Tagged "Zelda"

NintendoT
Jan 09
By Matt Gander In Features 6 Comments

The third year in a console’s life is usually a jubilant one. By now the console will be well established, with a user base large enough to attract studios large and small, not to mention having a sizeable enough market share for publishers to take a gamble by releasing niche titles.

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This isn’t quite the case with the Wii U however. As the console enters its third year on sale, third-party publishers have all but deserted. They’ll no doubt return towards the end of 2015 – even the humble Wii saw a slew of new software this winter, after several quiet months – but we can expect bare minimum support from the remaining Wii U publishers. By definition of which, 2015’s iterations of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Just Dance 2016 from Ubisoft and whatever LEGO titles Warner Bros. has planned. LEGO Jurassic World, if LEGO Batman 3’s ending is anything to go by.

As for SEGA, who knows? The company as a whole is a mystery these days. The fact that the 16-bit Sonic games are still to be released on Wii U Virtual Console would suggest they have a colossal retro collection planned. After the commercial failure of Sonic Boom, this would be a low risk and low cost prospect to help make up losses. As you’ve no doubt gathered, we’re speculating here.

We’ll probably see a few movie and cartoon tie-ins from Little Orbit too, who have been quick to both spot and fill a gap within the children’s market.

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As disheartening as this lack of support sounds, there’s a very good reason not to worry. Nintendo hasn’t sat back and twiddled thumbs while the release schedule thins. They’ve hunkered down to ready enough titles to support the Wii U single-handedly.

Delays notwithstanding this year will see seven major releases, in addition to smaller titles such Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario Party 10, Art Academy and Devil’s Third.

After a drawn out spell in development limbo – and an almost disastrous E3 showing – we do fear the worst for Devil’s Third. If anybody can turn a project with such a rough history around though, it’s Nintendo.

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WUP-N_WANE_Titlescreen
Sep 01
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

It’s a moderately eventful week for the Nintendo eShop(s), if only because numerous Zelda games receive a price drop this Thursday to tie-in with Hyrule Warriors’ release later this month. As an extra bonus, if you have downloaded a Zelda title on either Wii U or 3DS you can get 10% off the eShop release of Hyrule Warriors, bringing the price down to a not-too-shabby £36.99.

We’ll rattle off the discounted Zelda titles in a moment, because there are a few new arrivals to look at first.

On Wii U there’s Nnooo’s Cubemen 2 (£6.99) – a fast-paced RTS with six player online support and a wealth of modes. There are no reviews currently, but it did go down reasonably well when it launched on PC back in April.

The trailer should give a good idea of what to expect:

That’s being joined by another strategy game – European Conqueror 3D (£2.99). It appears to be the sequel (or perhaps semi-sequel) to World Conqueror 3D, which incidentally goes on sale this week to £3.59 (down from £4.29). Yes, that’s right – the older of the two costs more than the new version. Go figure.

Nintendo Life gave European Conqueror 3D a 6/10, claiming that “mediocre presentation, repetitive missions, small number of unit types, and lack of multiplayer all relegate it to second-tier status”. 3DS Pedia on the other hand liked it a whole lot more, giving it 80%.

European Conqueror 3D

Then there’s Rytmik World Music (£1.79) for DSiWare. It would seem that this is a music making tool rather than an actual game. “Rytmik World Music is not only for playing with sounds; in the hands of a skilful musician it can become a serious musical instrument – a surprisingly powerful pocket music station” claims the press release.

If you are looking for a new rhythm-action game, there here’s some good news – a Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call demo is due on the 3DS eShop this Thursday. The full game isn’t out until 19th September, giving plenty of time for you to make your mind up as to whether you should open your wallet or not.

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letsgocamp_top
Apr 11
By Adam Philbin In Features No Comments

Texas based indie developer Steamburger Studios have just launched their campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the development of their colourful new camping adventure game, Let’s Go Camping! We had the chance to chat and find out more about their plans.

With its beautiful, simple visuals and mix of open world exploration, monster hunting and camping, Let’s Go Camping feels a bit like the lovechild of Zelda and Skyrim, with elaborate narrative replaced with playful camping adventures. The Kickstarter campaign is a week in so far, and this is one game that we really hope reaches its goals.

Steamburger’s Brian Mayberry and his team took the time to answer some of our questions:

We love the idea of Let’s Go Camping – it seems a bit like a Minecraft-ified version of Skyrim. Where did your inspiration and desire to create it come from?

Believe it or not, I started off making a lowpoly Starfox clone. Late one night I opened up one of the levels and dropped in a first person controller. I started wanting a bow or something to shoot, so I made one, and quickly got really inspired.

You’ve previously worked on games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Defiance – how does indie development compare to working on traditional console games?

I started off making a lowpoly Starfox clone

It’s such a different experience! From a 200+ team in close quarters working on a huge project, down to just 4 guys connecting on Skype to make a smaller single player adventure camping game. There are some tools and development cycles that translate over quite well and we do communicate in a similar way when updating assets and setting tasks. The best difference is that everyone can really bring their ideas to the table from the start; nobody is left feeling like a small cog in the big machine.

A big part of the game seems to be using the bow and the realistic bow & arrow physics. Any plans to add other weapons and tools or will it all be spectacular archery action?

Yes! There will be a few alternate weapons, but they will not completely replace the bow. The bow is your key weapon, and most of the combat and design will be tailored around it. There will be items that give you new ways to navigate the overworld, and allow you into places previously unreachable.

Let's Go Camping

The game’s lowpoly visuals and barebones gameplay seems really appealing – what will you be doing to keep players hooked in and progressing?

Let’s Go Camping! is all about exploration and discovery, clearing those dungeons and finding that perfect camping spot. Lore and role play fans will enjoy the openness of the story, since we mostly leave it up to the player to work it out for themselves. There is a kind of linear progression to the game which will become more apparent as we get further into development; an ultimate destination so to speak. Item, camping gear, and arrow/food management will also play a part to keep the player motivated to place themselves in more dangerous situations.

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JMP_XBOX_Planb_05 (1)
Nov 25
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Literally mere minutes before this week’s UK chart went live it was reported that a million Xbox One consoles were sold during launch.

It stands to reason that around 140-150k of those were sold in the UK. 70,000 Xbox 360 units were sold during launch back in 2005 and Microsoft claims that the Xbox One has managed to outsell it by two-to-one. Hurrah for math!

Unsurprisingly then, it’s the two bundled Xbox One games that have charted the highest in this week’s top 40. With sales up a massive 328 per cent FIFA 14 is back on top – knocking Call of Duty: Ghosts down to #2 in the process – while Forza Motorsport 5 has proven to be most popular Xbox One-exclusive by arriving at #5.

Dead Rising 3 made #7 and at #10 it’s Ryse: Son of Rome. Battlefield 4 has been boosted by Xbox One arriving too, shooting up from #5 to #3.

Curiously, no less than 10 of the 16 Xbox One launch games managed to enter the top 40. That’s exactly the same amount as Xbox 360 launch titles all those years ago. For those with a thirst for facts, the Xbox One single format chart informs that it was Angry Birds Star Wars that was the least popular title, followed by NBA Live 14.

Back to the top 40 now, and Nintendo fans will no doubt be thrilled to hear that Zelda: A Link Between Worlds managed to outsell Ryse – it’s in at a very respectable #9.

That’s better than what the equally wonderful Tearaway managed, which tears in at #26.

As we expected given the unusual lack of promotion, Need for Speed Rivals hasn’t got off to the best of starts – it’s in at #13. Expect it to rise over the coming weeks as NFS games are always strong sellers over the festive period. Perhaps that’s why EA has chosen not to splash out on advertising.

FIFA 14 and Assassin’s Creed IV on PlayStation 4 shifted a fair few copies last week too, entering at #13 and #17 respectively in the individual format chart. That’s not bad going for a system that’s yet to be released.

Nintendo Adventure Books
Oct 22
By Jake In Retro No Comments

In the ’80s and early ’90s, choose your own adventure gamebooks were quite the craze. There’s been a resurgence of sorts recently, both on paper and digitally, chiefly of the fondly remembered Fighting Fantasy series. Nintendo Adventure Books? Not so much.

Nintendo Adventure Books: cover

A remarkable 12 books were released in 1991-92, based largely on Nintendo Comic System, the series of comic books released in 1990-1991. Which is certainly one way to achieve efficiency.

The first ten gamebooks featured the Super Mario Bros, with the last couple set in the Zelda universe. I have a feeling I bought the third book, Monster Mix-Up, from a car boot sale – the small green sticker on the inside cover probably indicated a price point. Anyway, it goes without saying that it’s a cherished possession and a quality item.

The UK was only very shortly behind North America – making it probably the only Nintendo product of the period that can be said about. A number of the books were also variously translated into Hungarian, Dutch or Swedish. Some of the books could also be obtained for free with the purchase of two tubes of Pringles. It’s one of the more unusual release strategies.

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AlbumT
Aug 20
By Matt Gander In We've Got Issues 2 Comments

It pleases us greatly to learn that sticker albums are still around in this day and age of handheld consoles and mobile phones that do everything.

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Simply owning one allows instant social standing in the playground; long time rivalries can put aside in favour of bagging a few stickers that you and your rival may need.

I still crack a smile when recalling the time somebody from a higher year approached me and abruptly asked “Do you have Sagat’s legs?” It took me a couple of seconds to realise that he was referring to the Street Fighter II sticker album, rather than making a threat.

Today we’re looking back at Merlin’s Official Nintendo Sticker Album from 1992. It was the only album from my youth that I finished, albeit by cheating slightly and sending off for those elusive final few stickers. It’s amazing to think I considered the 6p asking price per sticker a little steep at the time.

Incidentally, packs of 6 stickers retailed for 20p while the album itself cost just 50p. It may have also been given away free with one of the gaming magazines or with a red-top newspaper at some stage. Good old freebie marketing, there.

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Although released in the same year that the SNES made its European debut, Nintendo’s 16-bit console wasn’t referenced at all. Super Mario Bros 3. was the newest game featured, while the few Game Boy games present were the early launch titles such as Super Mario Land, Tetris, Tennis and Alleyway. Little did we know at the time that Nintendo would eventually squeeze such gems as Link’s Awakening and Pokemon out of the monochrome marvel.

A foreword supposedly from the Super Mario Bros. themselves started the album off, with a collection of boxart stickers on the opposite page. The three NES Mario games had several pages each, pointing out where the warp zones were and providing a few tips for beating the bosses.

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Nintendo Game Watch
Jun 04
By Jake In Retro No Comments

The tech press is getting in a right froth over smart watches. Honestly, don’t they remember the Game Watch?

The calculator watch had been around since the 1970s, and a decade later the next step was the game watch. US company Nelsonic Industries was at the forefront of this exciting technological frontier.

The games were basic, and they typically couldn’t be played on your wrist – but they were often licensed, which was clearly the selling point. Nintendo were remarkably keen to pimp out their properties, and in 1992 three of them made it over to Europe through Zeon.

As Super Play put it at the time:

Of the three, Tetris is probably your best bet. This is probably the most addictive puzzle game ever, and one which adapts to on-wrist technology quite neatly. This version has been cut down a little from the original – the screen is only six blocks wide – but it plays just as well.

Inevitably, Tetris was the one that I didn’t buy. Like all 11-year-olds, I was an idiot.

So let’s have a look at the Super Mario Bros. 3 and Legend of Zelda tat I probably wasted a perfectly good Christmas present on.

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FuseT
May 30
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

If there hasn’t been a new shooter from EA released every month this year so far, then it certainly feels like it.

Fuse is this month’s offering, which originally started out under the guise of Overstrike. The squad-based shooter was then given a major overhaul, with a catchier new name to boot. It’s Insomniac’s first multi-format release but reviews suggest it doesn’t fare quite as well as some of their other games.

Fuse1

CVG gave it 6, IGN a 6.5 and Destructoid 4/10. There have been a few 7/10s around too, including this one from PlayStation Lifestyle who called it “strangely addicting”.

We really, really, detest the use of the word ‘addicting’.

Destructoid’s review paints a very grim picture indeed: “A four-person co-op shooter as dry as a dead tree, Fuse walks the same path as other fabled “me too” middle-ground games like Inversion and Quantum Theory — a repetitive, flavorless, excruciating slog from cover-based firefight to cover-base firefight.

“It’s ostensibly Gears of War on autopilot — a slow-paced retread through ground so familiar you could set a watch by it, remorselessly lacking in surprise, while any originality is quickly wasted through overuse and shameless self-exploitation,” they continued.

From the sounds of things Wii U owners can take comfort that they’re not going to be missing out too much.

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