Posts by: ZINGER

bowseramiiboOh god. As announced on Nintendo AU&NZ’s twitter account, the third wave of amiibo figures are coming sooner than first planned.

Instead of February, they’re out in Australia on January 29, 2015.

I sense my wallet, and keycards staging an intervention pretty soon.

Have a look at the delightful wave three line up here.

I’ve already pre-ordered Shulk, and the Rosalina and Luma figure is apparently selling out elsewhere in the world.

If anyone wants to buy me a Bowser or Sonic, please feel free.

I first read about this on vooks.net

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

 

shulkamiibo2“Retailer exclusives” aren’t that much of a done thing here in Australia, and while the Shulk amiibo is going to be just that in the US, at least one Aussie retailer is taking pre orders for everyones favourite Xenoblader.

No one can tell me whether he’s exclusive to EB Games in Australia.

The third “wave” of amiibo figures, which includes Shulk are coming in February 2015.

Have a look at the full line up here.

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

 

marioamiiiboA few weeks ago I was vowing not to buy a single amiibo until Nintendo gave us a fully fledged adventure game to use them in.

Where was the value? Why would I want one?

Fourteen dollars for a piece of virtually useless plastic?

Why would anyone buy one?

Then of course, I saw them in real life and I heard my accountant scream in terror from two suburbs away.

I’m gonna keep an eye on what Aussie stores are selling them for, starting with some pre-Christmas pricing from the major retailers.

Target: $14

Big W: $15

JB Hi-Fi: $17

KMart: $15

EB Games: $17.95 (LOL, but they’ll price match)

My current amiibo count stands at 8. I’ve got Donkey Kong and Yoshi, as well as 2 Marths, 2 Wii Fit Trainers and 2 Villagers.

Next on my hit list are Little Mac, Shulk, Ike, Bowser, and Diddy Kong.

King Dedede looks freakin’ awesome too. So does Meta Knight.

Damn you to hell for this, Nintendo. And, you know… shut up and take my money… Sigh.

You can follow my amiibo purchases on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

 

eshopNintendo’s confusing but generous promotion that started at the launch of Wii U two years ago, is about to come to an end.

If you have a black Wii U and are an avid eShop user you’re probably already across this promotion and what it entails.

If not, read my guide explaining everything and remember you’ve got until December 31 to accumulate points, and until March to redeem them for eShop codes.

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

 

tonyjonesBuyer’s guides are a dime a dozen, but here’s my no nonsense look at what to get and where to get it.

I’m covering all current generation systems, thanks to some feedback from previous years.

If you don’t agree with me and have some alternate advice to offer, please leave a grown up comment because this is really for the benefit of those who might not be in the know.

If you want further advice or have a different question entirely, ask in the comments section and we will get back to you. You can also send an email: admin@rustyshell.com

Continue reading »

 

IMAG0574How in are GameCube controllers right now?

Not only have they instantly become relevant again (for a third time) after 12 or so years on the market, but people are so desperate to use them in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, they’re willing to pay ridiculous amounts of money for the privilege.

You can’t get that adapter anywhere in Australia, that’s for sure- and it seems like the rest of the world is experiencing a similar shortage.

I thought it was a bit of a gamble for Nintendo to even offer support for its decade old controller in the new Smash game, considering there’s an exceptionally adequate new input device for Wii U in the form of the Pro Controller (or WUPC, as I shall call it henceforth).

I thought: Would people really want to pay for an adapter when the Smash Bros. target market have probably already forked out for a WUPC or two already?

Surely the physical layout of the GameCube controller isn’t that much better for playing Smash with than the new, sexier looking WUPC?

I wondered why would people want to go back to wired controllers after a full generation of wire free play.

Surely original GameCube controllers are so old now that they simply won’t function properly having gathered dust, grime and unexplained general stickiness after years in the storage boxes of thirty-something Nintendo fans the world over, I thought.

Well, I thought wrong. Wrong with a capital purple W against a yellow background.

Not only have the adapters sold out pretty much everywhere, but I can’t find a limited edition black GameCube controller anywhere, either. Bearing in mind, it costs 50 Australian dollars and at this point can only be used to control one Wii U game.

People still want to use the GameCube controller.

Tell them bitches get a stick, I'm done leadin' the blind

Tell them bitches get a stick, I’m done leadin’ the blind

I have three WUPC’s.

I bought Smash with the GameCube controller adapter. Sitting down to play on launch day, my friends had a choice of  GameCube or WUPC’s. Two chose GameCube, two chose WUPC’s.

Out of the two that chose GameCube, one had ALWAYS used a Wavebird to play Mario Kart Wii and refused to use anything else, so the chance to play with it again after some time was too much to pass up.

The other had mostly dismissed Brawl, so he was keen to relive the glory of our Melee playing days with his Spice Orange GameCube faithful.

I chose my original Indigo wired controller, the same one that came in the box with my GameCube all those years ago.

Turns out, the physical layout of the buttons is better for Smash than the WUPC’s.

Having the A button so accessible is a god send. You won’t get confused between “grab” and “shield”. The C stick is perfectly placed for Smash moves because from B to Smash is so natural.

I could go on, but I won’t because I want to get back to playing Smash with a twelve-year-old wired piece of plastic that still feels, looks, and performs better than any controller Nintendo has offered us since.

Nintendo, or anyone else.

It’s a pretty great testament to the impeccable design and function of the controller itself, and while people are touting DualShock 4 as the best of all time, I can’t see it being as enduringly popular or consistently requisite as the GameCube controller.

Now, if we could just have some GameCube games on Virtual Console

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

 

whitegamecubeHave a look at this immaculate new white Gamecube controller. It’s brand new and it’s a Japan only affair, although you can apparently have one shipped to Australia through play-asia.

What a comeback story. The Gamecube controller is the best controller ever created, and despite its slightly off putting appearance is proving to be one of the most enduring in terms of popularity.

And a lot of that has to do with how great it is to play Smash Bros. with.

Anyone who’s played Smash for Wii U with the GC controller knows that it’s not just about nostalgia anymore- it now feels as though it was built for Smash Bros.

Nintendo’s flagship franchise can’t exist without it on a home console, and thankfully for the time being it doesn’t have to.

I first read about this delightful product on nintendolife.com.

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

 

800px-GameCube_controllerIt was bound to happen. After a shortage of the adapters at retail in Australia, they’re selling for a small fortune on eBay.

I recently questioned whether or not I really needed to play Smash with a Gamecube controller now we have the Wii U Pro, but after testing both set ups out on the new game, it was apparent the GC controller is still the best way to play Smash.

Good luck finding the adapter, anyone who’s trying.

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

 

Big-W-LogoAnd Target has them for $15.

I don’t know if I’ll be buying any, and I still maintain they’re overpriced, but if you’re in the market for Nintendo’s little statues, these are the best retail prices around.

Tap, connect, collect?

Well… give us a dedicated adventure game and we’ll talk, Nintendo.

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

 

Rusty_Shell_HOT3I haven’t done an I Like Mondays post for ages, it’s where I talk about cool article or other useful stuff I saw on the net. Have a look, you won’t be disappointed.

Firstly this funny little piece from Joey Davidson at technobuffalo about the experience of buying an amiibo.

Then there’s this interesting read from John Kinsley at wiiudaily about Reggie and how Mario Kart 8 doubled thier Wii U business.

I’m not in the habit of linking to the big guys, but this piece from IGN about exactly what amiibo’s can do right is really informative, and changed my mind about picking one up.

Lastly a Smash Bros. for Wii U review. There’s millions around, but this one from Kevin Femmel at gimmegimmegames is a good one. He says:

“Booting up Smash Bros for Wii U after playing the 3DS version extensively since October takes away a lot of the initial “wow” factor.”

Well Kevin, I knew that was going to happen and that’s why I only played the demo a couple of times just to satisfy my curiosity.

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

 

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.

UPDATE: Target will sell the stand alone game for $59, the game with Gamecube adapter for $79, and the Gamecube controller for $49.

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