Posts by: ZINGER

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.

 

The Super Mario Bros. Series amiibo figures are available this Saturday, and Big W have included them in their latest catalogue at $17.

JB Hi-Fi and EB Games are still offering them for pre order at $17 and $17.95 respectively.

While Toad is making his first appearance as an amiibo, perhaps the demand for the second Mario, Luigi, Peach and Bowser figures hasn’t been as hot as the first ones.

I think Bowser looks just as good, what do you think?

Smash Bros. Series Bowser

Smash Bros. Series Bowser

Super Mario Bros. Series Bowser

Super Mario Bros. Series Bowser

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

 

mparty10boxThe release of Mario Party 10 is almost upon us, meaning every one of Nintendo’s big mini game franchises has a Wii U edition.

Nintendo Land is still the pick of the bunch, alongside Wii Sports Club bowling and golf.

The longest running of them all is Mario Party, and with so many home console iterations, the series has been looking a bit tired since Mario Party 6.

Mario Party 8 was dismal, 9 moved in the right direction, so with the Gamepad as a trump card, here’s hoping 10 will be a true return to form for the series.

Here’s what Aussie retailers are asking when the game releases this Saturday:

EB Games - $69.95 or $79.95 with Mario amiibo (remember they’ll price match)

Big W - $59 or $69 with Mario amiibo (find a store here, but remember always call to confirm)

Target - $68

JB Hi-Fi - $69 or $79 with Mario amiibo

And the eShop is selling it for $79.95.

If I see any better prices I’ll post them, you can also follow me on twitter: @rustyshell or Miiverse: zinger_AU

 

NFP_logo_0702_cmyk_fix_cs6_CA public holiday?

Yes, but the stores will still be open seeing as the gifted ANZAC Day public holiday is Friday the 24th this year.

Unless you’ve pre ordered, heading into stores early to find one seems as though it’d be a pretty futile exercise, even if you are planning to be up at dawn for the ANZAC commemorations.

I’m getting my Charizard this time, then I’m gonna settle down and wait for Nintendo to ship some more to stores, if that ever happens.

If I see any news or tips about where to get Wave 4 I’ll post it, otherwise I wish you all the best of luck getting the ones you want.

 

 

kirbyamiiboWell, months after it’s been out in Japan and America, there’s finally an Australian release date for Kirby & The Rainbow Curse.

It’s coming Saturday, May 9.

Oh, and it’s called Kirby & The Rainbow Paintbrush over here.

I’m a moderate Kirby fan, but I’m still really looking forward to seeing him in HD outside Smash Bros.

Kirby’s Dreamland was the first GameBoy game I ever played, way back when Kirby was white.

I’ve since enjoyed playing as him in Smash Bros. Melee (his down-B move move was killer in Melee, but toned down in subsequent games) and I really enjoyed Kirby’s Epic Yarn, even though I only played it recently.

The game has received pretty solid reviews overall, which is great new for Kirby and his fans,so to finally have an official release date is good news.

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

 

luigiamiiboQ2Before wave 4 of the Smash Bros. amiibo hit some time in April, the Super Mario Bros. series will be out the same day as Mario party 10.

March 21 is that day in Australia, and EB Games is offering a pre order price of $17.95, while JB Hi-Fi is offering a pre order price of $17.

I was a bit ho-hum about this series, I was focusing all the avidity I had for small plastic statues on Charizard, but after having a hi def look at them, this Luigi actually looks better than his Smash amiibo, while Bowser, Toad and Peach look pretty cool too.

Whether there’ll be as much demand for this series as there has been for the Smash ones remains to be seen, but I’m still gonna pre order just in cases.

You can check out the entire line-up of amiibo here, and if any better prices show up between now and March 21, I’ll post them.

Also, the Pikachu amiibo is available to buy on JB’s website at the time of posting, in case you want one.

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

 

CONDUITboxWii scale blockbuster FPS.

The Conduit was a Wii exclusive first person shooter, but don’t let the unfortunate box art put you off, it was quite a good one.

Set in the near future amidst an alien invasion and corruption at the highest levels of government, developers High Voltage strived to not only push Wii’s graphical capabilities as far as they could, but offer Wii owners the quality FPS experience they were mostly missing out on.

Pointing the Wii remote at the screen to aim and look around, and using the nunchuck’s control stick to move was never quite the optimum control set-up for first person shooters it promised to be, but The Conduit got it pretty near perfect.

This was thanks to the developers giving players the ability to completely configure every single aspect of the control scheme to suit their playing style.

You could adjust the reticle “dead zone”, change turning speed and infrared sensitivity, as well as move every aspect of the HUD to anywhere on the screen, tweaking each element until you got it just right.

This enemy showed up a lot...

This enemy showed up a lot…

Some criticised The Conduit for being too linear and un-original in its gameplay, but I say there is nothing at all wrong with a game being linear, and un-original as the plot may be, it’s still good fun.

What’s more, the game features voice acting by Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo, which is cool… at least it might have been in 1997.

The main campaign was quite short- but thankfully The Conduit had a robust online component that allowed for regional or international matches, with loads of options including game type and weapons, which were voted on before a match begins.

The game was also one of the few titles that made use of Wii’s failed voice chat peripheral, Wii Speak.

wiispeak

Ahh Wii Speak, we hardly knew ye…

The time we spent online was quite good for the most part, although there certainly was some lag, especially when it came to registering your kill.

This was a Wii game using Wi-Fi and I was in Australia, so the odds were stacked against my online experience from the get go.

But hey, at least developer High Voltage tried to offer Wii users a viable online multiplayer option.

A lot was made of The Conduit's look. A 3rd party developer trying to push Wii's graphics was a rarity.

The Conduit looked great. A 3rd party developer trying to push Wii’s graphics was a rarity.

With all the amazing blockbuster first person shooters out there at the time, the critics weren’t too kind to The Conduit.

But look. It had pretty graphics, the best Wii FPS controls outside of Metroid Prime 3, and although you can’t use the online features anymore, it’s still worth playing.

So is the 2011 sequel, Conduit 2.

Did you enjoy The Conduit? Leave a comment!

 

majoraTarget Australia is still selling Majora’s Mask 3D for the very reasonable price of $48.

The offer is on until at least Wednesday, March 25.

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

 

netflixlogoWell so it should, but it’s still a feature I was kind of surprised to hear about.

The app takes full advantage of the two screen experience, allowing easy navigation using the stylus.

Here’s what TIME says about the app:

“Once something’s playing on the TV, the GamePad displays supplementary information, and you can continue to browse for other stuff without disturbing the current show. You can also flip the video from the TV onto the GamePad and watch there.”

I’m obviously not trying to break news, I just think this is really cool and Aussies have been waiting for (some more impatiently than others) the service to arrive in Australia for a long time.

Netflix is launching in Australia on Tuesday March 24, though no pricing has been announced.

 

mp10EB Games are offering the Mario Party 10 with Mario amiibo bundle for pre order.

At $79.95, it’s just $10 more than the disc by itself, so in theory this is good value.

If you want that Mario amiibo than you’ll pre order of course, but you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a cheaper price for just the disc.

I’ll do a price round up as we get closer to the date, and you can pre order from EB here.

 

ps4bundleTarget Australia is offering a 500GB PS4 with Infamous Second Son, Drive Club, and Little Big Planet 3 for $529.

Look, I still think the console is overpriced, but this bundle is a pretty good starter pack for anyone in the market for a PS4.

Infamous Second Son is PS4’s flagship title at this stage, and while LBP 3 reviewed badly, there’s an incredible online community that is worth getting amongst.

The offer ends on March 18, check out the details here.

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

 

donkeyamiiboEach fortnight I’ll take a look at how a game franchise has progressed over time by ranking my favourites in the series.

If I haven’t played it I’ll tell you, and ports and remakes automatically go last but their impact will be recognised if necessary.

Do the games get better with each new iteration?

Or do they lose their lustre and become stale?

I’m kicking things off with the Donkey Kong Country series. I’m not including the handheld Donkey Kong Land games, it’s Country only.

1. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Super Nintendo)

Released second, in 1995. Bettered the original in the graphics and variety of levels, Diddy stood on his own as a star.

2. Donkey Kong Country (Super Nintendo)

Released first, in 1994. Original and most memorable, but ideas were refined in DKC2. Check out this Australian commercial from 1994…

3. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

Released sixth, in 2014. HD graphics and a blistering pace make the game feel new again.

4. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! (Super Nintendo)

Released third, in 1997. Felt a bit try-hardie in terms of going bigger and better, and although I like Dixie, I don’t think she deserved to be in the title.

5. Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii)

Released fourth, in 2010. Wii controls were not ideal in some instances, a bit too difficult in some areas, and some bosses just pissed me right off.

6. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D (3DS) and Donkey Kong Country 3 (Gameboy Advance)

These are just enhanced ports, so last on my list. I have never played either of these. Still, check out this cool commercial, back when Nintendo was at the top of their marketing game…

The Verdict:

While the buzz around how amazing the original DKC’s graphics were on the Super Nintendo certainly made playing it that much more exciting, the Country series has, from the start, had pretty much everything going for it.

Loveable characters, a cheeky sense of humour, and genuine gameplay thrills. Whether it be the nerve wracking rush of the on-rails levels, or the thrill of finally getting the better of a deviously tricky level- the Donkey Kong Country series is fun and frustrating, but almost always manages to get the balance right.

While the second in the series is best for me, all the games are among the highest quality platform games ever made, and all were critical and commercial successes.

Next time: Resident Evil

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