Tagged "3DS"

Jun 01
By Matt Gander In Blog 4 Comments

Nintendo are very close to Ubisoft these days. So much so that they apparently received their Wii 2/Project Café development kits before anybody else. Not only this, but plans are afoot to bundle the 3DS with two different Ubisoft titles – Splinter Cell 3D and Driver: Renegade.

Although the bundles have only been announced today they aren’t due for release until 1st October. Another odd thing is, well, Splinter Cell 3D isn’t exactly a good showcase of the 3DS, is it? Even the Official Nintendo Magazine only gave it 49%. And they thought Asphalt 3D was good.

It’s nowhere near as mainstream but Ghost Recon would have been a better choice. In fact, October is so far off that by then Ubisoft will have released Cubic Ninja and James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes, both of which would be a lot more welcome.

Still, at least the 3DS isn’t being bundled with that thing with the dinosaurs.

May 25
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

It’s not often we cover gaming news on these pages but here’s a tasty morsel we couldn’t pass up on. According to an interview with Team 3’s Shaun Southern in the new issue of Retro Gamer – which has a nice shiny Zelda cover this month – a 3DS version of the cult retro classic Trailblazer is “up and running and looks amazing”.

This is more than likely a conversion of Team 3’s still to be released Trailblazer iPhone (pictured). Trailblazer was first released on such formats as the Commodore 64 and was also revived for the notoriously troubled Gizmomdo handheld. Requiring lightening fast reflexes, it’s an oddly addictive and slightly trippy time-trial based futuristic racer.

Due to having a basic nature it’s not hard to imagine it being released on the 3DS e-shop. That said, Puzzle Bobble Universe ended up being a boxed full price release and that was woefully short on content.

Apr 20
By Adam Philbin In Blog 3 Comments

As is evidenced by the declining number of reviews I’ve written for this site over the past decade, I haven’t really been playing or writing about as many games as I’d like. Once or twice a year I go manic and indulge, usually every October (traditionally the month of big game releases and nostalgic birthday memories) and around a few other big game launches. It doesn’t bode well for consistent game reviews though.

So, having only just started playing Killzone 3, a mere two months behind the rest of the in crowd, I thought I’d instead write about the games I’ve been meaning to play for a while, but haven’t got around to yet, for whatever reason. Obviously my critical opinion on said games will be moderately worthless, but hey, I like making unordered lists!

Minecraft

MinecraftThe whole world is seemingly playing Minecraft. Initially made by a Swedish guy in his bedroom, over 800,000 people paid €9.95 to play the alpha version of the game. The final version hasn’t even been released yet, and already the alpha and beta versions have sold over 1,940,000 copies and made €23 million – talk about crafty development! Undeniably, Minecraft has been the biggest gaming success story in recent years, turning one bedroom coder into a multimillionaire almost literally overnight.

And yet, I still haven’t played it. I am that lazy. At one point I believe I even got my credit card out and went on to the Minecraft website, but decided against purchasing, in the belief that it would disrupt my workflow and project deadlines (which is fair enough really – World of Warcraft almost cost me a year of my degree).

From what I can tell, Minecraft is about exploring and building whatever you want, on a lego style island. Its simple, blocky graphics certainly have some charm, and clearly it must be pretty good based on all the success and praise. One day I’ll sit down and play it. If you haven’t already played it, you probably should.

Call of Duty: The Newest One

Call of Duty Black Ops or somethingAdmittedly, part of me doesn’t give a shit about the Call of Duty series anymore. Somehow, at some random point in time, Call of Duty went from being a dull wartime FPS game with numerous sequels, to the game industry’s annual mega hit. But you’re kind of obliged to play it, right?

I’m sure the latest one, errm, Call of Duty: Black Ops, is quite good. I guess I can expect it to contain plenty of shooting, dastardly conspiracies, and walking through linear alleys or jungles. I’ll probably pick it some day. Perhaps Activision would have sent me a review copy if I asked. Maybe I’ll get around to it before Call of Duty: Postmodernism 27 comes out.

Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout 3: New VegasWell, technically I got as far as installing this one and playing it for twenty minutes. Seeing as Fallout 3 was by far my favorite game of 2008, I feel a little disrespectful not giving New Vegas the time it truly deserves. A Fallout game requires at least a week of free time to truly experience and enjoy. Maybe I’ll get started with it on a long weekend. Alright, I’ll play with you soon Fallout, don’t worry.

All the new Yakuza games

Yakuza 4In this post-Dreamcast world we live in, Yakuza is about as close to a new Shenmue game as we’re likely to get anytime soon. It’s developed by Sega’s Amusement Vision, formerly Sega AM4, which is just two off Shenmue developers Sega AM2. Look past the Japanese gangster setting, and it almost is Shenmue.

I loved Yakuza on the PlayStation 2. It felt like the game version of a cheap Japanese gangster B-Movie, or almost exactly the type of game I’d think up. Unfortunately when I played the demo of Yakuza 3, it felt clunky, boring, and quite old fashioned. That put me off at the time. Still though, now that Yakuza 4 has finally got an English release, I probably should make the time to play it. I hear you can date hostess girls and play arcade games!

Anything on the Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS and Japanese lady's faceFive is a fairly good number for lists, and as I can’t quite be bothered to write about ten games, this should round the list off nicely. Now, I don’t want to seem harsh, as I do keep meaning to do something about the 3DS, but at the same time, the 3DS is almost completely failing to interest me.

Perhaps it’s just the uninspiring launch line-up. Perhaps it’s the idea of cross-eyed migraines trying to experience the third dimension on a flat screen. I’m certainly curious, though simultaneously, not quite bothered. I’d liken the 3DS to limping badger – the concept has me interested, and the urge to go over and have a look is quite compelling, yet I wouldn’t really want to take one home.

At least it’s Easter this week. I might actually make some progress in Killzone 3.

Apr 05
By Matt Gander In Blog 7 Comments

Sega recently announced the first batch of GameGear games that’ll be appearing on the 3DS’s Virtual Console. If you missed the announcement, the line-up comprises Sonic & Tails 2, Sonic Drift 2, The GG Shinobi, Dragon Crystal: Shirai’s Maze and Columns.

Why they chose to use the Japanese names of each is beyond me – Sonic & Tails 2 was known as Sonic Triple Trouble outside of Japan, while Sonic Drift 2 became Sonic Drift Racing. Still, it’s not a bad little line-up.

Sonic Triple Trouble is one of the best 2D Sonic games; not just on the GameGear, but in general. Dragon Crystal is very Rouge-like with a nice soundtrack. It’s bound to be panned by the press for being basic by today’s standards, but back in 1990 it was ace. Don’t be fooled by Sonic Drift 2 – Mario Kart it isn’t. The GG Shinobi has stood the test of time, and if Columns only costs a couple of quid – which is likely – then it should be an essential download if you’re looking for something to play during lunch breaks.

It’s hard to see anybody but Sega re-releasing GameGear games on Virtual Console. Nonetheless, I’ve knocked up a list of ten titles I’d like to see.

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
A straight conversion of the Sega Master System version, but no less brilliant with some memorable bosses – including a giant chocolate bar – and the chance to go swimming in a giant cup of tea. The sequel – Land of Illusion – makes my head hurt due to the way the screen scrolls, but thankfully the rare and largely unknown Legend of Illusion corrected this. Legend of Illusion would be more than welcome on VC too.

Coca-Cola Kid
A Japanese-only platformer from Aspect – the developers behind most of the 8-bit Sonic games. It bears great resemblance to Sonic Chaos, in fact, with similar presentation and some recycled sound effects. The titular kid is rather acrobatic in nature and can also jump onto a skateboard to zoom through the levels quicker. A nice little game.

Tails Adventure
Miles better (pun intended) than Tails’ Sky Patrol – in which you can lose a life by crashing into trees, walls and other obstacles – this platformer is slower paced than the Sonic games and rather lovingly made. Visually it showed what the GameGear could do when tickled in the right places. Once Sega gets the Sonic games onto VC then chances are this’ll appear at some stage.

Gunstar Heroes
One of the most impressive GameGear games to be released; only the 3D FPS Faceball 2000 looks more impressive. It’s missing a few levels from the Mega Drive version and the sprites flicker badly but the charm still remains. As with Coca-Cola Kid, this was also a Japan-only release.

Mortal Kombat II
Potentially this could make it out if Warner Bros. could ever be arsed to do a deal with Sega. There are only two backdrops but it plays smoothly and it’s better than Rage’s GameGear version of Mortal Kombat 3, which is so bad it’s almost unplayable.

Pac Attack
Combine Tetris with Pac-Man and you get Pac Attack. As well as forming lines you also have to line up ghosts for Pac-Man to eat whenever he appears. Even though it was available as part of a Pac-Man compilation on Game Boy Advance it’s something of a forgotten gem.

Marko’s Magic Football
If you ever saw this in action you’d think that it’s a Mega Drive game. The sprites are large and well animated and Marko has dozens of football-related tricks up his sleeves. And Marko is way cooler than Soccer Kid – who had a face only a mother could love.

Power Strike II (aka GG Aleste 2)
An awesome and impressive 2D shooter that’s uncommon on eBay and moves like greased lightening. With no R-Type games on GameGear this is the best example of the genre, with busy backgrounds, varied levels and a bonus stage viewed from a third person perspective.

Prince of Persia
Much like Mortal Kombat, this could appear too if Ubisoft had a chat with Sega. They’re probably too busy kissing Nintendo though. Prince of Persia, much like the early Sonic and Mario games, plays just as well now as it did when it was first released. The animation was jaw-dropping back in the day.

Ristar
An underrated platformer which plays a lot like the original Rayman. The Japanese version has an extra level which was removed from the US and European versions on the grounds that it was deemed too tough. It’s still present on these versions but you have to play it on a Japanese system to get it to appear.

I’ve left Wonderboy off the list as I’m willing to bet my last Wagon Wheel that it’ll be included in the second batch of games. Other likely candidates? Streets of Rage, Virtua Fighter Animation, Ax Battler and no doubt Sonic 2, a game which I can’t really stand. At all.

Apr 04
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

The eye-ball pleasing Crysis 2 has managed to stay at the top of the chart for another week. The game at #2 may surprise you – it isn’t MotorStorm Apocalyspe (which makes its appearance at a lowly #17) or Shift 2: Unleashed (in at #4) but rather Zumba Fitness. Not wanting to blow my own trumpet or anything, but I did have a feeling it would be quite popular.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters and WWE All Stars go in at #6 and #7 respectively.

MotorStorm Apocalypse’s slightly rubbish placing is likely to be because it was delayed and Sony didn’t do a very good job at telling people the new release date (last Thursday).

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the highest placed 3DS game at #16, followed by Pilotwings Resort at #21, Rayman 3D at #23, Super Monkey Ball 3D at #29, Ridge Racer 3D at #30 and Nintendogs + Cats at #32.

Apr 03
By Ric In Blog 3 Comments

So, you’re out and about walking around town with your Nintendo 3DS tucked in your pocket in sleep mode. You get home and, hey presto, a flashing light is emitting from the 3DS. No, not the small amber flashing light – that’s to indicate wireless. The light we’re talking about is a very special one. And it’s the colour of the food you find up your nose.

That’s right, baby, it’s green and it means you’ve had a StreetPass. StreetPass is not some kind of new sport involving playing rugby in the high street – it’s an innovative feature built into the 3DS’s glorious innards. Once StreetPass is enabled and the 3DS is put it to sleep mode if you happen to walk past other 3DS owners you’ll find a new face in the StreetPass Mii Plaza.

I decided to take my 3DS out and about whilst working this week in Manchester and found a grand total of 12 people whoring out there Miis on StreetPass. The coolest of these was an individual named ‘PooBoy’ who had a dream to be a wizard. Takes all sorts, eh?

You can also use your new friends to play the basic but fun turn-based RPG found in the Mii Plaza entitled StreetPass Quest. If you live in a backwards area where nobody else owns a 3DS then worry not as you can exchange footsteps – gained by simply walking around with the handheld – for coins and hire a hero to help in your quest. If you’ve selected cat as your favourite pet you’ll get a sword-carrying moggy to help; if you’ve selected dog you’ll get a canine critter. Your favourite colour also denotes the colour of your magic attacks. Rewards for beating the bad guys – which start off with King Boo-alike ghosts – include new hats for your Mii to wear.

Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition also uses StreetPass, allowing you to have virtual fights with Street Fighter figurines while Ridge Racer 3D lets you race against other people’s ghost cars.

If anybody has come across a better named person than PooBoy while out Mii-hunting then let me know; I’d be interested to know what could possibly top that…

Mar 28
By Matt Gander In UK Charts 2 Comments

With so many releases out last week it would have been a miracle if Homefront managed to hold onto the top spot. It’s now at #3, making way for Crysis 2 at #1 and the apparently better than expected LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars at #2.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the best selling 3DS title entering the chart at #4. That’s followed by Pilotwings Resort at #6, the review-shy Rayman 3D at #9, Super Monkey Ball 3D at #14, Ridge Racer 3D at #15 and Nintendogs + Cats at #20.

Ghost Reckon: Shadow Wars goes in at #34 selling better than Splinter Cell 3D did which is in at #39. I am surprised that Ridge Racer 3D didn’t chart higher – reviews have been good and it’s a very well established brand. At least it sold better than Asphalt 3D did, which didn’t make the top 40.

The Sims 3 – which previewed badly – did make it into the 3DS single format chart though.

Mar 25
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

The Nintendo 3DS is released in the UK today. Being at the cutting edge of games journalism, we can bring you a complete look at Nintendo’s first 3D hardware. That is to say: the Virtual Boy. Not the 3DS.

Back in 1995 Nintendo went head first – no pun intended – into the world of virtual reality, despite claims that Atari’s prototype Jaguar VR headsets (and the Sega VR add-on) were giving testers motion sickness and headaches.

As predicted by many videogame journalists back in the day, it was a move that didn’t pay off. Indeed, GamePro infamously reported that they had more fun playing with the bubble wrap the console came packed in rather than the Virtual Boy itself.

Designed by the late Gunpei Yokoi, the machine launched in Japan in July 1995, and August 1995 in North America for $180. It ran off six AA batteries that lasted for around an impressive 7 hours, and was bundled with the reasonably enjoyable Mario Tennis. A red screen was chosen because red LEDs drain less battery power than any other colour. That, fact fans, is why standby lights on household appliances are always red. The joypad bore resemblance to the GameCube controller, featuring not one but two d-pads. As per all Nintendo joypads – the palm denting NES controller aside – it was comfortable to use and hold.

Although the machine had a 32-bit processor and was capable of producing 3D visuals, the Virtual Boy’s forte was to create an illusion of depth through rotating mirrors inside the headset. In Wario Land for instance, the portly doppelganger could jump out of the background and foreground to avoid swinging blades and such, whilst in 2D shooter Virtual Force the craft could move up and down to different planes to avoid enemies.

Only 33 games were released in total – 14 in the US and 19 in Japan. Many more, including GoldenEye 007, Donkey Kong Country 2 and VB Mario Land were in development but were swiftly canned. Figures suggest that there were 770,000 consoles sold in total, with only 140,000 of those in Nintendo’s home country.

Within a year Nintendo pulled the plug and had cancelled the proposed European launch. A lack of decent titles, the imminent release of the PlayStation, Saturn and Nintendo 64 itself, known then as Ultra 64, all added up to the machine’s demise. There was also fact that you were susceptible to having ‘kick me’ signs stuck on your back while playing.

Due to its quirkiness – plus the fact that it was made by Nintendo – the machine has managed to sell for a steady price on the second hand market. It’s also quite easy to get hold of original sealed copies of games: the machine was such a flop that many stores were left with countless unsold games eventually flogged for next to nothing. Some of the final releases can go for hundreds on a good day, while obscure Japanese release Virtual Lab is sought after due to the misspelling of Nintendo – ‘Ninntenndo’ is written not just on the back of the box but also on the cartridge itself.

With the 3DS now upon us there is a chance that we’ll get to experience the system’s finer software via the handheld’s Virtual Console service. Nintendo aren’t totally oblivious to the system’s existence after all – Wario Ware Inc: Mega Microgame$ featured a mini-game based on Mario Clash, while the recent Donkey Kong Country Returns was going to have a red-hued Virtual Boy-style level.

And yes, we have named this feature after a Hugh Grant film. Sorry about that.

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