Thursday, September 29, 2011

Major Announcement Being Teased By Nier And DQX Producer

Yosuke Saito is excited about Friday, and no, it's not necessarily because it's the start of the weekend.

NieR and Dragon Quest X producer took to his Twitter account to let off some of this excitement, saying, "Ooooo, I can't wait for this Friday." Unfortunately for him, that said post did not garner the expected reaction, forcing him to be a tad bit more specific as to the reasons for his excitement. 


Posting another (this time, clearer) tweet, "There wasn't much of a reaction, so I'll try again. There will be a major notice on Friday? Probably."

That was definitely a better tease, making people sit up and notice that something is definitely cooking for this weekend. As to what this could be, of course it remains unknown, so we'll all just have to wait until Friday to find out.

Meanwhile, you should be glad to know that Rebecca Black is not invited to this soiree, whatever this may be.

This past month alone, we've been bombarded with major details about Dragon Quest X, such as the confirmation of the Wii U version, as well as the subscription fees.

Via [Andriasang]

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The Legend Of Zelda: Four Swords Is Now Free (For Some)

The last new “Legend of Zelda” game, not counting the recent remake of “Ocarina of Time” and the very hit or miss “Link’s Crossbow Training,” came out in 2009. The next game in the franchise, “Skyward Sword,” won’t debut until later this year. This leaves a pretty big gap in the Link-lover’s schedule, which Nintendo is more than happy to fill by giving every 3DS and DSi owner a free copy of the GameCube/GameBoy Advance classic, “Four Swords Adventures.”


The game boasts a completely new single-player experience in addition to the multiplayer elements that set it apart from other games in the series. Now, however, you won’t need to get three of your friends in the same room at the same time to enjoy the multiplayer experience, as you’ll be able to quest with your friends via the DSi and 3DS’s built-in Wi-Fi connection.

“Four Swords Adventures” is available on the Nintendo eShop as of today, and will stay there, free of charge, until February 20, 2012. If you pick it up now, you should be done with it in time for “Skyward Sword’s” November release – consider it a primer to put your brain back into Hyrule mode.

The story of “Four Swords” revolves around Link’s efforts to repair the damage caused by a dark version of himself, known as Shadow Link. Over the course of his adventure, Link (naturally) discovers that there are fouler forces at play, and must do everything in his power to set things right. Every level in the original game can be played by anywhere from one to four players – there are always four Links on-screen, but in the absence of human player the computer picks up the slack.

The one bummer about the re-release is that you lose the experience of four people sitting in a room together, hopelessly confused about what each person is supposed to be doing. Teamwork is much more interesting when you can yell at the person next to you.

Do you think that the Wi-Fi experience will be just as fun, or is the experience lost in translation?

Via Joystiq

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Paper Mario Developers Launch New 3DS eShop Title

Intelligent Systems are set to launch Hiku-osu, a new game on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

The developers are best known for Advance Wars, Paper Mario and Fire Emblem, three franchises that have helped them become one of Nintendo's biggest second-party developers.

According to Andriasang, Hiku-osu stars Maro, a young boy whose entire town has been covered in blocks. Gameplay involves moving the blocks to solve puzzles and create new pathways to move through the town.


The game also features stages with Nintendo-themed art, including the Mario background pictured above. More images are available on the game's official Japanese site.

Intelligent Systems is believed to currently be working on the new Paper Mario and Fire Emblem titles on 3DS. Hiku-osu is set to release on the Japanese eShop on October 5th. No North American release has been announced.

View the original article here

The Genius Of Super Mario 64

It's hard to believe it's been 15 years already, but that's how old the Nintendo 64 will be this week. It was a decade and a half ago when the Big N's third console first went on sale in America, and that means, of course, that the system's launch titles are also celebrating the same anniversary -- like the 3D platforming masterpiece Super Mario 64.

Anyone who was around and paying the least bit of attention to gaming in the mid-'90s remembers their first time seeing this game in action. It was magical. Majestic. A truly mind-blowing shift, as gaming took its first real steps into the third dimension. Polygonal gaming had been done before, sure. But Super Mario 64, with its go-anywhere worlds and innovative controllable camera, made any previous attempt at 3D in the industry look archaic by comparison.

So let's celebrate this latest milestone, shall we? To honor the game that truly ushered in the 3D era with its awe-inspiring visuals and control, here are our top 10 picks for Super Mario 64's most sensational, most breathtaking, most absolutely genius moments.

All you had to do was flip on the power switch to be instantly greeted by one of Super Mario 64's most outstanding moments -- the now-classic "It's-a me, Mario!" title screen. Nintendo literally pushed Mario's face to the forefront for its latest machine, using the plumber's iconic image to showcase the 3D modeling and rendering power running under the system's hood. What made the moment even more memorable, though, was that it was fully interactive. If you held off on pressing Start and stuck around for a few seconds instead, a cursor would appear and allow you to manipulate Mario's features. Tweaking his mustache, squishing his hat and pulling out his nose like Pinocchio could keep anyone entertained for minutes on end -- and the game hadn't even started yet.

Once you were done mutating Mario into an out-of-proportion freak and finally pressed Start, the game's second major moment unfolded before you -- finding yourself standing in front of Peach's Castle. The simple courtyard with its climbable trees and the revelation that a camera-toting Lakitu would be documenting the adventure were both wonderful as you got your first chance to push the new Analog Stick and see Mario run around. The Castle then served as the hub world, another new concept, for the entire journey to come, and was filled with its own gameplay challenges and secret areas. The whole quest came full-circle back to this starting spot, too, when you collected all 120 stars -- because then you got to cannon-shoot yourself up to the castle's roof to visit with Yoshi.

The first real stage of Super Mario 64 is Bob-omb's Battlefield, and that certainly could have been a worthy pick for our list. But we're giving the early-game nostalgic nod instead to the second stage, Whomp's Fortress. This floating level introduced the hazard of dropping to your death off the side of the structure, a high-flying owl who'd carry you way up into the sky if you grabbed him by the talons and a new concrete-slab enemy species for the series, the Whomps -- a gigantic version of which resided at the top of the fortress waiting to flatten the pint-sized plumber in an epic boss battle encounter. Whomp's Fortress is such a great level and so well remembered, in fact, that Nintendo brought it back for an encore appearance just last year as the "Throwback Galaxy" in Super Mario Galaxy 2. J

ust upstairs from the Whomp's Fortress room in the Castle's main hall is a door that seemingly takes you nowhere important -- until you leap straight through a stained-glass window and end up discovering Princess Peach's Secret Slide. Jumping on and dashing down it at breakneck speed -- on either Mario's rump or stomach -- is one of Mario 64's most joyful, purely fun moments. The developers must've loved the sliding sequence enough to expand upon it a little later, too, as a second slide shows up for Mario to ride in the icy Cool, Cool Mountain level. That one's even more intense, too, since you have to race against a penguin and beat him to the bottom to earn a Star.

Rounding out the game's perfectly balanced set of introductory worlds is the watery Jolly Roger Bay, a tranquil cove where players got their feet wet with the game's swimming mechanics (if they didn't jump into the moat outside earlier). The sheer depth of the bay is impressive -- and tense, since Mario's air is constantly depleting as you swim further and further down. But the best moment happens when you finally approach the bottom and investigate the sunken ship sitting there -- an enormous eel attacks! The size and scope of the game's enemies excels yet again.

View the original article here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Mario 3D Land Features Revealed

Sample box art for Super Mario 3D Land released in Japan has revealed new features for the game.

As discovered by Andriasang, the art confirms that StreetPass will be supported, and that P Wings will be returning.

According to the box art, StreetPass will be used to exchange items with other players.


As for P Wings, they made their first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3, but it isn't immediately clear what their function will be here. Since Nintendo has utilized a Super Guide feature in most recent Mario games, this could be a feature to allow players to skip a level if they become stuck, though that hasn't been confirmed.

Meanwhile, GameStop has announced the first pre-order bonus for Super Mario 3D Land. Customers who reserve the game in-store or online will receive this Tanooki Mario keychain while supplies last:


Super Mario 3D Land will hit stores on November 13.

View the original article here

Zelda Anniversary Takeover Day Announced

The 25th year of The Legend of Zelda definitely has got all the fans up in a frenzy of excitement. Yet another event was announced in honor of the said occassion, this time courtesy of videogame festival GameCity.
The said event is the Zelda Anniversary Takeover Day, happening in Nottingham's Old Market Square, on October 29th, Saturday. Basically, the whole square will be magically transformed in a Hyrulean market, much to the definite delight of fans.
Among the many activities line up for this festivity are the make-your-own sword and shield booths, or the Ocarina lessons. If you just want to chill out, then you can head over to the LonLon Milk bar and have a sweet fix. If you complete all these, then you will be rewarded with pieces of the Triforce, and tehreby be able to complete the Hero's Quest.
Probably the best thing about all of these, however, is the fact that the upcoming The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, will be available for hands-on play throughout the day. That's some three full weeks ahead of folks who are just going to have to wait till the game comes out to the market on the official date of November 18th.
Of course, there's plenty more to do there, as the Takeover Day is just a part of a bigger ongoing occassion, which is the GameCity festival. So be sure to make your way around and enjoy the sights, sounds, play, and more.
Nintendo has launched an official 25th Anniversary Website, where fans can take on a little nice trip down memory lane. If you can't come to Nottingham for the Takeover Day, then you can just head over to Los Angeles in October for the Zelda orchestra concert.
Via [Official Nintendo Magazine]

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The Best Of Nintendo's Castlevania

Happy Birthday, Simon Belmont! 25 years ago, on September 26, 1986, the first Castlevania game went on sale in Japan.
If you've been following our 25th anniversary coverage for the past few days here on IGN's Nintendo channels, you've seen us first go back to the franchise's beginnings by Revisiting Castlevania on the NES. We then moved into the modern era with Revisiting Castlevania on the DS. And today, to wrap up our look back on Konami's vampire-hunting brand we're presenting The Best of Nintendo's Castlevania.
These are the top picks -- the absolute essentials that you've got to experience to consider yourself a true Belmont fan. So read on, take our recommendations and scrape some cash together to make a couple of purchases from this list. It's the right thing to do for Simon's birthday.
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Released September 1, 1990

Why It Made the List
All three of the series-starting titles that kicked off the Castlevania series on the NES deserve your time and attention, but if you've only got time and attention enough for one then go straight to the trilogy's 8-bit conclusion. Playing Castlevania III again today takes you right back to the franchise's beginnings to appreciate how the Belmonts first looked, controlled and fought against Dracula in Nintendo's first console era -- but this third installment also succeeds on more than just nostalgia with its multiple playable characters, branching paths and brutal difficulty that make it worth much more than just five bucks. You can download it through the Wii Virtual Console for that amount right now, and you should. Immediately.
Super Castlevania IV
Released December 1991

Why It Made the List
When Nintendo made the leap to the upgraded graphics of 16-bit technology, Castlevania was right there to help make the transition happen. Super Castlevania IV was a bigger, bolder vision of the 'Vania world that served as one of the early showpiece titles for the SNES -- and it innovated in gameplay as well as graphics, by introducing multi-directional whip attacks for our vampire-hunting hero. This one's on sale through the Wii Virtual Console as well, and you can make it your own for just eight bucks. Or, if you'd rather win a copy for free, that can be arranged as well.
Castlevania X: Rondo of Blood
Released October 1993

Why It Made the List
The legendary lost game of the series, Rondo of Blood originally didn't come to a Nintendo system in the States -- or any system for that matter. It stayed in Japan, unlocalized and untranslated for our audience, while America had to make due with a watered-down pseudo-port called Dracula X. The Wii's Virtual Console righted the injustice of the '90s just last year, though, finally giving us this game in America, in its original form, for a Nintendo platform. So it totally counts now. And you should totally buy it, for just nine bucks.
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
Released May 2003

Why It Made the List
After an ugly era through the late '90s when Konami first tried to transition Castlevania into 3D on the N64, traditional 2D 'Vania had a huge resurgence on the Game Boy Advance. The GBA launch title Circle of the Moon and its follow-up Harmony of Dissonance paved the way for one of the series' best portable adventures ever, Aria of Sorrow. Though Game Boy Advance games are not as easily available now as classics from other systems, it'd be worth your while to scour some local game shop bargain bins and track down this title -- its introduction of Soma Cruz, futuristic setting and innovative soul-capturing system helped make it one of the best Nintendo Castlevania titles ever.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia
Released October 2008
Why It Made the List
Finally, though Dawn of Sorrow and Portrait of Ruin are both excellent as well, forcing us to pick just one of Castlevania's modern DS sequels means we have to highlight the most recent. Order of Ecclesia is the current culmination of the combination of the Castlevania franchise and Nintendo's hardware platforms, a dark and difficult journey across the 17th century Transylvania countryside as a uniquely non-Belmont female fighter. It's coming up on its own three-year anniversary of release, but that's not so long ago that you shouldn't still be able to find it in stores. Fire up that DS one more time and join the Order. We command it.
And there you have it, Castlevania fans. Our top 5 picks for the best of the best among Nintendo's options for enjoying the series. You'll have to venture to other company's hardware to seek out some big hits like Symphony of the Night, but overall it's easy to be a very well-versed Castlevania aficionado by just owning a Wii and DS.
Now get crackin'! It's your duty as an honorary member of the Belmont family to spend your day today stalking Dracula with murderous intent. And feel free to make your own suggestions for other 'Vania options in the Comments below while you're lacing up your leather boots and spraying on your bat repellent -- we've just presented our picks, but we want to know yours too.
Happy Birthday, Simon!

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