Archive for the ‘Nintendo Wii’ Category

The first Wii U game to support NFC: New Pokémon

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

New Pokémon Wii U game is the first to support NFC

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first Wii U game to utilise near field communication (NFC) tech will be a Pokémon game.

Wii U Screenshot

According to scans of Japanese magazine CoroCoro, Pokémon Rumble U will launch in Nintendo’s home country on April 24.It will allow players to purchase collectible Pokémon figures from stores and import virtual versions into the game using the Wii U GamePad‘s NFC reader.

The game will be priced at 1,800 yen (£12.60) and will release alongside seven Pokémon figures each priced at 200 yen (£1.40). Apparently you’ll be able to level up and record battle information on the toys themselves.

The game’s story sees players attempting to return lost Pokémon to a toy shop, while facing various bosses such as Chandelure.

Nintendo Wii Mario Kart Pack

Western release plans for Pokemon Rumble U have yet to be confirmed.

Nintendo design guru Shigeru Miyamoto said last week that Nintendo is currently prioritising the development of NFC-enabled Wii U games over those that support dual GamePads, and that the company hopes to show off its work in this area soon.

Nintendo’s TVii on Wii U

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Nintendo TVii

It took a month, but Nintendo finally released TVii for the Wii U. This feature on Nintendo’s new game system turns the Wii U gamepad into a touch-screen remote and smart program guide that incorporates online services into live television for following your favorite shows, movies, and sports teams. I spent some time with TVii, and while it’s not a complete or polished service, I was impressed by how smoothly it organizes your television.

Setup
The TVii setup process is easy and direct, but it can take some time adding all of your favorite content to the system. First, you need to configure the Wii U to work as a remote control for your TV and set-top box. This is a simple process that you can go through in the Settings menu before you turn on TVii. You need to enter your TV and set-top box manufacturers, perform a few tests to make sure the gamepad is using the right remote codes, and you’re ready to go.

TVii then asks you for your ZIP code and cable or satellite provider. This lets the Wii U know what program guides to use to determine when shows are on and what channels are available at what numbers. Because TVii works by using the gamepad as a remote control, it changes channels by manually entering the number for the channel as a remote control code. There is no actual connection between the Wii U and your set-top box besides the remote, and the interactivity is little different from using an iPad remote app and a remote accessory, like the Griffin Remote.

Once your cable or satellite provider is entered, you can start teaching the Wii U your favorite shows, movies, channels, and sports teams. Shows, movies, and channels appear as a short list of popular choices, which you can click on or off to add to your favorites list. You’ll probably spend most of your time at the far end of the scrolling menu, where a magnifying glass on an empty panel sits. This is the search function, and it lets you search for your favorite shows and movies. Most shows and movies appear with their own graphic for easy organization, but there were several mysterious grey panels scattered through my searches that I couldn’t identify without loading. For the majority of shows and movies I looked for, though, the gamepad showed big, colorful panels that identified them clearly.

Channels are also organized by popular choices first, so if you want to set more targeted channels like the Food Network or the Hub you need to manually enter the channel number in the search menu. Be careful to make sure you enter the HD channel number so you get the most out of the feature.

Finally, sports teams can be selected from NFL, NBA, and NCAA basketball and football choices, presumably because these are the active sports in December. We’ll find out if TVii gets baseball teams in the spring. Adding favorite teams is as easy as adding favorite channels and movies, without the search option. Instead, each team is organized alphabetically in each conference.

Nintendo Wii U Japan sales top 300,000 during launch weekend

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

While players in North America and Europe have been enjoying their Wii Us for a little while now, the newest Nintendo console only launched in Japan this past weekend. We’re now hearing the first numbers from the Wii U’s Japan launch, with statistics from Media-Create putting the Wii U’s launch weekend sales at 307,471. That certainly isn’t bad, with Nintendo selling 400,000 Wii Us during the console’s North American launch week.

Which games performed the best? By far it was New Super Mario Bros. U, which sold 160,140 copies. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate did well too, with 106,454 copies sold. Little surprise there, considering that Monster Hunter has proven to be an incredibly popular series in Japan (with some very passionate fans in other regions of the world). Nintendo Land, on the other hand, didn’t perform as well as those two, pulling in only 66,583 sales.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that Nintendo Land isn’t a pack-in game in Japan like it is in other regions, so there aren’t any bundle sale to boost the game’s numbers. So, it appears the Wii U and a few of its headlining games made a pretty strong showing during launch weekend, but that’s expected for most new hardware launches. Considering we’re right in the middle of the holiday shopping season, Nintendo can probably expect strong sales through the month of December, but whether or not those numbers stay up as we move away from the holidays is another matter entirely.

Nintendo 3d
Nintendo 3d

Once we’re into 2013, we’ll be able to better gauge if Nintendo has another Wii or another R4 Nintendo 3ds on its hands. If it continues selling strong, then there’s nothing to worry, but Nintendo is no stranger to botched launches – the 3DS was struggling in a big way until Nintendo cut its price a mere six months after release. Is a similar future in store for the Wii U? Only time will tell, but at the moment, things are looking pretty good.

Amazon and YouTube Video apps go live on Nintendo Wii U units

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

The YouTube and Amazon Instant Video icons have been present on US Wii U consoles since its launch last weekend, but clicking them didn’t do much, until now.

Wii U Screenshot Both Amazon and YouTube have made their video apps live for Nintendo’s new console Stateside. Clicking on the icon now will prompt you to download the full app.Amazon Instant video offers 140,000 movies and TV episodes available to purchase or rent, while Amazon Prime customers can stream 30,000 TV episodes and movies at no additional cost.

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The YouTube app, meanwhile, looks rather like the original Wii one, but can now stream true HD content, and uses the GamePad screen to browse content and display video details while viewing, and the GamePad can be used as the primary viewing screen.

Nintendo Wii U update causing big problems for some users

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Wii U day-one unpopular 5GB firmware update ‘bricking’ some consoles


Just to be clear, the update doesn’t actually do this.

Although Australians won’t see the Wii U until 30 November, the next-gen console has already launched in the US.

Already under fire for the massive 5GB day-one firmware update that users require to activate a number of system features — such as Miiverse, the online store and the compatibility for older Wii games — reports are coming in that interruptions to the download can render some consoles inoperable.

Nintendo 3d
Nintendo 3donly € 145,00

Ars Technica noted that a number of forum posts and tweets — including one from LA Times reporter Ben Fritz — indicated that interruptions to power or internet access during the update won’t just require you to try again; it’ll actually kill your console completely.

While there’s no official comment from Nintendo yet, bricked consoles should be covered by the standard warranty, and — fingers crossed — the issue will be sorted by the time of the Australian launch.

Nintendo Wii U eShop First Look

Friday, November 9th, 2012

First look at Wii U eShop

We have the first photo of the Wii U eShop, thanks to an update on the console’s Japanese website.

Take a look below:

The page mentions most of the features that are included on the 3DS eShop. You’ll be able to download games and demos, view videos such as commercials, and rate content you’ve played.

Nintendo Wii vs Nintendo Wii U

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Nintendo Wii U vs Nintendo Wii  fight!

The first thing we noticed about Nintendo’s next console when we last got our hands on it was the length — the Wii U is Nintendo’s longest console yet. Sure, sure, there’s a tablet controller and HD graphics and yadda yadda yadda. That’s immaterial. What matters here, folks, is how the new hardware — the console itself — physically stacks up against the first Wii. As you’ll see in our gallery, length is the least of the Wii U‘s changes: in the Wii U, Nintendo added two more USB 2.0 ports up front and rounded out its hard right angles, for starters. Around back, the port layout of the Wii is nigh-on identical with that of the Wii U, albeit with the fan moved an inch (or so) to the right, making space for HDMI output. This is an HD console, after all. Wonderfully, unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Wii U includes an HDMI cable right out of the box. Not a huge deal, but it sure was a baffling move when Sony and Microsoft both skimped on such an important detail.

NINTENDO WII MARIO KART PACK
NINTENDO WII MARIO KART PACK

The only other change we spotted (outside of the power port being flipped from horizontal to vertical) is the lack of GameCube controller ports up top. Say sayonara to those old Wavebirds, as Nintendo’s moving on to its new tablet controller and its updated Pro Controller.

Video Games News: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Halloween Challenge

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Unnerving reports from the front indicate that the Collector reinforcements are more numerous than we feared. At this point, we do not know if our numbers are accurate or if psychological warfare is at work. We need to engage the enemy to assess their true strength.

Halloween Challenge – Complete the three Halloween challenges to earn the Halloween Challenge Banner.

Ghostbuster: Requires 5 extractions on Firebase Ghost or Firebase Ghost Hazard

Zombie Hunter: Requires 7500 points against husks/abominations.

Monster Killer: Requires 10000 points against brutes/scions/praetorians/banshees.

All challenges can be completed on any difficulty.

See also BioWare details Mass Effect 3 Wii U differences

Top 10 most underrated games this generation

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

There have been literally thousands of videogames released since Microsoft kick-started this generation of consoles back in 2005.

And all of the middling and major titles released over the past seven years have each been put through the same brutal acid-test of critic reviews, user scores and aggregated numbers.

Some videogames, however, have had a tougher time than others – falling out of favour for whatever reason despite showing promise. So below we are celebrating the unpolished gems of this world. The rough diamonds that, for whatever reason, haven’t had the big break they deserved.

A quick clarification before we begin: when people talk about ‘underrated games’, they tend to start rattling off games such as Bayonetta or Vanquish. Those games aren’t underrated. They sold like they were N-Gage exclusives, granted, but they’re not underrated. Pretty much everyone who has played them agrees they’re great.

The benchmark is simple. We are hand-picking the best games that scored less than a 75 per cent average on Metacritic. Each one is likely lurking in a pre-owned bin somewhere, and hopefully with our advice you’ll be more tempted to give them all a deserved home and some much-deserved TV time.


Prototype 2

Click to view larger image PS3, Xbox 360, PCMetacritc score: 74

Sample critique: “The action requires little real skill to control and although gaining new powers is a strong impetuous for continuing it’s all extremely shallow and inconsequential” – Metro GameCentral – 6/10

Why it’s secretly a bit good: It’s the epic open-world superhero game that the likes of Spidey and Superman have promised in the past, but never quite delivered.

‘Shallow and inconsequential’ is a pretty good summary of Prototype 2’s action, but since when did a GTA clone have to be a Franz flippin’ Kafka novel? While the New York Zero setting is a little contrived, gliding from skyscraper to skyscraper like a murderous sugar glider is a top laugh.


Ridge Racer 6

Click to view larger image Xbox 360Metacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “Mediocre at best. If you’re trying to find a simple racer to appease someone who is confused with such daunting tasks as, say, reciting the alphabet, then Ridge Racer 6 might be what you’re looking for” – Game Over Online – 6/10

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Why it’s secretly a bit good: Namco only have themselves to blame for Ridge Racer 6’s lacklustre reviews. Like a Mini on a frozen Winter morning, it takes an absolute age to get going.

Power through the sluggish opening quarter however and your reward is a pulsating twitch racer that challenges you to steer a car sideways through the eye of a needle at screen-blistering speeds. For an additional thrill, try reciting the alphabet while you do so.


Pandora’s Tower

Click to view larger image WiiMetacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “Pandora’s Tower doesn’t offer anything appealing or unique, and is not a Wii title that will find a home with many gamers” – Gameplanet – 5/10

Why it’s secretly a bit good: It’s no surprise that Pandora’s Tower got overlooked – a Nintendo console is always going to be a tough place for a Zelda clone to make a living.

But Pandora’s Tower carved a niche for itself by adding a speedrunning twist to the ponderous Zelda format. Pandora’s dungeons might not be as fiendishly inventive as Eiji Aonuma’s twining inventions, but the stress of a constantly ticking clock makes it easy to muff up even the simplest of puzzles.


Space Giraffe

Click to view larger image Xbox 360, PCMetacritic score: 68

Sample critique: “Maybe if the gameplay were more endearing to the casual gamer, or if the visuals didn’t make half of the people who play the game foam at the mouth…just maybe Space Giraffe would have been as cool as its designers had hoped” – IGN, 47%

Why it’s secretly a bit good: Famously eccentric designer Jeff Minter out-weirded even himself when he decided to take a pile of Tempest grids and overlay them with a disorientating light synthesiser effect. “It’s almost impossible to tell what’s going on” bemoaned reviews at the time. A perfectly valid criticism, but it’s worth noting that this was exactly Minter’s intention.

To survive Space Giraffe’s visual onslaught, you have to play it by ear – using the subtle audio cues to ‘feel’ your way around the grid. If it clicks, you’ve got yourself one of the most unique and nuanced shooters around. If it doesn’t, you’ve just got a garish mess. An iffy tutorial section didn’t help sway the floating voters.

At 400MP, it’s worth a punt to see which side of the divide you fall on.


Earth Defence Force 2017

Click to view larger image Xbox 360Metacritic score: 69

Sample critique: “Earth Defence Force 2017 is the action game equivalent of potato chips: no nutritional value, but tasty nonetheless” – Hardcore Gamer Magazine – 45%

Why it’s secretly quite good: EDF 2017 is ugly and jerky, true, but it’s absolute bucketloads of fun too. Someone once described it to us as ‘Robotron in 3D’, and that nails it on the head for us.

We mean, it throws you into a fully-destructible city, with a whopping great cannon and an infinite amount of giant ants/robots/spiders to test it out on. What’s not to like? The lack of online multiplayer maybe, but come on. Don’t be like that.

Excite Truck

Click to view larger image Nintendo WiiMetacritic score: 72

Sample critique: “It might show off how well racers on the Wii will work when developers finally do it properly (yes, Ubisoft, we’re looking at you) but even so, there’s just not enough here to warrant the premium price” – Games TM – 6/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: Excite Truck was a victim of inflated expectations. For the first few years of the Wii’s existence, people expected motion control to provide a wonderful new dimension to games; the kind of next level experience that Nintendo had always promised. Ultimately, the controller’s limitations meant that the revolution was not going to happen (though Nintendo, which had sold more than 95 million of the machines, would beg to differ).

The Wii’s best games are often the early ones that kept things simple. Games such as Excite Truck, which is one of those breed of racers where the trick is to correct your positioning in mid-air so you don’t lose momentum when you land.

We’re spoiled for choice with these at the moment (MotoHeroz, Trials et al), but Excite Truck is the best 3D example of the sub-genre, and its wild handling is a perfect match for the Wiimote’s jittery nature. Terrible name, mind.


Binary Domain

Click to view larger image PS3, PC, Xbox 360Metacritic score: 72

Sample Critique: “It’s the best kind of 7/10. The gunplay is raucous, but never revolutionary. The relationships make you laugh, if not cry. Binary Domain is unpolished in all the right places” – Official PlayStation Magazine – 7/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: There’s one thing Binary Domain gets very, very right, and it’s not the box art. It’s the mechs. Most specifically, the satisfying way they fall apart at the seams (rivets?) when you shoot at them.

Mechs must have a good union, because games rarely manage to get this simple thing right. It’s okay for us humans to bleed rivers, but mechs tend to be allowed to die quietly and with dignity. Binary Domain addresses this imbalance with glorious, metal-crunching fury. Death to our mechanical oppressors!


Deadly Premonition

PS3, Xbox 360Metacritic score: 68%

Sample critique: “Awful in nearly every way. The Twin Peaks meets Resident Evil with a dash of Grand Theft Auto formula sounds pretty great, but it was well beyond the capabilities of this development team. Terrible controls. Terrible pacing. Terrible sound effects. Terrible visuals.” – IGN – 20%

Why it’s secretly quite good: Deadly Premonition holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Critically Polarizing Survival Horror Game”, which in itself holds the record for “Most Peculiarly Specific World Record Category”. Little wonder really as it’s really quite bizarre.

Deadly Premonition is a game that defies easy classification. The closest we can come to describing it is as a budget Resident Evil with a penchant for mischief. Brutal acts of violence are accompanied by terrible one-liners. Outlandishly freakish scenes are juxtaposed by mundane segments where you trim your beard or swig coffee. It’s a surreal piece of interactive story-telling and you’ll either love it or hate it for that.


Alpha Protocol

Click to view larger image PS3, Xbox 360, PCMetacritic score: 72

Sample critique: “Alpha Protocol’s astounding intricacies are tarnished by bugs, clumsy gameplay mechanics, and rough production values” – Gamespot – 6/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: You have to dig deep to get the most from Alpha Protocol, but it’s worth the blood and tears.

Your digging will have to cut through a crust of ugly presentation and a mantle of shoddy AI. Then you’ve got to drill through the near-impenetrable outer core that is the main character’s crouching animation, which makes him look like he’s filled his pants.

Dig past all of that, and you get to sip from Alpha Protocol’s delicious gooey liquid centre; a stealth-action RPG which gives you a mind-boggling number of ways to develop your character’s skill set and approach each mission.


SSX Blur

Click to view larger image WiiMetacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “It all boils down to the controls. When you have the capability to utilize the innovative controls of the Wii, be sure to use them to the fullest extent” – Cheat Code Central – 52%

Why it’s secretly quite good: Does this sound familiar? It’s Excite Truck syndrome all over again. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see SSX Blur for what it actually is: a cracking little snowboarding game that works well within the Wiimote’s limited capabilities. Carving into the snow with the nunchuk feels great. We’ve even grown fond of the cartoon aesthetic. Time heals all wounds, right?

Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 console bundle gets $50-off discount

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Halo 4 Limited Edition Xbox 360 also gets $50-off discount

Microsoft’s US ‘Holiday bundle’ sales extends to sexy Halo console

Fans of overpriced consoles covered in special paint will be pleased to know that the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 console bundle will be slightly less overpriced than first expected.

Halo 4 Screenshot The $400 bundle, which includes the custom designed 320GB console and two matching controllers, Halo 4 and a code for various downloadable treats for the game, will be included in Microsoft’s recently-announced US Holiday Bundle sale.This means a $50 reduction, for a neat price of $349.99 – a very tempting proposal. The console is available for pre-order now at the special price from participating US retailers (Best Buy, GameStop, Amazon, Target, Toys ‘R Us and Walmart).

R4 SD HC- 2 gb per DS Liteonly € 24,49

For officialdom, here’s a list of the other Holiday Bundles available in US for an unspecified “limited” time:

– 250GB Xbox 360 with Kinect and Dance Central 2, Kinect Sports, and Kinect Adventures and one month of Xbox LIVE Gold for $399.99 USD (ERP)

– 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect and Kinect Disneyland Adventures and Kinect Adventures and one month of Xbox LIVE Gold for $299.99 USD (ERP)

– 250GB Xbox 360 with two games: Skyrim and Forza 4 Essentials Edition and one month of Xbox LIVE Gold for $299.99 USD (ERP).