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Nintendo Slashes 3DS Price, has their Sony moment. July 28, 2011

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whatsamario

Nintendo set the internet on fire this morning when the company decided to slash the price of the Nintendo 3DS from it’s $249.99 launch price to $169.99, effectively cutting $80 dollars off the original asking price and also making it the same price of the Nintendo DSi XL model. For a system that has been out for less then five months, the move is striking to say the least.

Knowing that there would most likely be some sort of backlash from customers that adopted the system already. Nintendo is offering free games off their 3DS eShop store, which will include a handful of first-party offerings including GameBoy Advance games, including Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. Other titles will be offered and it will be up to 20 free downloads.

As someone that purchased the system day 1, I can’t help but feel disappointed with how Nintendo handled the launch. The 3DS came with a barebones library of ports from third parties and small time Nintendo efforts that there was nothing new that would grab a potential buyer outside of the Glasses Free 3D Screen. While that technology is cool, “Glasses Free 3D” isn’t exactly a game.

I’m not saying the 3DS is doomed forever, it can easily pick up steam once this holiday and next year hits when games are actually ready for release. Nintendo has an uphill battle between the Playstation Vita and of course, iOS and Android devices that currently offer the cheapest, most accessible casual gaming.

Free downloadable games is a pretty nice gesture but if they really want to satisfy their core crowd, they should have a conversation with Capcom about Mega Man Legends 3…

Fans Vs. Nintendo: Also, Hey PXR! June 30, 2011

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Being a Nintendo fan is like having a divorced Dad. He takes you out on weekends but never came to your Pinewood Derby race.

 

Operation RainFail

 

I get why people love Nintendo, I love Nintendo. For a lot of us they introduced us to gaming, defined gaming for most of the late 80’s and 90’s and always deliver quality software and interesting hardware. That kind of impact doesn’t just leave you, which is why it’s so frustrating when you see a company you love make so many backwards decisions. The 3DS is a quality machine but the initial launch window has been a complete joke – 3 1/2 months for Zelda? Incredible title but come on! Where was all the win that was announced for the system when it was announced at last year’s E3? Oh, coming later. Gotcha.

The Wii was definitely the underdog this generation. It is constantly spit on by ‘hard core’ gamers for not having HD graphics, online and basically every feature that the PS3/360 does not have. I supported the Wii, still do to an extent. It had some of my favorite games this generation. Super Paper Mario, Mario Galaxies 1/2, Twilight Princess, Sakura Wars.. I could go on all day. It had some real gems that most people gloss over. However its hard to deny the aging hardware compared to what we get on rival consoles and PC – and third parties have essentially given up on the platform. It’s hard for the system to compete where HD and online are key components and the “Wii Sports” fad has worn off – You would think its time for Nintendo to leave the Wii behind because we got everything it has to offer right?

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The Future Is Now! New SNK Merch! September 10, 2010

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 100910-ng-1 

To commemorate 20 years of the Neo Geo MVS and brand existing in some form of another, professional underdog game developer SNK is celebrating their long time existence with fancy merchandise at the Tokyo Game Show. Attendees that want to pay their respects to the people that brought us Fatal Fury, King of Fighters and Metal Slug can pick up a selection of hoodies, t-shirts and cups branded with the classic Neo-Geo logos and marketing phrases!

Check them out!

 

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Review: Metroid: Other M September 8, 2010

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Metroid-Other-M-Box

The Metroid series is generally heralded by the hardcore gamer as something very precious. The original trilogy, which was on the NES, Game Boy and Super Nintendo, broke the rules of what a 2D platformer was. Nintendo established that in Mario Bros, you are supposed to go to the right of the screen and jump and avoid obstacles. When Metroid came out for the NES, the game was all about throwing the player into a big, open environment scattered with power ups and monsters giving the player a sense of isolation – to demonstrate this the game designers had the player go to the left of the screen to get that first morph ball power up. Nintendo had Mario, Zelda and Metroid and all 3 franchises demonstrated completely different schools of thought in game design that have evolved over the past 25 years. But what happens when you change something fundamental about the series?

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OC Remix: ‘The Quick and the Blue’ September 7, 2010

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get acoustic

I’ve covered Mega Man 2 songs on here before but I’ll stop once the great songs stop coming in! Last night a new song was posted, it is a track from a Mega Man 2 fan album by a group called “The Megas”. Turns out in 2008 they released an album called “Get Equipped” where they acoustically played through the soundtrack of Mega Man 2 and added lyrics to all the songs. Cheesy in theory? Absolutely, but what about the execution? Brilliant!

The album is a retelling of the events of the game, but it goes into different perspectives of the robot masters and Mega Man himself, the lyrics delve into the personas and make you think about what the characters are going through, such as Mega Man questioning and demanding justification for what he is doing, and what the robot masters are going through when they are on the verge on the death.

Check out this rendition of Quick Man’s theme, it paints an epic picture that kind of sends chills down my spine.

This is the original chip tune mix…

 

And here is the rendition!

Did you like it?

Download it here!

Another Metroid Post! Deal with it. August 20, 2010

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Video Game - Metroid Wallpaper

I have Metroid Fever and I am burning up.

And now that I have lost the last ounce of self-respect that gave me the energy to even get out of bed in the morning I want to share Nintendo latest piece of marketing for Metroid: Other M!

 

I love it. The video captures it all – from showing Ridley wrecking her childhood as shown in the japan-only Metroid E-Manga, to showing her in the academy which is what Other M will touch upon to the climax of Super Metroid – It’s awesome. I love the Prime games a lot, Retro Studios did a wonderful job crafting their own Metroid games but I will say I was a little disappointed about how little the Prime series had to do with the overall canon of the franchise (save for the Aurora units in Prime 3, those better come up in Other: M).

Lost about Metroid? Have no idea what is going on? Check out this recap they made that chronicles what happened in Metroids 1-3.

 

Enjoy the Halo-esque commercial, read the translated e-manga, watch the recap because things going down on August 31st.

Super Mario 3: What Gives?! August 12, 2010

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 supermario4

 

So I’m over at joystiq right before I go to sleep excited for the day ahead that will be full of errands and work, where they have a story about the GBA E-Reader specific enhancements that Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario 3 got. The Japanese version. Only. I knew that the E-Reader existed and while it kind of flopped in America, it was more of a success in Japan but what it really did exactly was beyond me. Now I know – It provided the ultimate 2D Mario game. This is basically an official hack job on the Mario 3 rom! It gives Mario 3 specific levels and power ups from every 2D Mario game excluding the “New” series.

The GBA E-Reader was yet another Nintendo experiment that was designed to bring extra content, or expansion packs to e-reader compatible GBA games. The extra content would come on cards that would be import data onto the gba cart and “enhance the game with new features”. It didn’t quite take off in America, but you could find e-reader cards stashed away in lonely corners of most big retail stores – IMO the coolest feature was that you could by NES games for it and play them off the card and onto the GBA – those were later converted to the insanely priced “NES Classic Series”. It’s kind of crazy how Nintendo was sort of offering a sort paid DLC like expansion for GBA titles almost a decade ago before the practice got huge.

But back to this Mario madness! So many new features were added to Mario 3 – vegetable throwing from Mario 2 USA, the super cape from Mario World, Poison Mushrooms from SMB2 and so, so so much more! Check out the video for the full rundown. If Nintendo takes advantage of the 3DS and adds a GBA virtual console store to it – I really hope they release this “super version” of Mario 3 because I would kill to play this.

OC Remix: Final Fantasy VI ‘Lost Forever’ August 9, 2010

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ff6DONE

I love Final Fantasy VI, In my opinion it is a perfect game. The only unhappy thought I have of the game is when the power went off once while playing and I didn’t save my progress for like 2 hours. Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger are always fighting for “favorite game ever” at the top at my list. Anyway, one of my favorite moments [SPOILERS] of the game is when Setzer is searching for “The Falcon” in the world of ruin. You are presented with a series of flashbacks of Setzer remembering Daryl, his former lover and airship pal who lost her life while taking a risk on her airship “The Falcon” which is something that is needed to help the fight against Kefka. Once you find the airship and fly out of the cavern you are presented with an epic scene of the airship flying out of the ocean and the new world map theme song “Searching for Friends”, composed by Nobuo Uematsu.[END SPOILERS]

It’s a great theme that really sets the mood for the rest of the game.

Here is the original.

The mix, by OCRemix artist Dj Bjra doesn’t take the original song too far out its element. He takes the song and synths it up with a hiphop beat and fleshes out the more dramatic sections with guitar solos. The song also features a back beat that never outstays its welcome due to the overall complexity of the changing harmonies. The end result is a pretty fun listen and I’m always happy to see this track get attention!

Like it? Download it here!

What I’m Playing… August 4, 2010

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This game has completely taken me by surprise. For me Sakura Wars was always that Japanese series that was seemingly beloved by all who played it on Saturn or Dreamcast but it has never, ever made it to America. So finally getting the chance to actually play one of the titles in my own language seemed like something I should do.

I’ve seen the anime’s and movies and they are good fun – I love the idea of an alternate history where everything is steam punk (Well, more on the steam – less on the punk) complete with steam powered mechs! I had no idea that Sakura Wars was a ‘dating sim’ until I realized that I spent the first hour and a half desperately trying to get these girls to like me and not seeing any kind of combat.

I now understand why SEGA was so cautious to bring it stateside, due to the fact that the game focuses you on getting these people to like you to forge stronger and better relationships so when you do actually fight – they fight better. There are no footballs, cover systems and bromances here, this is a game about feelings, conflict and resolutions that involve getting in a bulky steam powered transforming mech and screaming a lot about trust and spirit – and I couldn’t have it any other way!

The cool thing I like about the game specifically is that this game takes place in 1920’s New York City – what makes it cooler (for me) is that this is Japan’s interpretation of what the 20’s were like and it is pretty damn awesome. The game is filled with old Ford’s, bowler hats, suits and Louis Armstrong inspired music.

Perhaps the main hook for me, is while its a ‘dating sim’ – meaning that there is a heavy focus on getting to know characters and saying the right things to make them like you, is that it lets you really get involved in the story and the characters – which is one of the main reasons why I love the Persona games so much, hell Mass Effect is a glorified dating sim with guns in it  – if the developer makes it interesting it can be what keeps making you come back.

So far I’m enjoying my time with it. Sure, the girls in the game are more or less stereotypes that you would find in any kind of “Harem” Anime (Love Hina) but the English voices are actually pretty good. If you compared this game to Arc Rise Fantasia the voices in Sakura Wars is like Metal Gear Solid. Apparently the PS2 version came with Japanese voices. The only thing that bugs me is that sometimes save points are scattered to far from each other and my OCD tendency to go back and fix a conversation where I picked something wrong and the person liked me less – but I think that is more of a personal problem than a problem with the game’s design! Insecurities!

Speaking of Metroid… July 29, 2010

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24419-noscale-Super Metroid HD

A new Other M trailer went up! The whole thing is in Japanese except for the ridiculous names that the federation soldiers have – but who cares! It’s a Metroid game that will flesh out the universe directed by Yoshio Sakamoto. He gave me Super Metroid, Fusion and Zero Mission. Some of my favorite games of all time! Other M hopes to have all the qualities of what makes Metroid great while giving Samus a proper personal backstory. I’m excited because its rare when Nintendo characters are given an actual “Voice”. I would love to see Nintendo take a more dramatic route with some of their other series.