Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

The Legend of Zelda symphony extends into 2012
November 8, 2011

Following the overwhelming success of the live Zelda orchestra performances across the globe, Nintendo have announced that they will be extending the show into the new year. Grandly titled The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, the tour will travel across the United States, with the first date being held in Dallas on January 10th, 2012. Tickets range from $19 to $115 and are available to purchase here. Members of Club Nintendo will be eligible for 15% discount until November 30th.

Additionally, a 3D video performance of the Legend of Zelda Main Theme will be made available via SpotPass to Nintendo 3DS owners this week. Similar videos are planned for the near future.

Press release.

– Rory

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Nintendo ‘willing to invest’ to secure third-party support
July 7, 2011

It’s not a new concept to the industry; Microsoft reportedly paid $50 million for exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV DLC and were even accused of money-hatting Namco in order to secure the exclusivity of Tales of Vesperia, but paying for third-party content is not something that Nintendo has openly admitted to. Similarly, Jack Tretton – President of Sony Computer Entertainment of America – has, in the past, proudly proclaimed that Sony ‘don’t buy exclusivity’, whilst also taking a side swipe at Nintendo, who, in the eyes of Tretton, have a tendency to rely too heavily on first-party production.

While Tretton is world-renowned for talking from his arse, I do believe that particular comment holds some merit. It’s unlikely that Nintendo took his words to heart, but it’s no secret that criticism can be a compelling catalyst for creativity, and Nintendo’s relationships with third-parties have elicited criticisms abound. To what extent you believe their words or not aside, Nintendo have, since the Wii U’s reveal, been promising much-improved third-party support, suggesting they’re willing to learn from, and, more importantly, act upon, their shortcomings.

At a recent shareholders meeting, Satoru Iwata was questioned on the Wii’s frequent software droughts, and if Nintendo had plans in place to prevent a similar situation with the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS:

We think it very important to make several hits from the third-party software publishers within the first year from the release of the platform, while offering Nintendo software seamlessly. In order to achieve this goal, we have shared information about the new hardware with the software publishers earlier than we did previously and built a cooperative structure, and we are developing several titles in collaboration with these publishers. I cannot talk in detail about the names of the titles, or with which publishers we are currently collaborating, because we have not announced this information yet, but what we are aiming for with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U is, platforms which have much more software and a wider variety of software than the former Nintendo DS or Wii. Therefore, we are thinking of creating an environment where software from other companies will become hits.

Nintendo claims to have shared the hardware specs of the Wii U earlier than usual, but developers such as Bethesda have indicated that they ‘know nothing’ about its capabilities. To me, this is worrying. Huge, Western developers like Bethesda are of the precise ilk that Nintendo should be trying to get on board. Bethesda, BioWare, Infinity Ward, Rockstar, Valve, Crytek – names that core gamers recognise and respect, names that will sell, and names that will promote system sales. I don’t work for Nintendo, I have absolutely zero inside knowledge or sources at Nintendo, and I have never claimed to. In that sense, I also have absolutely no idea who Nintendo is courting and who they’re not, but if a studio as big as Bethesda has been left in the dark, then it doesn’t fill me with confidence.

After the initial excitement and positivity coming from select studios, promises of core IPs like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield heading to the Wii U were made by developers Ubisoft and EA, respectively, but their relationship with Nintendo was already fairly strong. So, what about those who are seemingly less inclined to develop for Nintendo’s latest console? What kind of Nincentive (sorry) will be offered to them? Money, of course!

Please understand that Nintendo is prepared to invest in order to make this a reality.

Problem solved? We shall see…

 – Rory

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Who we want to see in Super Smash Bros. Strife
May 25, 2011

No, fear not; you have not accidentally wandered into the list-littered minefield of Kotaku, fortunately for you. However, it is with a certain sense of disappointment and guilt that I present to you, my readers, a list of sorts. Inevitably, a new Smash Bros. game attracts a ridiculous amount of hype, speculation and sheer fanboy-founded fervour, and we couldn’t help but get the train rolling – in no particular order, here is our character wishlist for the rumoured Super Smash Bros. Strife.

Super Smash Bros. is the industry’s best example of pure, unadulterated fan service, and it all starts with the characters. The game works because it’s a miraculous montage of some of the world’s most recognised faces, mixed with a myriad of lesser-known, but still just-as-loved characters, all united by one common interest – kicking the living daylights out of each other. So, who, other than the 35-man-roster from Brawl, would we like to see occupy all that extra disc space? Remember, variety is the spice of life.

Don’t be fooled by his nerdy demeanour; armed with a positively badass katana beam, a badass hairdo and a pair of badass shades, this Otaku badass means business. Badass business. From the brilliant mind of Suda 51, Travis Touchdown of No More Heroes fame is our number one contender. With an awesome art style, Travis would not only look right at home in the frantic free-for-all that is Super Smash Bros., but he’d also give those other pesky swordsmen a run for their money as well.

Did we mention he’s a total badass? We did? Oh. Okay then.

Another one that fits right into the badass category is Jack from MadWorld. Look at him. He’s smoking a cigarette. In black and white. That’s not only cool in France, people; it’s cool everywhere. Do you know where else it’d be cool? In Super Smash Bros. He’s got a chainsaw strapped to his arm. Even Fred Durst wouldn’t mess with this geezer in fear of having his arse skinned raw. Again, this Capcom creation boasts a unique art style that would add a bit of visual splendour to proceedings – if any more was needed – while also bringing something to the table that the series arguably lacks. Brutality.

Did we mention he’s got a chainsaw strapped to his arm? We did? Oh. Okay then.

She’s a Goddess, she’s a wolf and she’s from Okami. Enough said. What? You want more? Tough crowd. Well then, apart from being another aesthetically gorgeous piece from that artistic bunch at Capcom, Amaterasu is at once a gentle and caring soul, a benevolent Goddess and, most importantly, a fearsome warrior. With her inclusion, she would present the opportunity for a genuinely beautiful and creative stage, and some of the best music ever burned to disc.

Did we mention she’s a Goddess? We did? Oh. Okay then.

Another one for fans of brilliant videogame music; Blob, from THQ’s 2008 quirky Wii platformer de Blob, may, at first glance, appear to simply be a blob of paint. Look deeper though, and you’ll find tha-. Okay, no, he really is just a conscious, sentient blob of mastic composition, but he’s still a pretty awesome chap. He has the ability to change the physical appearance – namely, the colour – of anything he touches, which could make for some pretty cool-looking effects.

Did we mention he’s a blob of paint? We did? Well then, I appear to be suffering from some form of anterograde amnesia.

Another character from Capcom, another character from an AAA game – that is, Aesthetically and Artistically Awesome. With this little guy, the clue is in the name. Would you really want to battle against Mega Man? Really? For those of you who are out of the loop, ‘Mega’ falls somewhere between ‘Super’ and ‘Uber’ in the Official Adjectives Rankings 2011. Do you understand what that means? It means Mega Man is more of a badass than Superman. If that isn’t reason enough, then frankly, you’re batshit insane.

That about wraps it up for characters. In hindsight, I guess I’m just a sucker for some quality art design, but after all, Super Smash Bros. is definitely a clash of wildly varying styles, so shaking it up a bit further surely can’t hurt.

And no, we don’t want Cloud fucking Strife.

– Rory

Sonic Generations confirmed for Nintendo 3DS™
May 25, 2011

It’s official – the rumoured portable version of SEGA’s latest Sonic outing is live and kicking. Sonic Generations will be heading to the Nintendo 3DS system before the end of the year, according to the latest issue of Nintendo Power. The ‘anniversary event 20 years in the making’ promises to provide the perfect blend of old-school and nu-skool Sonic platforming. It’s unclear whether the 3DS version will be akin to its console counterparts or some kind of spin-off, but we’re willing to bet it’s the former.

The dude with the ‘tude will be dashing onto your screens in 3D at the end of the year.

– Rory

Watch the first Modern Warfare 3 gameplay trailer
May 24, 2011

Infinity Ward just posted up your first glimpse at Modern Warfare 3. Luckily for them, all the countries in the trailer just so happen to have an ‘E’ in their name somewhere, which they have oh-so-cleverly exploited, using the titular 3 as that ever-popular vowel/entactogenic drug.

The trailer ominously ends with the logo ‘WW3’ before the former ‘W’ flips on its head, to its final resting place – MW3. It’s coming this year and it’s going to own your soul. Spooky stuff.

– Rory

Director of Resident Evil films has never actually played any of the games
May 18, 2011

In a recent interview, zombie-slaying Milla Jovovich let slip that hubby Paul Anderson, the director of the Resident Evil films, has never actually played the source material that his films are based on. Instead, he watches walkthroughs performed by “professional video game players”.

“They play the games for weeks and give Paul the footage. So he’s literally watching days of the most awesome Resident Evil players out there to get inspiration for the next installment of the franchise.”

Well, that’s better than nothing I guess, and there could be a barrier here in that Anderson might not be familiar with actually playing videogames. But seriously, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever watched the Resident Evil films; they feel completely detached from the games, almost like a separate franchise.

– Rory

Nintendo UK announce pre-order bonuses for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
May 16, 2011

2011 marks The Legend of Zelda series’ 25th Anniversary, and, as such, you’d expect Nintendo to have something pretty big up their sleeve to celebrate it. You might want to check if they’ve got anything tucked into their socks, because there’s certainly nothing here.

If you pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for the Nintendo 3DS system at GAME or Gamestation, you will receive…wait for it…a poster. Oh, and a golden box. Sure, it’s better than a swift kick to the gonads, but it still seems a bit underwhelming, especially compared to the awesome swag that Nintendo of Greece is throwing in with the game, including a real Ocarina and a canister of Deku Nuts.

Of course, Skyward Sword will also release later this year on Wii, so it’s by no means a bad year for Zelda fans, but it just feels as if Nintendo isn’t really pushing this like they should be. I wonder what will accompany the launch of the first new Zelda game in 5 years this Holiday. I’m betting on a ROM dump of the original NES game…

– Rory

Project Café to compete with PS4/Xbox 720 graphically?
May 15, 2011

For some unjustified reason, Nintendo have an image problem when it comes to their machines’ graphical capabilities. Granted, its handheld consoles have often been trumped in the horsepower department by competing products (think DS vs. PSP) and the Wii was a generational gap behind the 360 and PS3, but before Nintendo employed this new strategy, its consoles were always very competitive in terms of graphical fidelity.

The GameCube boasted arguably one of the most efficient architectures ever found in a console – its power surpassed that of the PS2 and was pretty much on par with the Xbox, even outperforming it in some areas. Further to this, Nintendo were able to produce the Cube at a fraction of the cost of its competitors’ offerings while still fitting the whole thing into a much smaller shell and having a much lower operating temperature. The Nintendo 64 was an absolute powerhouse compared to the relatively modest PS1 hardware, but its success was ultimately dented by a lack of 3rd party support.

Despite this misnomer, it’s kind of understandable, based on the Wii, why many were expecting Nintendo to skimp out on the hardware again and simply compete with current gen offerings, and leaked specs, whilst a bit vague, seemed to suggest that the next console would again be a beefed up version of what’s already on the market.

However, IGN built their own custom rig using equivalent parts to those supposedly being used on the Project Café, and the implications are pretty exciting. The results themselves were fairly impressive; the rig could run Crysis 2 on ‘Very high’ at full 1080p at 60fps. This in itself is practically what a lot of people were expecting from the console, but the test was a little unfair. Whilst the test utilised 2GB of RAM as opposed to the rumoured 1GB in order to compensate for the taxing Windows 7 OS, it’s likely that a console with similar specs would perform better still than this test would suggest.

Here are the components:

  • CPU: 3.2 GHz AMD Athlon II X3 with a custom Intel Triple-Core processor
  • Graphics card: XFX Radeon HD 4850
  • RAM: 2GB

IGN make a special and important note – “Nintendo’s system will be drastically different than ours, using custom-built processors, a streamlined OS and running optimised games.” While the rig did offer some improved textures, it’s likely that the console itself will be a pretty big leap above what the video shows due to this very fact.

Undoubtedly, the 720 will boast a few higher specs than the Café, but in the end it won’t account for much. The PS3’s Cell processor puts it quite a bit ahead of the 360 in terms of pure grunt, but it was never really utilised, except for in titles like Killzone 3 and Uncharted 2. To cut a long story short, the Café will be competitive. It will be able to run PS4/720 games without too much of a graphical hit, and, if it supports 1080p via HDMI, the differences will be negligible, unless everyone decides to go out and buy UHDTV sets in the next 3 years.

The difference between the Wii and the 360 was an ocean, the difference between the Café and the 720 will be more like a puddle. For Nintendo gamers especially, it’s looking set to be one of the biggest ever graphical leaps between consoles; the jump from Wii (a beefed up GameCube) to a console that’s reportedly 5 times more powerful than the 360 is going to feel more like a double generational leap.

This means that the Café will get very competitive versions of multiplatform games, such as Call of Duty, and, given Nintendo’s ability to squeeze the best out of their consoles, coupled with some of the best artists in the business, it means that we’ll be playing some of the most beautiful looking games ever burned to disc come 2012.

– Rory

RUMOUR – Nintendo to make ‘major announcement’ this week
May 10, 2011

According to Games Maya, four of the industry’s big names will be holding retail meetings this week; Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and Sony will apparently be accompanied by ‘leaks from attending retailers’, and, in the case of Nintendo, a ‘major announcement’. The dates are as follows:

  • 5/11: Sony Computer Entertainment

  • 5/12: Nintendo

  • 5/13: Microsoft

  • 5/13: Sega

Could we finally hear something concrete about Project Café in the weeks running up to E3?

Source – Games Maya via andriasang

– Rory

Modern Warfare 3 to feature a ‘larger, epic scale’ and destructible environments
May 10, 2011

Another day, another example of how healthy competition is good for the industry – Modern Warfare 3 will feature larger maps and destructible environments. DICE fired some warning shots at Activision’s Call of Duty studio earlier in the year, claiming that their project, Battlefield 3, had been designed to ‘take down’ the ludicrously popular CoD series.

It seems that DICE is experiencing some return fire, though, as MW3 will supposedly feature “a much larger, epic scale” and that the game “will explore the lead up to a blossoming set of engagements that could pull in other countries, creating a potential World War III scenario”.

It was also noted that “the game will feature large, urban destructible environments.” in line with Battlefield‘s Destruction 2.0 mechanic. DICE’s Frostbite 2.0 engine has been built from the ground up, specifically for the Battlefield series, whereas Call of Duty still runs on a heavily modified version of the Quake 3 engine; for Modern Warfare 3 to feature fully destructible environments to the extent of the ones showcased by Battlefield 3, it would require a complete engine overhaul, which seems unlikely.

Familiarity, it seems, does not breed contempt in the CoD camp. As such, destructive environments are likely to be of a much more conservative nature in MW3, but it surely won’t hurt to have them.

– Rory