didyamiiboI know I’m usually all about buying stuff at retail instead of online, but when we’re talking about amiibo figures, I’ll take what I can get.

ozgameshop.com has Link, Sheik, Zelda, Kirby, Samus, Mario, Peach, Pikachu, Diddy Kong, Yoshi, and Donkey Kong from the Smash Bros. series in stock right now.

They’ve also got Bowser, Peach, Yoshi and Mario from the Super Mario Bros. series.

They also have Charizard for pre-order, but I was unable to do this. All I could do was add him to my wish list.

I ordered another Diddy Kong. That makes three.

Some of these amiibo are up to ten dollars more than what we’ve seen from bricks and mortar retailers, and usually I’d be outraged at such a dramatic price difference.

But these things are in demand, often hard to find, and people are paying ridiculous prices for them on eBay.

I don’t mind paying $23 for a Diddy Kong, so long as he does not have any significant defects when he arrives.

This info is correct at time of posting, you never know how long stock of amiibo will last.

Have a look ozgameshop.com‘s amiibo page here.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

kirbyboxKirby & The Rainbow Paintbrush (what is with that title, seriously) is available for pre order from JB Hi-Fi at the pretty reasonable price of $59.

The long anticipated Wii U title makes its way to Australia on May 9, long after the US and Japan have been playing it.

It has been met with mixed reviews, but if you’re a Kirby fan you’ll no doubt be picking it up.

I’ll do a full price round up as we get closer to the release date.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

zeldaamiiboLooks like they’ve got some more stock in.

You can search for a store or order online here.

$17.75 is a bit steep, but if you want them I suppose you gotta pay it. Better than what eBay can offer you.

Who knows how long this will last, but it’s correct at time of publishing.

amiibo Wave 4 comes out in Australia on April 25, you can view the full line up here.

You can follow me on Miiverse: zinger_AU and twitter: @rustyshell

 

mk8screenWell we all know by now that Baby Park, one of the first Mario Kart tracks to defy tradition when it appeared on Gamecube’s Double Dash!!, is being rebuilt again for Mario Kart 8.

After being graphically downgraded to appear in Mario Kart DS, the track looks great in HD, and while Mario Kart 8’s items won’t provide the kind of outrageous, close quarters chaos seen in Double Dash!!, I’m still excited to play on it again.

It’s good to see Nintendo unafraid to rework tracks a for a third outing, from memory this is the second time now. So it gives me great hope for a HD Coconut Mall featuring in Mario Kart 8.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustysell and Miiverse: zinger_AU 

 

Splatoon is the cover story in the latest issue of Edge magazine, and what a cover it is…

splatedge

Didn’t break the internet, but a bright orange cartoon squid probably never will.

I’m not familiar with any retailers that stock Edge in Australia, but if you are, let us all know in the comments.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverese: zinger_AU

 

travisWhen I think about characters I’d love the chance to control again, behind Ricky Winterborn (because I just want a friggen new Wave Race!) is always No More Heroes protagonist, Travis Touchdown.

He’s got a built in, combat ready move set, with the beam katana being the most obvious for inclusion.

He can also get Smash Bros. wacky quite easily- how about Travis throwing his cat Jeane at enemies as his up-B move?

Throw in a “darkside mode” Super Smash, and he’s all set to go.

He’ll have to watch his language of course, but Snake behaved himself, so Travis should be able to.

You can vote for who you want to fight as here, and remember any character will be considered for the spot.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

resistance2boxWorld goes green.

Yet another blockbuster first person shooter at a time when the space felt over crowded, and it was getting seriously difficult to stand out. Especially if you were set post apocolypto.

Resistance 2 certainly stood out, and not only is it one of Playstation 3’s best games, it’s one of the finest shooters ever created.

The game offers a massive post apocalyptic world full of awesome enemies, insane weapons and over the top action.

No one really cares about the story in a shooter, but here it’s told elegantly and with just enough information given by the characters and cut scenes to keep you interested.

Then the wide variety of missions, including some truly incredible set pieces that still look fantastic today. There’s a riveting siege level set in an old house that you’re guaranteed never to forget.

For me, Resistance 2 an overall better single player game than the super popular and reasonably similar Killzone 2The scale of this game will blow you away and for anyone who’s even a moderate FPS fan, I say you absolutely have to play it.

Did you play Killzone 2? Leave a comment!

 

vconsolelogoMy enthusiasm about Nintendo 64 and DS games finally arriving on Wii U’s Virtual Console came to a crashing halt when I saw the pricing.

Thirteen Australian dollars each? It’s way too much.

I don’t care that there’s Miiverse integration or customisable control options. Nintendo have done nothing in the way of enhancements or new content, so asking $13 for years old games is ludicrous. And promoting “buy three get one free” as a promotion is borderline insulting.

I understand Nintendo first party games are premium products, but a $4.95 price tag would have been much more generous and realistic.

Nintendo have spoken about how the Virtual Console service was becoming less popular due to the high quality (and quantity) indie games available on the eShop, but I reckon it’s more to do with the ridiculous pricing and severe lack of choice.

The line-up of games is uninspired to say the least, and while I’d love to revisit Donkey Kong 64 from the comfort of my Gamepad, there’s no way in hell I’m paying thirteen dollars for the privilege.

Nor am I paying for Mario Kart DS again when they haven’t even restored online functionality. I understand Nintendo Wi-Fi no longer functions, but this is still extremely lazy, and it rips out a massive chunk of what made Mario Kart DS so great in the first place.

We have been waiting for Nintendo to fully embrace the possibilities Virtual Console offers for so long now, it makes you wonder whether it will ever be anything other than a second thought.

It’s such a shame, because considering their back catalogue of incredible games, Virtual Console has the potential to be the jewel in a Nintendo console’s crown, and a reason to own their machines.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

Like most Nintendo enthusiasts, I think the Nintendo Direct presentations are the best thing ever.

Hearing information and news straight from the big wigs at the company is a real thrill, and Iwata has an uncanny way of making it seem as if he’s talking directly to you, something I don’t think any other company president does (or could even pull off).

And, like most Nintendo fans, I’m keen to analyse each new presentation and give my thoughts about what Nintendo shared with us.

Today’s is no different, so here I go.

Continue reading »

 

GEARSBig men, big guns, big action.

From the opening minutes of Gears Of War, you knew you were playing something truly special.

If Resident Evil 4 defined the third person action genre in 2005, and Gears Of War re-defined it in 2006.

You play as Marcus Fenix, a member of a super tough group of mercenaries whose mission is to defeat a devastating array of angry alien types known as The Locust.

Many a game has pit its hero against an alien race in a post apocalyptic world, but Gears Of War does it so much better. A fairly run of the mill story is made interesting thanks to top notch cinematic sequences, as well as allowing the characters’ dialogue to provide background information throughout the adventure.

Fairly standard fair these days, but back in 2006 it was a novel approach, and really immersed the player in the bleak, almost hopeless situation.

From the (at the time) cutting edge graphics, to the awesome gun and explosion effects- Gears has it all going on.

Not to mention the accompanying musical score, which helps to raise and lower the tempo and the tension at key moments to really add to the atmosphere.

But awesome graphics and sound alone do not equal innovation, nor do they redefine genres.

Gears of War innovates by introducing a one-button cover system, which allows for pillars, ledges, fallen statues and a wealth of other things in the game environment to become cover at any given time.

Taking cover in games is nothing new, but so dynamic and successfully implemented is the cover system in Gears, that it allows for some of the smoothest flowing and intuitive gameplay ever seen.

Similar cover systems immediately began popping up in many other action games, and in the sequel Gears Of War 2, this system was further refined.

Big weapons, a big, angry protagonist, and a host of incredible set pieces combine with awesomely powerful enemies (including one of the most memorable final boss battles ever) to make Gears Of War an absolute must play for all 360 owners.

There’s an easy difficulty setting for the less seasoned- another staple of modern games given “street cred” by Gears Of War.

Did you play Gears Of War? Leave a comment!

 

xenoblade-chronicles-3d-logoUntil April 19, Target Australia are selling the New Nintendo 3DS exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles 3D for a pretty sweet $47.

The game releases on April 2, giving you over two weeks to grab it at this low price.

$47 is the best price I’ve seen so far, and not bad at all for a AAA new release, even if it is an “enhanced port”.

I didn’t see anyone saying The Last Of Us Remastered wasn’t a AAA release.

Anyway, If I see any better prices I’ll post them.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

nlandlogoWith the recent release of Mario Party 10, all of Nintendo’s mini game franchises have made the leap to Wii U, some more successfully than others.

Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Party, and Mario Party (I’m not mentioning that terrible version of Wario Ware) are all old favourites I’m happy to see in HD, but now I’d like to see Nintendo show the game that launched their new system and controller some love in the form of DLC.

Although Nintendo Land reviewed quite well when it was released alongside the Wii U in 2012, there was room for improvement. Improvement that could likely have been made with a patch or two, fixing up control options and tweaking a few things to streamline the experience. I wrote more on that here.

But while other Nintendo games like Pikmin 3 and Mario Kart 8 have been supported with some pretty decent add on content since they launched, Nintendo Land, the game that introduced the Wii U and the Gamepad to the world, seems to have been forgotten about.

Which is a mighty shame, because there is some really great opportunities for Nintendo to get some extra mileage out of a title most Wii U owners have a copy of.

Before I delve into these opportunities, the number one thing Nintendo Land needs is a patch to allow use of the Pro Controller, and nunchuck support. It would just make playing games like Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Mario Chase so much more enjoyable (and while they’re at it, throw in Gamecube controller support so anyone with the adapter can get some use from it outside of Smash Bros.)

Where is the love?

Where is the love?

Nintendo obviously didn’t think it was necessary to include these control options in the beginning, seeing as Nintendo Land was a launch title on a new machine, and people had little need for extra Pro Controllers that early on I can kind of understand.

But two and a bit years on, people have the controllers and want to use them. Updating the control options alone would give Nintendo Land a new lease on life, I’d go back and play Ghost Mansion or Sweet Day again if I knew my thumb wasn’t going to cop a beating from vigorous us of the Wii remote’s d-pad.

There’s also plenty they could do to give players a reason to revisit the existing attractions within Nintendo Land.

Some new courses for Mario Chase would be awesome. The team must have had so many great ideas for courses, and we got a glimpse at how much fun they could be with the slide course, complete with the Mario 64 slide music.

Imagine this AND micromanaging some bots. Intense.

Imagine this AND micromanaging some bots. Intense.

Why not build on this idea and give us a level that has decoy Mario’s that appear after the Gamepad player picks up a Double Cherry.

Or what about turning the idea on it’s head and having Mario manage some Yoshi Bots to try to catch the other players?

New courses for Battle Quest, Metroid Blast, and Ghost Mansion are no brainers, but it’s Sweet Day that would benefit the most from some more levels to play on. Even a random map generator would be cool, because once you’ve memorised the best way to trap someone the game kind of gets too predictable, unless you’re playing with newbies.

Elsewhere, I’d like to see a new mode in Ninja Castle that allows four or five people to take turns in quick rounds to earn points, with a winner determined at the end. This same principle could be applied to Yoshi’s Fruit Cart and Donkey Kong’s Crash Course.

Metroid Blast was the foundation for a new IP. Some indie developer should take the idea and run with it.

Some indie developer should take the Metroid Blast foundation and create a new IP

And speaking of Crash Course, I always wondered why Nintendo hasn’t made a stand alone, downloadable version of this for 3DS. It’s the perfect fit, and DLC levels have cross buy written all over them.

With such a large install base and so much untapped potential, Nintendo Land is the perfect game to pick up some DLC bucks from. And as a new IP, and a great overall package, it’s a wonder Nintendo hasn’t been shown it more love.

Many of the attractions stand out as really great experiences, I just hope we’re given a reason to go back to them.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

The latest addition to the Mortal Kombat X line-up, wild west gunslinger Erron Black, bears a striking resemblance to another video game gunslinger, the unnamed protagonist others call “The Swordsman”, from Ubisoft’s Wii exclusive, Red Steel 2.

It turns out the character of Erron Black appeared in a Mortal Kombat comic book series, and that version of Erron bears even a great resemblance to The Swordsman.

Take a look at these pictures and disagree.

The unnamed hero, or "The Swordsman" from Red Steel 2

The unnamed hero, or “The Swordsman” from Red Steel 2

Erron Black from Mortal Kombat

Erron Black from Mortal Kombat

I suppose in the days of the old West it was hard (and probably dangerous) to be an individual when it came to fashion. Just ask John and Cole:

Colton White from GUN

Colton White from GUN

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

I’m being facetious about Erron and The Swordsman, and two pics don’t tell an entire story, but do a quick Google search and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks to www.designntrend.com, gematsu.com,  and lady-eklipse.livejournal.com for the pics.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

zeldawiiuscreenNow we know that Zelda Wii U won’t be released in 2015, it’s time for us all to remember that when Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma showed the first gameplay footage late last year, every single gamer that saw the size of that world map knew instantly that Zelda Wii U wasn’t coming in 2015.

Even though we didn’t really have a sense of the scale, we all knew that when Aonuma zoomed out again and again, bringing a world of that size to life was really going to take some time.

Of course, bringing a world to life is one thing, but meeting and exceeding the expectations of Zelda fans is another, especially now we’re talking about a seamless open world.

Various people at Nintendo have publicly talked up how monumental this Zelda is going to be, so the pressure is really on them to deliver an incredible final package.

zeldawiiuscreen2

An open world by Nintendo. Get me there.

Mentioning a 2015 release date was probably not a good idea in the first place, although it did add extra gravitas the the countless “2015 is going to be huge for Wii U” articles we’re all guilty of reading (or possibly writing).

And notice in that gameplay video when Miyamoto asked Aonuma if he was sure it was coming out in 2015, it was almost like he was saying “forget it, this ain’t coming out in 2015“.

The Legend of Zelda has the most illustrious pedigree of any gaming franchise. Any reasonable fan, however fed up with delays of console Zelda titles, will be not only be happy that Nintendo are taking the time to make sure it’s the best experience it can be, but relieved as well.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

mp10picTarget Australia are selling Wii U’s latest opinion divider, Mario Party 10 for $54 until Wednesday April 1.

They’re also selling the Wii U Premium Pack with Mario Kart bundle for $429, but now they’re throwing in two out of these three games: Rabbids Land, Sports Connection and Marvel Avengers Battle for Earth. Well.

Avengers is a fighter featuring and incredible character roster, but the controls suck and only kids and Marvel super fans will find enjoyment in it.

Rabbids Land met very mediocre reviews, and Sports Connection is by all accounts a sub par sports mini game collection, but apparently the golf is pretty good, and you do need a Wii remote with MotionPlus.

Anyone in the market for a Wii U should pick up Mario Kart 8 anyway, so at $429 this bundle is still the way to go.

You can follow me on Miiverse: zinger_AU and twitter: @rustyshell

 

luigiamiiboQ2I guess the demand isn’t as high as it is for the Smash Bros. series amiibo.

Not surprising considering we’ve have Luigi, Mario, Peach and Bowser before, although I was surprised to see a few Toad figures still hanging around.

I picked up everyone but Bowser (only because I couldn’t find one that was made well enough) and although this Luigi looks better than the Smash Bros. Luigi, in real life Peach a bit out of scale and her dress takes up the entire round podium she’s standing on. Not as great as her first.

Anyway, JB Hi-Fi, EB Games, and Big W all still have stock of each new amiibo, as well as the Mario Party 10 bundle, five days after they launched.

Check out the full amiibo line up here, and remember Wave 4 comes out in Australia on Saturday, April 25.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

 

Rusty_Shell_HOTI Like Mondays is an occasional post where I talk about cool articles or other useful stuff I saw on the net.

Have a look, you won’t be disappointed.

As expected, there’s plenty of Mario Party 8 reviews doing the rounds. Some are easier on the game than others, with scores ranging mostly from the fives to the sevens.

This review from Martin Watts at nintendolife.com is one of the better ones. Factual, funny, and fair, Martin opens the review with this killer line:

“It’s commonly accepted that partying too hard can be a bad thing” 

Martin, who have you been talking to? Stop interacting with these people immediately.

Next, it’s this compelling, yet ultimately premature little article by Khurram Imtiaz at gearnuke.com analyzing the resolution of Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae (episode what now?) screenshots and how the final version of the game might run at native 1080p. Damn it looks unreal, doesn’t it?

Then there’s this interesting and optimistic article from Tyler at apixelatedview.com about introducing people to video games.

Tyler asks:

“If a friend came to you, said they had never played video games, and wanted your help to get started, how would you make a suggestion?”, before offering tips and providing plenty of examples of titles they might want to have a look at across different genres.

And finally, this ludicrous piece from Damien Seeto at attackofthefanboy.com about how EB Games Australia is already taking pre orders for Nintendo NX.

The article itself isn’t ludicrous, but the fact it had to be written at all most certainly is. Who are EB trying to kid?

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

I’ve told you before that Jurassic Park is my favourite film franchise of all time, so my excitement for LEGO Jurassic World went through the roof when I saw the trailer.

It’s coming to every platform, including Wii U and 3DS.

 

nintendologoThat’s great news.

At least one more version of our favourite franchises.

At least one more out there hardware idea that defies convention.

At least one more generation where a new Waverace game might happen.

At least one more generation where a new Battalion Wars game might happen.

At least one more generation for Nintendo to try to get third party support for their home console.

At least one more generation for Nintendo to change their logo from grey back to red.

It’s all good news.

But now the speculation about NX (Nintendo X?) begins.

It will be non stop for the next few years. It will be relentless.

The “how the NX can turn Nintendo’s fortunes around” articles will be everywhere.

Brace yourselves, Nintendo fans.

 

I’ll tell you the most exciting thing about the video.

It’s how fantastic Mr. Iwata looks after his recent health problems and subsequent weight loss.

Check him out in the video below.

Speculation often leads to disappointment.