Posts Tagged With 'Wii U'

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Review and More: Spikey Walls (Wii U eShop Download)

If there’s one thing I never expected to see on a Nintendo console, it’s a Flappy Bird clone. But that’s exactly what we’re getting on the Wii U eShop with developer RCMADIAX’s Spikey Walls! I’m going to “review” this game a little later. FIRST, some background information! I feel that it’s necessary, what with the long and very strange history of Flappy Bird…

Early this year, I heard about Flappy Bird; how could I not? I didn’t have any reason to try it out, though, so I passed. As the game took the world by storm, I had only a few screen shots to go on for a long time. I was actually rather offended by its graphics, which bore resemblance to Super Mario World on the SNES…that’s how I saw it, anyway.

I finally saw the game being played via this YouTube video:

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This sent a clear message to me: Flappy Bird must be getting all the attention because it’s abnormally difficult! I would later discover that that was only half of it: Flappy Bird also had an addictive quality, which is allegedly why the developer, Dong Nguyen, removed Flappy Bird from the various mobile app stores.

Spikey Walls marks my first attempt at a Flappy Bird clone, but after playing it, I had the unusual desire to try a clone more closely matched with the original:

“Such app. Much pleased. Very doge. Wow.”

With at least a sense of what the original Flappy Bird felt and looked like, it’s time to see how Spikey Walls compares. In case you’re suffering from amnesia and don’t remember what Flappy Bird gameplay is, let me briefly describe it: use the touch screen (or in the case of Spikey Walls, the A button) to “flap” through gaps in the walls, side-scrolling style. Each successfully cleared gap adds just one point to your total score.

The use of a button as opposed to a touch screen to control Spikey Walls is a real plus. And, thankfully, the game saves your all-time highest score, so you always have something to aim for. Aside from that, though, Spikey Walls is fairly underwhelming, even for a Flappy Bird clone. As far as graphics go, I appreciate the spikey walls themselves, which somehow remind me of the spikes found in the fortress levels of Super Mario World. However, the scrolling brick wall in the background is actually quite hard on the eyes and is actually made worse on a big HD TV screen. The game better to play looking at the GamePad’s screen, but it could still use some color and variety.

There are unfortunately no sound effects to speak of in Spikey Walls either, which is a missed opportunity, as sound effects in Flappy Bird and its various clones give the player that satisfying jolt to the heart when an unexpected collision occurs.

Spikey Walls finds itself in a position where it must be compared to other games of its kind, and this turns out to be its greatest downfall. It just doesn’t stand out as a worthy Flappy Bird clone. I have really enjoyed RCMADIAX’s previous efforts on the Wii U, but Spikey Walls scores:

2/5 Stars

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 17.09.2014 in All
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[Update] Source: Smash Bros. Wii U release date to be announced on Friday

[Update] Source: Smash Bros. Wii U release date to be announced on Friday

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[Update] Game Informer has confirmed via Nintendo of America that the Smash Bros. Wii U release date will NOT be announced this Friday.

(Original story)

According to a Nintendo representative who attended GameStop’s yearly conference this past week, the release date for the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. will be announced on Friday during Nintendo’s Smash Bros. live streaming event.

Kotaku was able to speak with the representative. In the write-up from Kotaku, they state: As for the biggest remaining 2014 Nintendo mystery, the company still isn’t saying when Smash Bros. for Wii U will be out. During the presentation, a Nintendo rep said the date would be revealed this Friday during Nintendo’s Smash Bros. streaming event.”

With the 3DS release of Smash Bros. approaching, all that has been known for the release date for the Wii U version is a vague Holiday 2014 window. Hopefully something concrete is true to be said from this source and heaven forbid that the Wii U Smash Bros. is pushed into 2015.

 

Posted by Harrison Milfeld 10.09.2014 in All
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Press Start: September’s Kickstarter Showcase

Press Start: September's Kickstarter Showcase

 

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Welcome to Press Start, our monthly Kickstarter showcase. For those of you unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a global crowdfunding platform, allowing people to donate to projects of many different kinds. Kickstarter is a brilliant tool for indie game developers, and has led to many excellent games coming into existence, with the financial backing of everyday people like you and me. Games like Shovel Knight may not exist without the assistance of Kickstarter and I would like to bring more focus to these projects. Each month I will showcase a few games that have a Wii U and/or 3DS release in their goals. I will highlight a couple games that reached their goals in the previous month, to show what games we can look forward to in the near future. I will also share a couple games that will be seeking funding in the following month, so you can see what possibilities are out there. Perhaps you’ll fall in love with a Kickstarter project and make your own generous donation. I hope you all enjoy this new monthly feature. Press Start!

Recently Funded:

Timespinner: This 2D, pixelated Metroidvania titled was originally funded in late July, but has more recently reached its 3DS stretch goal. Inspired by the GBA and DS Castlevania titles, this tale of a time travelling heroine has received a lot of positive attention and looks like a wonderful release to look forward to.

Current funding: $176,667 of $50,000 goal

Wii U: No Wii U release has been announced at this time

3DS: Confirmed. Release in Q4, 2015

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Heart Forth, Alicia: Another 2D, pixel-based game, heavily inspired by Metroid and Castlevania, but with a more RPG-inspired, magical theme. Heart Forth, Alicia has been an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign. It has already blown past its goal, being successfully funded in May, and is now nearing in on the 3DS release stretch goal of $245,000.

Current funding: $232,365 of $60,000 goal

Wii U: Confirmed, May 2015

3DS: Nearing stretch goal

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The Deer God: A visually stunning, artistic platformer sees you taking the role of a deer, exploring forests, unlocking new abilities, and surviving the harshness of the wilderness, very reminiscent of Ecco The Dolphin. The Deer God was successfully funded in July, and is now nearing in on its 3DS stretch goal of $55,000.

Current funding: $51,953 of $26,000 goal

Wii U: Confirmed, Q1 2015

3DS: Nearing stretch goal

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New Campaigns:

Adventures of Pip: Having failed to reach its core goal the first time around, Adventured of Pip is back on Kickstarter, taking another run at reaching its funding. Adventures of Pip is an epic, 2-dimensional side-scroller with a unique gameplay mechanic: the hero begins as a single pixel and, through combat, absords his opponents pixels to change form and achieve new weapons.

Current funding: $26,267 of $40,000 goal

Days remaining: 29

Wii U: Included in core goal

3DS: No 3DS release has been announced at this time

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Ray’s The Dead: Beautiful visuals lend themselves to this incredibly original game. Part action-adventure/exploration, part strategy game, Ray’s The Dead’s unique concept is the ability to raise the dead and control them, using them to perform actions for you as you explore your surroundings and fight off opponents.

Current funding: $36,962 of $30,000 goal

Days remaining: 16

Wii U: Included as $65,000 stretch goal

3DS: No 3DS release has been announced at this time

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Nefarious: A crisply animated side-scroller, full of brilliant platforming action, Nefarious casts you in a different role than most games. Instead of playing the hero, Nefarious has you playing as the villain, kidnapping princesses, and thwarting the police at every turn. With brilliant, Saturday morning cartoon visuals, very reminiscent of Earthworm Jim, this game looks excellent.

Current funding: $22,706 of $50,000 goal

Days remaining: 13

Wii U: Included in core goal

3DS: No 3DS release has been announced at this time

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That’s your September Kickstarter Showcase. Check back next month for an update on these ongoing campaigns, plus some exciting new campaigns. Hopefully we will see some more brilliant indie titles like Shovel Knight in the near future. What games will you help kickstart?

Posted by Justin Riley 05.09.2014 in All
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New costumes and mode announced in Bayonetta 2 Direct

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Today’s Bayonetta 2 Direct (viewable here) was packed with gameplay and, maybe more importantly, announcements. We’ve known for a while now that a port of the original Bayonetta coming to the Wii U will include costumes inspired by Link from The Legend of Zelda, Peach from Super Mario, and Samus from Metroid. These costumes have been confirmed for Bayonetta 2, along with two brand-new ones: a Fox McCloud-inspired get-up and a Daisy-themed frock.

The various Nintendo crossover looks for Bayonetta also make small changes to gameplay, with rupees from the Zelda series and the use of Bowser’s arms and legs making appearances. To name a couple more examples, the Fox McCloud suit has Bayonetta wielding small Arwings and the Samus suit allows her to roll around as the iconic morph ball.

An online co-op mode called Tag Climax was also announced during today’s Direct. The mode will allow players to fight as Bayonetta, Jeanne, or Rodin.

What did you think of the Bayonetta 2 Direct?

Posted by Holly Fellmeth 04.09.2014 in All
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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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