance between those two and its good looks. I tend to like a kart with good handling, but I’m okay if it’s a little lower when the kart looks as sleek as the Roadster. You can check out a highlight reel I uploaded to YouTube of this kart in action above this post.

I tried out the GLA next, which had a better traction stat than handling. Though it looks and sounds pretty awesome, I just can’t handle a lack of handling very well. I finished on the 25 W Silver Arrow, which emphasizes handling. Of course, it felt like a dream to me, but I’m not a big fan of its look.

Overall, I really like the new karts. Some people have complained they look out of place, but I think they’re just weird and quirky enough to be a memorable Nintendo crossover.

Small Updates

Along with this update came the ability to display the course map on the TV screen, which I tried out while playing this morning, of course. You can toggle the map display on and off with a press of the – button, which is a bit of a hassle. Luckily, though, the map doesn’t get in the way too much. Actually, I found I was too distracted with the actual racing to look at it much. It shows up on the bottom right of the screen and is actually fairly large, with all the characters’ heads there, showing where the action is at. It’ll show who has a star or a bullet bill, but other items don’t show up, or at least I didn’t notice any showing up. This is a bit of a bummer, because I only ever used the map in Mario Kart 7 to quickly dodge green shells and such. That map, however, was zoomed in on me, the player, whereas the map in Mario Kart 8 shows the whole course plus everyone on it. I probably won’t bother using the map in Mario Kart 8, when all’s said and done.

Another small update that I didn’t expect, though, is a welcome change indeed: when you used to finish a race in Mario Kart 8, the first button it would default to was the “View Highlight Reel” button, as opposed to the “Next Race” button. Now it thankfully defaults to the “Next Race” button, making it so I don’t accidentally open up the highlight reel after a race when I don’t want to. I like watching highlight reels, but not after every race!

That pretty much sums up my initial impressions of the new Mario Kart 8 update and DLC. I didn’t try to find out how to access new paint jobs for the Mercedes-Benz karts; I just hope that’s still a thing and that I’ll be able to figure it out without having to look it up. What do you think of the changes and new karts?

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 27.08.2014 in All
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Rumor: Possible Smash Bros. roster leak

Rumor: Possible Smash Bros. roster leak

leakers

We are almost a month away from the release of the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros, which means any last roster reveals from Masahiro Sakurai or Nintendo could pop up soon. However, that hasn’t stopped an anonymous poster from sharing what he or she claims to be the full Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U roster.

According to a well-documented thread on NeoGAF, several forum members have posted images and video of Shulk from Xenoblade Chronicles, Bowser Jr., and, to our surprise, the dog from Duck Hunt. In addition, Ganondorf is shown to make a return to the Smash roster. From the provided videos, it’s shown that Bowser Jr. will use the Koopa Clown Car as a means to battle opponents.

Aside from the after-mentioned characters, Dark Pit, Dr. Mario, and Ness joining the roster. There’s no word whether or not Dark Pit and Dr. Mario are clones or a costume swap officially.  Finally, the NeoGAF thread user who has shared this information also claims that DLC will be available. The claim states that the DLC characters would be Lucas, Star Wolf, Snake, Ice Climbers, and the Chorus Men.

Nintendo has since responded to various gaming media’s inquiries on the matter of these leaks by stating “we have nothing to announce at this time.”

Now, much like any rumors, these will be taken with a huge grain of salt. But one must realize that if these are fakes then they’re probably some of the most-convincing one’s we’ve seen in the span of Smash Bros. 4′s development. Still, all of this could be too good to be true.

What’s your take on these rumors? Are they legit or just another sense of false hope? Tell us in the comments below.

Posted by Harrison Milfeld 25.08.2014 in All
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Smash Bros: Meta Knight, Limited Edition Pack and more

Only 51 days remain until the release of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, yet the announcements keep rolling out. A returning character, another stage, a limited edition pack AND a Smash Bros. themed sale were all announced over the last 24 hours.

Kirby fans can now rejoice, as Sakurai announced the return of Meta Knight. After teasing Meta Knight’s return on Monday, by posting a picture of a Mii fighter wearing a Meta Knight costume, today Sakurai confirmed Meta Knights return. He also verified that the Battleship Halberd stage will be coming back as well. Sakurai wrote:

“‘Looks like there was an impostor in the earlier posts, so I introduced him to my sword!’… I’ll leave it up to your imagination if he really said that or not. The veteran hero, Meta Knight, returns to battle!! We didn’t forget the Battleship Halberd either!!”

In other Smash Bros. news, Nintendo of Europe announced that a Limited Edition Smash Bros. Pack will be released on October 3rd. A special red and black console, with a Super Smash Bros. motif emblazoned on the front, this limited edition console will come with a digital copy of Super Smash Bros. preloaded on the system. So far, this limited release has only been confirmed for Europe. No mention of a North American release has been made at this time.

Lastly, Nintendo of Europe also announced an extensive eShop sale, focused around several Smash Bros. characters. From August 14-21, games featuring some of the New Challengers will be on sale. The following week, August 21-28, games featuring some of the Veteran Fighters will go on sale. So far this has only been confirmed by Nintendo of Europe. Much like the special edition 3DS, no confirmation of a North American sale has been announced. The following games will be on sale in the New Challengers sale:

Mii Fighter - Tomodachi Life (3DS) 20% off & Wii Party U (Wii U) 30% off

Villager - Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) 30% off

Palutena - Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS) 30% off

Wii Fit Trainer - Wii Fit U (Wii U) 30% off

Little Mac - Punch-Out!! (3DS & Wii U) 50% off & Super Punch-out!!! (Wii U) 50% off

Mega Man - Mega Man 1-6 (3DS & Wii U) 50% off

Pac-Man - Pac-Man (3DS & Wii U) 50% off

Posted by Justin Riley 13.08.2014 in All
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Game Boy Stage for New Smash Bros?

As the days count down towards one of the most talked about releases this year, Sakurai continues to drop various hints and sneak pics through his Miiverse account. Yesterdays screenshot appears to reveal a new Game Boy stage. Along with the image above, Sakurai wrote “Pic of the day “?Ba-ding!?”…. If you turn on the 3D effect, it really looks like there is a Game Boy inside the screen.” Sakurai did not confirm if this is in fact a stage, but it certainly appears that way. This would be a truly fitting stage design, as the Game Boy just turned 25 years old this year. Much like Melee’s Game & Watch stage, the new stage would be an homage to the glorious beginnings of Nintendo’s handheld lineup.

Posted by Justin Riley 08.08.2014 in All
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