peachYep, it’ll be $58 at Big W.

Elsewhere, JB Hi-Fi has it for $69, while EB Games has it listed for $79.95- and they’ll usually price match.

No price from Target yet, though their new catalogue comes out on the 26th.

I’ll tweet any new or better prices I see. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell

 

Welcome to my new occasional post where I look at great games of generations past, including all three last-gen consoles. I’m kicking things off with Split/Second, a killer racer found on PS3 and 360.

Need for Speed and Mario Kart meet, get along famously.

Split/Second combines fast cars, big explosions and destructible environments to make a deliciously fun and unique racer. You’re the up and coming star of the world’s most popular show- Split/Second. Race your way through 12 ‘episodes’ to become the Split/Second grand champion.

Each episode contains a series of different events- they don’t call them races- because some will have you avoiding missiles fired from helicopters, or simply not being in last place when a timer reaches zero. All these game modes are fun- but the out and out racing is where Split/Second really shines.

What makes Split/Second so unique is the combining of arcade racing action with various strategy elements. Drifting around corners and drafting behind other racers  earns you the ability to execute “power plays”- events which change something in the environment to give you the competitive edge over your opponents.

Bridges collapse, tankers explode, buildings crash to the ground- the aim is to find the best driving line through the carnage and hope the other racers crash and burn. Some power plays do more damage and pose more danger than others, and risk assessment on the fly is imperative to winning races.

Split/Second looks absolutely stunning, the explosions and lighting effects impress to no end- and there’s an instant replay mode for the biggest and most damaging power plays. It’s awesome to watch the event you set off take out 5 racers in one hit, and while the replay simply happens mid race- the game seamlessly brings you straight back into to the action- something other games have failed to pull off (I’m looking at you, Burnout Paradise).

There’s a 2 player split screen mode which is extremely playable, and anyone can learn the controls quickly.

Split/Second was up there with the most fun I’ve had with a racer the whole of last generation.

Did you love Split/Second? Leave a comment!

 

204713_detailIt’s the first day of the official release of New Nintendo 3DS, and here’s my first impressions of the machine- in no nonsense point form- good and bad together.

I have the Metallic Black New Nintendo 3DS XL, and I upgraded from a Cosmos Black 3DS.

It’s not available in the U.S or Europe yet, so if you’re considering an upgrade, I hope this helps with your decision.

1. The Look:

  • The faux brushed metal finish (it’s plastic) is much sleeker and sexier than you might think
  • The “matte” look of the body is a perfect complement to the new buttons and C stick. No glossy inside surface means less fingerprints
  • All buttons are nicely proportioned, and click as well as any you’ve ever pressed, although I can’t help but wish they were fully colour coded like on the small NN3DS
  • It looks and feels like a premium product… one now knows why there is no interchangeable face plates on the XL version. It looks so sleek closed, you won’t want to change it’s appearance
  • There’s no clear “NFC” symbol like on the Wii U gamepad, so since I don’t own an amiibo, I don’t know where I should touch it to the machine
  • All the LED lights are now less obnoxiously bright, although I still don’t understand why the blue power LED has to pulsate in sleep mode

2. The Screens

  • Top screen is sharp and vivid, rich colours, much more so than the 3DS XL and 3DS
  • 3D is still a strange sensation at first, and your eyes relax into it with time, but with NN3DS you can actually see the machine “snapping” the 3D into place if you move the system too abruptly
  • 3D sweet spot is really improved beyond belief. You won’t go back to a regular 3DS after experiencing it
  • “Super Stable 3D” does what it says, but you might need to turn it down a tiny bit to ensure the outer edges of the screen give you a crisp 3D picture (instead of a double image)
  • Bottom touch screen responds to fingers as well as stylus, even though I am sure it’s less “floaty” than previous models, even the Wii U Gamepad. You know what I mean… it always felt like there was a layer of air between the touch surface and the actual screen. This seems to have been virtually eliminated with the NN3DS

3.  The Free Software

  • Set up is painless and the count down turning 3D on for the first time is exciting, even more so than the 3DS
  • Super easy to use interface, fun too… although it’s virtually the same as 3DS. At least you can customise it now
  • Face Raiders is still here, and the original AR cards are included, but this time no yellow pouch to store them in
  • 3D photo taking is still low quality
  • AR Games are greatly improved thanks to Super Stable 3D
  • Easy to connect to the net and transfer data from your previous machine, just make sure both your systems have the latest firmware before you start the transfer
  • The cute little Pikmin animation is back to entertain you during the transfer
  • The microSD card is inserted when you purchase the machine
  • Make sure you have your NNID password on hand if you want to sync your account with Wii U

4. The Everything Else

  • Stylus is meaty and packs away nicely, although you might miss the telescopic function of the 3DS stylus
  • 3D slider is much easier to adjust subtly
  • The system fits snugly in the hand, the rounded edges feel really nice
  • Left thumb goes from circle pad to D Pad nicely, although the new, smaller circle pad feels more slippery than previous models
  • The right C stick is too small. It works as it should though. I mean, I successfully performed smash moves in Smash Bros. for 3DS but seriously, why isn’t there a fully fledged second circle pad?
  • No power charger means the box is small and the packaging is bare bones
  • At around $15 for a new charger, this seems like a bit of a gee up. Perhaps we could have knocked that $15 off the price, Nintendo?
  • Download times (I just downloaded a couple of demos) is improved, but to what extent of course depends on your internet/Wi Fi connection
  • Miiverse loads roughly 15% quicker in my quick tests

Got any questions about New Nintendo 3DS? Ask me by leaving a comment and I’ll reply. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

luigiamiibo2Then watch the sales of the Luigi amiibo go through the roof.

A Luigi racing suit for my Mii isn’t gonna cut it, Nintendo.

I want a fully fledged death stare for my Mii while he’s wearing the Luigi racing suit. AND! I want it mapped to the horn button, so I can control the intimidation.

Then I’ll pay the fifteen (or more) bucks for one of your amiibos.

And on that topic, I’m thinking of innovative ways for the Big N to use their little toys. Any ideas?

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

 

??????????????????????????????????????Nintendo’s worst kept secret is finally official.

A remake of Majora’s Mask is coming to 3DS. Following on from the success of the Ocarina and Wind Waker remakes, the only 3D Zelda game I’ve never played is getting a graphical upgrade, as well as new features to ensure an even better gameplay experience.

I’ve got no problem with the enhanced remakes, and it seems Nintendo listened to the fans who really rallied for this to happen.

3DS already has such and incredible line up of games that this remake is entirely unnecessary, but it feels like a sweet little present for the rabid fans of the original, as well as a great way to introduce Majora’s Mask to people like me who missed the Nintendo 64 version.

Have a look at the sweet stuff included in the special edition set when it drops next year. According to vooks.net this set is coming to Australia.

 

Thanks to tvtropes.org for the pic of Iago. You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and friend me on Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

iwataApparently in the Japanese version of the latest Nintendo direct, president Iwata made some comment regarding the state of his health.

We all know he went in for major surgery recently, but I just reckon it’s great that he felt comfortable enough to publicly address his noticeable weight loss.

He insists he’s on the mend, and that’s good news to me.

Thanks for sharing Iwata, and all the best getting back to your old self. You can read what he said in full here.

Thanks to wikipedia for the pic of Iwata.

 

marioamiiiboI don’t know why Nintendo doesn’t have one ready to launch alongside the figurines.

An  adventure game in the vein of Skylanders and Infinity would have made an awesome new IP, and given people a solid reason to buy the new figurines. If Skylanders, and to a lesser extent (seeing as they were the copycats) Disney Infinity hadn’t been the smash hits they are, amiibo wouldn’t even exist.

I get that Skylanders and Infinity figures can only be used in their respective games, and that amiibo’s point of difference is that they are useable across multiple titles, but I really think the amiibo concept would have been an easier sell if there was a dedicated, new title to enjoy. An easier sell to kids and parents most importantly, because that’s the way to get a slice of the (massive) Skylanders/Infinity pie.*

As the kid on that Old El Paso commercial says, why not have both?

Nintendo already know how to successfully bring their very different mascots together in a cohesive story set in an art-style neutral environment. They’ve done it in the Smash Bros. cut scenes. So there’s your characters and story. Model the gameplay and scale on LEGO City Undercover.

In fact, why not just leave development of the title in TT Fusion’s hands, considering what an outstanding job they did with Undercover. It’s one of Wii U’s best exclusives and I don’t care what anyone says, it’s one of this generation’s best games so far, full stop.

An amiibo stand alone title might come along some time in the future, and until then I won’t be forking out $15 or so bucks to own little bits of (nicely crafted) plastic that contribute little outside the obvious to games I already own or was going to buy anyway.

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

*Nintendo, please take a piece of that pie and make me a new Wave Race game. And Battalion Wars 3.

 

peachOh sorry. Force of habit. I meant to say the Australian release date for Smash Bros. Wii U game has been brought  forward by seven days to November 29.

Who knows why, and who cares.

New Smash is coming sooner than we thought, and that’s all that friggen matters, internet.

Feel free to friend me for Smash and Mario Kart purposes. My NNID is zinger_AU.

November 29!

 

smashlogoIf you’re looking to pick up Smash for 3DS on the cheap, you’re still in luck because Target are selling it for $49 (until Wednesday, October 22) and JB Hi-Fi also have it for $49, apparently it’s regular price.

This is good news for us first party Nintendo fans, because games for 3DS and Wii U seem to be settling into low price points much quicker than they have in the past.

Now if we could just hit that magic $40 price point the Americans enjoy paying for their new release 3DS games…

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

 

logo_3dsI mean, the Advance suffix is one that suggests power and progression, not to mention how well it rolls off the tongue. Gameboy Advance was an awesome name for the first hardware-improved Gameboy*, and the words just came out of the mouth so perfectly.

Gameboy Advance.

Not only did the GBA have an bad ass name to let everyone know it meant business, it also had a completely different form factor to the “candy bar” style original line of Gameboys. People could just look at its sideways orientation and they knew it was a new system, regardless of what they thought about the (original) shell’s purple colour.

3DS has seen it’s fair share of physical redesigns since it launched in 2011, but none have been as significant as the upcoming New Nintendo 3DS.new3dsxl

Not only does it refine the form factor of 3DS once again, but it adds a second analogue stick and increases the internal horsepower of the machine, which will result in exclusives for the system. In my eyes, that means it’s a new Nintendo system.

Evidently Nintendo thinks it’s a new system too, so much so that they thought they’d better make the point by calling it New 3DS. Or, New Nintendo 3DS to be exact.

No company names a major new product without some serious thought and debate going into it, and although I don’t have a marketing degree, I’ve gotta wonder what the circumstances were leading up to this naming decision, and why Nintendo didn’t agree on something more snazzy and serious.

I don’t think I know better from a business perspective, but from the creative and commonsensical perspective of a long time Nintendo fan, I don’t like the name. I don’t think (coupled with that silly looking font and logo that ties in with amiibo) the name “New Nintendo 3DS” does anything to help position the product where Nintendo themselves have said they want it to be- in the hands of the less passive gamer. The swinging Playstation Vita owner, perhaps?

I’m not saying Vita is a catchy or impactful name, but with Playstation preceding it, pretty much anything sounds awesome (try it: Playstation Hinge. Playstation Cushion. Playstation Canvas. Playstation Candle. …I could go on).

Nor am I suggesting there’s a big enough pool of disillusioned Vita owners that Nintendo should start making decisions to actively court them, because every Vita owner I know loves their machine, and they’re willing to go looking for the value in the system and its great experiences, as few and far between as us outsiders might consider them to be.

Those “more serious” gamers would in my mind consist of some VITA owners with enough cash to finally jump on board the 3DS train, but the majority would be these casual mobile gamers Nintendo apparently no longer has any interest in catering to.

Hopefully Nintendo can make these pathetic individuals realise they’re looking for a deeper, richer experience only a dedicated gaming device with physical buttons can provide.

Back to the name. New Nintendo 3DS just isn’t a name with much oomph or presence. It doesn’t mean business.

I’m going to argue that “3DS Advance” would have been the ideal name, and that it should have been coupled with a killer new logo that made its presence felt as a street credible alternative to gaming on your iphone.

After all, the New Nintendo 3DS XL features a “luxury look”, why can’t it have a luxury name and logo?

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

*Hardware improved to the point where there was exclusives for the system

 

Have a look at this amazing original song and clip from YouTube user yungtown. It’s about his excitement at finding out…. oh, just watch it. Not only would the parodical lyrics make Weird Al Yanovic proud, but the guy has an amazing voice, too.

This vid is from 2013, sorry if I missed the boat. You can subscribe to yungtown’s YouTube channel here.

 

smashwiiuscrThe demo sold me on the idea of Smash on the small screen, but I’ll still be waiting for the Wii U version to come later in the year.

For those who are getting in on the action from day one, here’s a look at what Aussie retailers are charging for Nintendo’s latest AAA release. $44 ain’t bad, Target.

Big W: $54

Target: $44 (until October 8)

JB HiFi: $49

EB Games: $59.95

I’ll post any better prices I see before the game launches in Australia this Saturday.

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

 

3dsllIt was a lemon wedge. Thanks, barkeep.

On another topic, Nintendo Australia has announced that New 3DS (and the XL) will be available in Australia and New Zealand this November 21, and we’re the only territory outside Japan to get the system this year.

Watch the full video below, it’s the first Nintendo Direct From Australia.

Unfortunately this good news brings with it some terribly bad news… the name New 3DS is final. Here we go again…why didn’t they call it 3DS Advance?

Anyway, Tom Enoki thanks Australian fans for their support. You’re welcome, now shut up and take my money.

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

 

infinity2There’s a few low-ish prices around the retail traps for the content rich latest iteration of Disney Infinity, cleverly and succinctly titled “Infinity 2.0″.

Very parent friendly, Disney.

Big W has the starter pack for the latest software, the biggest selling point of which is the arrival of MARVEL characters to the fold, for $68 including Thor, Ironman and Black Widow figures.

Big W are selling the figures at a whopping $15 but don’t worry… you can pick up the Iron Fist (who?) figure for half price when you purchase the starter pack. Talk about value!

Elsewhere…

Target: Starter pack for $68

JB Hi-Fi: Starter pack for $79, figures for $17

EB Games: Starter pack for $79.95, figures for $17.95

KMart: Starter pack for $69, figures for $12

Seen any better prices? Let me know! You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell

 

ghirahimSure, it might be a little mindless. A little repetitive. A bit of a Zelda fan’s wet dream. That doesn’t stop it from being a freakin’ blast to play, especially if you’re one of those Zelda fans.

And by most accounts it’s a very well crafted entry in Dynasty Warriors series. A win win for fans of both series, it seems.

I’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game, and after reading and watching a few reviews of Hyrule Warriors, I still didn’t really know what to expect when I got the game home on Saturday.

I knew you had to fight against wave after wave of enemies with over the top weapons and special moves, and I knew who the playable fighters were.

I had heard the cutscenes were impressive, and the Zelda themed locales and plot points had been handled with a great deal of care and respect to the series.

All of these things I knew, I just wasn’t prepared for how utterly satisfying and it would be to mow down those hordes of enemies using Link, Zelda, or Sheik. Nor was I prepared for my Zelda fanboy to go nuts when I realised I was going to get to battle on familiar Zelda locales, and Midna appeared, it was as if I’d been reunited with an old friend I hadn’t seen since 2007.

A dose of nostalgia can mess with your judgement, so I’m always cautious (especially as a Nintendo fan) to make sure I’m not high on anything other than the thrill of the game itself when I’m playing new content in a franchise I love.

In the case of Hyrule Warriors, it’s more difficult to be as judicious, mainly because while officially connected through a timeline, a lot of the events and characters (and to some extent, the locations) in the Zelda universe haven’t seen each other or interacted before this game.

(Mild Spoilers. Just this paragraph!) Playing as Midna from Twilight Princess, battling enemies from Ocarina of Time in a Skyward Sword locale is actually kind of odd. Even some major plot points from certain games have been revisited, and begin there with different a character from a different Zelda game adds to that surreal feeling.

I see heaps of people on Miiverse asking things like is this game fun, if it’s worth buying, if you have to be a Zelda fan to enjoy it. I reckon it is worth buying. I reckon it’s a great Wii U exclusive and I reckon it’s a blast to play.

It’s true you won’t get those warm, nostalgia induced tingles or goosebumps if your not a Zelda fan, but if you’re up for something unique, fun and extremely playable, I say go for it either way.

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

 

Charizard2Ever since Nintendo announced that a new Smash Bros. game was being developed for 3DS alongside the expected home console version, I was dubious about how the over the top action and overall grandeur of the series could be compressed into a handheld experience.

Even after all the stage reveals, the screenshots, and the gameplay videos, I still wasn’t sold on the idea, nor was I excited about being able to Smash anywhere, any time. Even when Nintendo revealed the 3DS version was to be released months before the Wii U version, I still felt like I could wait it out ’till that big screen experience I associate with the series came along.

But this Saturday it all changed, when Nintendo released the Super Smash Bros. For 3DS demo on the eShop. Even though you can only play on one stage and with a couple of characters, all the Smash Bros. charm is there. The epic music, the flashy effects, and the super fast gameplay all seem to be intact on the small screen.

I was surprised by how smoothly the demo ran, and how good the models looked. The 3D effect looks pretty serviceable, too.

There were times when the camera came close to being too wide, with the characters became so small you almost lost track of them. You can’t toggle the character outline either, something I thought they might include with this demo, considering it’s a feature which was designed to make play on the small screen a little easier.

Fair enough I haven’t played the full game, and hopefully I wasn’t just drunk on nostalgia and excitement brought on simply by playing new Smash content. What I have to say though, is that it certainly felt, looked, and sounded like a Smash game.

Maybe it will have to be a day one purchase after all.

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

 

littlemacGood old mystery. It’s as good as dead in the gaming world.

I’m making rustyshell a Smash Bros. spoiler free zone, just like I did with Mario Kart 8.

I know most of the roster, but from here on out I intend to do everything possible to avoid spoiling the last few remaining characters I don’t know are in.

I chose my Smash Bros. dream roster a while back, and while I know a few of my picks have made the cut, (like Little Mac over there) I hope there might be one or two left I don’t know about.

I completely ruined (or should I say spoiled) Brawl for myself with the dojo website, day after day checking it for info and reveals. I haven’t been to the new official Smash Bros. at all, and I’ve ignored Sakurai on Miiverse completely.

This time, when that siren sounds telling me a challenger is approaching, I’m determined to be surprised.

At least once.

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

 

hyruleWith the much anticipated Wii U exclusive Hyrule Warriors releasing on September 20, it’s time to look at the best retail prices.

There’s apparently some exclusive DLC content available from certain retailers but I can’t make head nor tail of it, and there’s no indication that the limited edition scarf set has the add-on content included in Australia.

Here’s what Aussie retailers are asking:

Big W: $64 (game only)

Target: $59 (game only)

JB Hi-Fi: $69 (game only) or $94 (with limited edition scarf)

EB Games: $79.95 (game only)

It’s pretty great to see this big new releases consistently under $60.

Don’t forget, if you register your copy of the game with Club Nintendo before October 17th you get a download code for the Ganondorf costume set.

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

 

I only found this out just now.

Point Blank 1 & 2 have got to be among the most entertaining arcade games ever, and while the humble DS might not sound like the ideal platform to host a port of a two player light gun game, it actually reviewed quite well.

I played the hell out of both Point Blank games at Hornsby Westfield’s Timezone among other places, and every arcade I came across was (and still is) judged on whether they have a Point Blank cabinet.

You get bonus points if you have a Ninja Turtles 4 player set up, and double extra points for a four player Simpsons arcade cabinet. Some of my friends were #teambuckhunter, while I was #teampointblank all the way.

Back then, of course, this thing: # was only ever seen on the hash key, and it if you ever had to use one, you were politely reminded it was located “below the 9″. But I digress.

Needless to say, I have ordered a copy of Point Blank DS and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

How great is Point Blank? Did you ever play the DS version? Leave a comment! You can follow me on twitter: @rustyhell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

The Year Of Luigi was an interesting and fruitful PR exercise for Nintendo. It got me thinking who from the Nintendo stable deserves the next honour of having a year dedicated to them. There’s a few contenders, but I say it’s Yoshi’s time.

He’s been there from day one (almost) and he’s my favourite Nintendo character beside Paratrooper. Peach had this August (lame) dedicated to her, so she’s out. It’s always the year of Link the teacher’s pet, and a year of Samus still seems a long way away. Donkey Kong isn’t likeable enough.

Plus no one wants to go through the year with a brown themed anything. Stick to green, Nintendo. With Yoshi’s Wooly World coming next year, why not? I’d love a HD remake of Yoshi’s Story while they’re at it.

game-art-hq.com led me to this guy's awesome artwork by zoulouluvu

game-art-hq.com led me to this awesome artwork by zoulouluvu

I’m not alone in loving the green dinosaur, whether his name is T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas or not. There’s some awesome Yoshi fan pages out there, but yoshismoon.com is one of the best. Dadumm.

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