Club Nintendo is offering new rewards for loyal customers, namely the sort of rewards you put other items in. Those with 700 free coins can pick up a green Mario-themed accessory basket that measures just under a foot wide. Don't be fooled by the name, as Nintendo can't stop the rebels among us from putting anything other than accessories in the basket, like cats. Or other, smaller baskets.
Club Nintendo's two other new physical rewards are Animal Crossing-themed pouches. Available in both pink and blue, the pouches store handheld systems as large as the 3DS XL for 500 coins. We're eyeing up one of the pouches to store candy instead, because Nintendon't tell us what to do.
As for the loyalty program's featured eShop game downloads, players can pick between four games until April 6: Kid Icarus of Myths and Monsters on 3DS (150 coins), Number Battle on 3DS (200 coins), Yoshi on Wii U (200 coins) and Bonsai Barber on WiiWare (250 coins).
Surprise new Wii U game on the horizon: Swords & Soldiers II, a sequel to the very good side-scrolling real-time-strategy game that debuted on the Wii in 2009
, is in the works for Wii U and will be playable at PAX East in April. Read more...
This is Portabliss, a column about downloadable games that can be played on the go.
Days after having soaked in the culture of Tokyo's suburban streets, I played Tengami for the first time, and it was the perfect set up to blow me away. Nyamyam's point-and-click (or point-and-tap) adventure draws inspiration from Japanese fairy tales, and when you see it in action for the first time it certainly feels magical. Its papercraft world, glossed in subtle, flowing shades of red, green, and blue, folds in and out frame-by-frame through some meticulous 3D wizardry. Sliding to turn and fold the paper of its pop-up landscape is an elegant pleasure, and walking in its world and visiting its lovingly detailed shrines makes me wish I'd really taken the time to explore Tokyo's rich history, rather than spending all my hours and yen in Akihabara arcades - that was great too, but still.
Tengami is the creation of a three-man team, which explains why it took more than three years to create. As Nyamyam's Jennifer Schneidereit told me in September, a good year or so was spent on the 3D digital editor that makes the game's pop-ups mirror the physics of paper. The technical aspects run even deeper, like how the book's look and feel is based on a natural Japanese paper that has watercolor-like gradients, or how its puzzling temples have their roots in the schematics of real Japanese shrines.
Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate will receive a Deluxe Edition version on April 1, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment announced today. The Deluxe Edition will launch digitally on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PC via Steam after Blackgate was previously only available on Vita and 3DS. The transition to consoles and PC isn't a total surprise: Blackgate was spotted on the Xbox Games Store earlier this month and on Steam in January.
Batman Arkham Origins: Blackgate Deluxe Edition will include "enhanced high-definition 2.5-D graphics" as well as a new map and hint system. Deluxe Edition owners will be able to unlock a Zero Year Batsuit skin in addition to all the outfits in the game. The game will cost $20 on the PSN, Xbox Live, Nintendo eShop and Steam digital platforms.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment]
Disney Interactive may have passed up the opportunity to produce Star Wars-licensed games in favor of developing Disney Infinity, but that doesn't mean The Force is completely absent from the studio's toy-collection game. The Disney Infinity Fans community has uncovered a green lightsaber weapon hidden in the game.
The lightsaber, according to a video posted by "Sheriff Woody," is given as a reward to players who collect every character in the game. Sheriff Woody got his hands on Phineas and Agent P - the two figures yet to be released in stores - and was able to complete his collection early, hence the reveal.
The Force is strong with this one.
The dulcet, Brokaw-esque baritone of Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) introduces you to Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, due to arrive sometime this year. In science fiction—whether video game or film—nothing says "mailing it in" like a title with a colon followed by "Rise of the Something-Something." [IGN]Read more...
Yesterday GameXplain found eight minutes of stuff to discuss in the two-minute trailer introducing Punch-Out!!'s Little Mac to Super Smash Bros. Today, they offer this fine-toothed combing of the Mario Kart 8 trailer, and after a whopping 26 minutes, there is nary a nit left to pick.Read more...
Since making Mutant Mudds Deluxe, an improved version of platformer Mutant Mudds, available on Wii U, Steam and PSN last year, developer Renegade Kid has seen the best sales on Nintendo's console - even better than PSN and Steam combined.
Renegade Kid co-founder Jools Watsham revealed the news on Twitter earlier this week. Watsham added in a follow-up tweet that 3DS has undoubtedly been the most popular platform for Mutant Mudds Deluxe, which was unlocked as a free content download on 3DS in the original Mutant Mudds game.
The varying length of availability on each platform is worth noting when comparing sales. Mutant Mudds Deluxe arrived first on 3DS in early 2012, followed by ports to PC and iOS later in the year. A Steam version was made available last November, then the PS3 and PS Vita versions launched in December. Watsham didn't say where iOS fits into all of this.
Renegade Kid is currently working on a few different games for 3DS, including atmospheric first-person shooter Moon Chronicles, loot-focused platformer Treasurenauts and horror FPS Cult County. Renegade Kid has also promised a sequel to Mutant Mudds, but development is currently on hold until work on Treasurenauts has been completed.
Amazon's clearance category has been updated with dozens of new price drops on featured games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and portable platforms. Gamer Deals has compiled a list of the retailer's current discounts, spotlighting a number of high-profile multiplatform releases.
Amazon shoppers can currently pick up a copy of Capcom's Wii U action-RPG Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for $25.25, while Sega's 2011 platformer Sonic Generations is up for grabs at $14.96. Other highlights include Zone of the Enders HD Collection for $9.99, Ni no Kuni for $19.93, and Lego Batman 2 for $14.95. Note that supplies are limited and Amazon's listed prices rise as demand increases, so if you want to score some of these deals, you'd better act fast.
Starting in April, Nintendo says they'll be releasing GBA games on the Wii U's Virtual Console. They announced the news in a Nintendo Direct today, mentioning names like Metroid Fusion and Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga as some of the GBA games that we'll be able to buy and download this spring.Read more...
Proving that fan affection for Resident Evil is as undying as the franchise's hordes of shambling corpses, Capcom has announced that the high-definition remake of Resident Evil: Revelations has surpassed 1 million total sales.
Our review of Revelations, a console and PC remake of the original 3DS game, describes it as a successful, if middling port: "Resident Evil fans will want to see the story, and will forgive the design flaws and wacky dialogue. For everyone else, the game doesn't hold the HD spotlight well. This was a quality handheld title, but on a larger screen it falls into the middle of the pack."
A post on Capcom Unity announced the sales numbers: "Just a quick little pat on the back for RE Revelations - the console/PC versions have passed the 1 million mark in worldwide sales and are currently sitting pretty at 1.1 million overall." As we reported earlier, both Dead Rising 3 and Monster Hunter 4 have passed the million shipped and sold marks, respectively.
Sega Sammy revealed Sonic: Lost World shipped 640,000 units across Wii U and 3DS in 2013, as the company looks ahead to the mascot's new guise in the also Nintendo-exclusive Sonic Boom. The figure comes via newly published financial reports for the nine months ending December 31, 2013, in which Sega Sammy also shipped 680,000 units of Football Manager 2014 on PC. The company didn't state if either figure included download sales.
The two games contributed to total Sega Sammy's total nine-months packaged software shipments of 6.31 million, down year-on-year by 9 percent. However, the company noted "favorable" performances for Phantasy Star Online 2, and other downloadable games like smartphone entries Puyopuyo Quest and Chain Chronicle.
Sega put down 14 million yen to acquire Persona dev Atlus from Index in November 2013, but the company's nine-month figures show a net profit 44.3 million yen, which converts to around $434 million dollars. The company made substantial gains in the period through sales of investment securities and non-current assets.
Sega Sammy's financial report comes the day after the company unveiled Sonic Boom, a game with a new art direction that looks to take the mascot in yet another fresh direction. It's due this year, with western studios Big Red Button and Sanzaru handling the Wii U and 3DS versions respectively.
New games! Yes, it would be nice to have a few more exciting eShop-only types, but at least we can start sending that tumbleweed on its way.
Bravely Default headlines the also-at-retail games, and we'd recommend checking it out. In our four star review, we lauded the 3DS JRPG for mixing Final Fantasy sensibilities with modern design. Whether a new promo trailer really conveys that ... well, it doesn't, but it made us chuckle so we're throwing it in here.
On the downloadable-only front, felonious indie Retro City Rampage comes to 3DS with lots of major tweaks, and it's another we had plenty nice to say about. Also, bike-former/plat-biker Urban Trial Freestyle is down to $3.50, starting later today and ending February 20. Oh, and don't forget the Super Indie Connection sale runs until February 13.
Like the daily newspaper, the printed phone bill and personal checks, the video game instruction manual is facing extinction in our increasingly paperless world. Hold off on mourning, though. Nintendo has spent the last year or so quietly implementing a digital revival that's been a joy to behold.Read more...
The '90s Arcade Racer publisher Nicalis details its latest development milestone in a recent status update, reporting that the Wii U port of its throwback racing game is shaping up nicely as it speeds toward a mid-2014 release.
"Fidelity, image quality and a smooth framerate are our priorities," Nicalis explains. "Wii U is proving very capable of running the game at 60fps at 720p with 4xMSAA and FXAA resulting in a crystal clear image."
Funded last year by a successful Kickstarter project, The '90s Arcade Racer aims to recreate the sheer speed and blue-skies atmosphere that defined classic Sega racing games like Daytona USA and Super GT. The game's development team later partnered with Cave Story publisher Nicalis for assistance with Unity programming, physics, and production. The '90s Arcade Racer is due for a digital release this year for the Wii U, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms.
Nintendo has bought back 9.5 million shares of its own stock, valued at 114.2 billion yen ($1.1 billion), in its first step to stabilize the company's changing financial situation. The family of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo's late (and great) CEO, sold back a portion of its shares during this buyback, according to the acquisition document. We got wind of the Yamauchi family's involvement yesterday.
Nintendo's year-on net profit fell by 30 percent in the final nine months of 2013, pulled down mainly by poor Wii U sales, the company reported. Net profit during this time was 10.2 billion yen ($99 million). Nintendo expects to post a net loss of 25 billion yen ($242 million) for its fiscal year ending in March.
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata and his board members are taking temporary pay cuts, French news outlet AFP reported. Iwata will take half of his salary for five months, and board members will see cuts of 20 percent to 30 percent. Iwata took a similar pay cut in 2011, that time to offset poor 3DS sales.
Heart Machine's stylish action-RPG Hyper Light Drifter is gunning for a closed beta release in June, its developers announced via Kickstarter.
While the full version of Hyper Light Drifter was originally set to launch in June, Heart Machine has since decided to scale up the game in response to an unexpected outpouring of backer support. Pitched as a modest project developed by a team of two with a funding goal of $27,000, Hyper Light Drifter ended up earning more than $645,000 over the course of its Kickstarter campaign. Developer Alex Preston explains that the project evolved as a result, demanding "polish and finesse that I was not originally afforded."
Hyper Light Drifter is now set to launch for Windows via Steam in December. Ports for Linux, Mac OSX, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Wii U, and Ouya will be released in the months afterward.
[Image: Heart Machine]
Though Disney Infinity is an undeniable hit, the Wall Street Journal reports "several hundred" employees at developer Disney Interactive are to be laid off later this week.
Citing unnamed sources "close to the company," the report claims that these layoffs are "expected to begin after the media giant releases its quarterly financial results Wednesday." The Wall Street Journal offers no concrete motivation for the mass dismissal, though it references a recently announced effort to reorganize Disney Interactive by president Jimmy Pitaro.
Intriguingly, the report also mentions Disney Infinity expansions based on Star Wars and Marvel Comics. "New versions of 'Infinity' featuring characters from Disney's Marvel superhero unit and the Star Wars universe it acquired along with Lucasfilm in 2012 are being developed," the Wall Street Journal claims, again citing an unnamed source. While this would be the first confirmation we've seen of such additions to Disney Infinity, it comes as no surprise that Disney Interactive might want to tap those two, wildly profitable licenses for its game.
[Image: Disney Interactive]
The term "free-to-play" has become toxic to some gamers, and Nintendo doesn't seem to like it all that much either. In fact, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata says he believes that this trend is actively hurting their hardware business. Read more...
Yesterday, we brought you a happy story on the free copy of Ms. Pac-Man included with early purchases of Pac-Man Museum. Today, we bring you gloomy news: The compilation's 3DS and Wii U ports are no longer planned for release.
Pac-Man Museum was first announced last summer. At that time it was slated for release on Steam, Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and the Wii U and 3DS eShops. That story from yesterday only mentioned the Steam, Xbox Live and PSN iterations of Pac-Man Museum, prompting Nintendo Everything to contact publisher Namco Bandai. According to the site's report, both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Pac-Man Museum have been cancelled "as a result of delayed development."
While this cancellation is depressing news for Nintendo devotees, those who have access to any of the platforms Pac-Man Museum will be appearing on should give the game a shot, if only for Pac-Man Battle Royale. Unless you frequent Japanese arcades, you probably won't have many other chances to experience the gleeful chaos that is four-player Pac-Man.
Thanks the maker. Realising that the Wii U is a drag to fire up then slog through to get playing, Nintendo is going to streamline the way you get into games and programs on the console. How? Like this.Read more...