Archive for the ‘R4 R4i 3DS’ Category

The Lost Levels (3DS eShop / NES): Super Mario Bros

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Lost levels = lost sanity

It’s a story so well known now that we’ll just summarise it for you: what is now known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was actually released in Japan as the sequel to enduring classic Super Mario Bros. Western gamers instead received the subconscious vegetable buffet that we more traditionally think of as Super Mario Bros. 2.

Various reasons have been given for the switch — brutal difficulty ranking high among them — but whatever the rationale, we’re glad that we’re able to play both sequels to the original classic, as they’re fantastic in their own ways.

The Lost Levels, of course, is best known for its controller-smashing challenge. Even with the restore points on the 3DS Virtual Console, you’ll be in for some serious difficulty.

While this game doesn’t innovate the franchise nearly as much as its Western cousin did, it does take some interesting liberties with the formula set down by its predecessor. For instance, Luigi has distinct jumping and running physics from Mario, a sort-of tradition that would reappear in several other games to come. For fans who knew the original game inside and out, this alteration was both a serious curve-ball and an impressive new way to experience the Mushroom Kingdom.

Speaking of the Mushroom Kingdom, The Lost Levels obviously takes place in an even more vicious region than the original game did. Here you’ll find all manner of traps to take you down in the most ingenious — and sometimes hilarious — ways. Everything from springs, to invisible coin blocks and even warp zones will conspire to work against you, and it’s unlikely that anyone other than the most expert players will find their life counter reaching double digits.

Visually there’s not much new here. Nearly everything has been carried over wholesale from the first game, though there are a few notable exceptions, such as the notorious poison mushroom. Otherwise sprites are identical to the originals, even if they behave in new and interesting ways, such as the increased lift you’ll get from a stomped enemy, and a surprising overworld appearance from an enemy you’ll only have previously encountered under water.

The Lost Levels are — this cannot be said enough — relentless. Expect to die, and expect to die often. In fact, the entire release feels like a ruthless ROM-hack more than it does a proper title. It’s another pack of levels designed explicitly to break your spirit and frustrate you endlessly, packed with pixel-perfect leaps, blind jumps, and sadistic castle mazes. But one thing’s worth noting: regardless of how difficult the game gets, you can never fault its physics.

Yes, much like the original, The Lost Levels controls brilliantly. The game is responsive and reacts immediately to every press of a button; it’s not its fault if you decided to leap into that pit, after all.

The music is also carried over from the first game, again making The Lost Levels feel like a bit of a retread. When measured against the significant changes introduced by the Western sequel, The Lost Levels feels like it lacks innovation. What it does do, however, is build upon the innovation of the first game, and re-employ enemies and gimmicks in extremely creative — and punishing — ways.

If you enjoyed the first Super Mario Bros. game (and really now, who didn’t?) then this is an expansion worth experiencing. Don’t expect to finish it, though; it’s not an experience many people will complete, but it’s one everybody will remember.

Conclusion

Anyone who feels that Mario’s 2D adventures have softened over the years owes it to themselves to experience Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. With a difficulty curve that’ll have you pulling your hair out by the second world, game-loving masochists are in for a genuine treat. Be warned, however: the challenge here is unquestionably excessive, and it’s not an experience for everybody. Those willing to invest the time — and who aren’t afraid of shouting a few cursewords — will find a clever and creative palette of charming frustrations here to greet them. And, frankly, we think it’s worth a little grey hair.

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.

R4i 3ds DUAL CORE per nintendo 3ds + 4gbonly € 29,00

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.

Dragon Quest VII Nintendo 3DS Remake Imagery Looks Mighty Fine

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Gaze upon this loveliness and hope for a global release date!

RPG fans were delighted by Square-Enix’s recent plans to revamp and rerelease Dragon Quest VII on the Nintendo 3DS. With development well underway, the videogame giant has seen fit to show off some screenshots of the project itself, and we must say it’s looking pretty gosh-inducing.

Siliconera has rounded up a wealth of imagery to be perused, which showcases a variety of gameplay elements from conversation to battle and exploration.

Warrior Gal“Ugh, I get this all the time… look, I know I have a pointy green hat, but I’m NOT Link, alright?”

Ringy!“This your grandmother’s engagement ring? Too bad, I’m taking it down the pawnbrokers, bwahahaha!”

Comparing these images with those from the much beloved Dragon Quest IX on the Nintendo DS is like night and day. Square-Enix seem to have gone all out in bringing this roleplaying classic to the Nintendo R4 3ds with style, and with an orchestral soundtrack promised it seems the audial experience isn’t going to disappoint either.

MeadowsAnother fine day in the countryside ruined by an amateur Benny Hill chase.

Gems!“Help me move this thing, we’ll make a fortune on eBay.”

The classic Dragon Quest art is in full effect, promising a vast world to explore and a ton of characters to meet, greet and inevitably perform all kinds of dangerous quests for. The monsters are just as outlandishly silly as we remember them, offset by the classic battle system that’s underpinned the franchise for years.

Dragon Quest VII on the 3DS is currently slated to release in Japan on February 7th, 2013. An international release is yet to be announced, but we hope Square-Enix will make it happen, as this certainly looks to be the perfect remedy for 3DS fans in need of some epic RPG action.

New Leaf doubles Nintendo 3DS sales: Animal Crossing

Friday, November 16th, 2012
Nintendo news 3DS, thumbnail 1
T.S. Eliot might have called April the cruelest month, but for Sony it’s difficult to imagine a month crueler than November.

After last week’s sobering sales figures which saw sales of the PlayStation Vita slip to a record low, Sony’s latest handheld has slid even further down the hardware charts in Japan, selling only a modest 4,021 units between November 5 and November 11.

Based on the numbers posted by Media Create, this is a 17 per cent decrease from last week’s figure of 4,842 Vitas sold.

Sony’s PlayStation Portable also slipped a bit in sales, falling from 13,868 units sold to 12,076 – yet it still managed to outsell the Vita three to one.

Meanwhile, in Nintendoville…

Nintendo’s 3DS saw a substantial increase in sales this week, owing in no small part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Sales for the 3DS jumped 99 per cent, surging from 93,989 units sold last week to 187,077 units sold.

Unsurprisingly, Animal Crossing: New Leaf secured the top-selling software spot for the week while New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Bravely Default Flying Fairy remained the fifth and sixth best-selling games, respectively.

KonamiWorld Soccer Winning Eleven 2013 was the only PSP or PS Vita title to rank in the top ten for the week, coming in at the number eight position.

A New Beginning for Nintendo 3DS: Harvest Moon

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
3DS  header logo
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning 3DS, thumbnail 1

You probably know what makes a great Harvest Moon game by now. Being left to your own devices, with the occasional nudge towards things you might want to check out, is the key to farming heaven.

The latest in the series, A New Beginning for Nintendo 3DS, introduces a huge number of new elements that genuinely add to the base experience, and breathe new life into the age-old franchise.

If only we didn’t have to battle through tortuous hours of awful tutorials and locked content we might have enjoyed it. Unfortunately, any possible enjoyment is dulled by the first dozen hours or so.

Out with the old, in with the new

The basic Harvest Moon outline is still there, and still going strong.

You’re tasked with keeping your family farm in check, looking after the crops and keeping your animals fed and warm. On the side, there’s a town full of people to interact with, potential wives/husbands to woo, and extracurricular activities to get involved in.

Before you can tend to any of this, however, you’re going to have to put up with many, many hours of slow, tedious tutorials, and barely any content at all.

A New Beginning may well have the slowest start to a game that we have ever experienced. For the first several hours, there’s so little to do that you’ll spend most in-game days simply watering your plants, tending to your animals, and then going back to bed at 8am.

R4i 3ds PER NINTENDO 3ds + 8gbonly € 29,90

It’s an absolute nightmare, truth be told. You know that there’s a ton of content ready and waiting for you to dive into, and you can see empty space and pathways all over the place that are ready to be explored.

But until you’ve slogged your way through hours of not very much, it’s all off limits.

Long harvest

If you’re able to snore your way through around a dozen hours of play, things finally start to pick up, and you witness the true potential of the game.

There are tons of customisation options, from the way your character looks to the layout of your farm. There are new animals, new crops, new locations, new Harvest Sprites, and new everything, really.

And chasing your preferred bachelor/bachelor is as fun as it ever was – as is watching the nearby town build up into a bustling area of discovery. This is truly a jam-packed Harvest Moon, with more content that you’ll know what to do with.

But none of this matters if you can’t bring yourself to slog through the first, utterly atrocious section. Why developer Marvelous thought it was a good idea to hide the good stuff behind a wall of shallow, bare repetition is beyond us.

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is great when it finally gets going. Until that point, however, it’s barely even a game.

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.

5 Best 3DSWare games on Nintendo eShop

Monday, October 29th, 2012
Nintendo 3dNintendo 3dWhile Sony is pushing forward with an aggressive digital download strategy with the PlayStation Vita at launch, Nintendo has been building up its library on the Nintendo eShop for the 3DS over the last year. On the eShop, 3DS owners can download Virtual Console and DSiWare games from previous iterations of portable Nintendo hardware. However, gamers can also find original titles built specifically for the R4 3ds in mind:

pushmo-level

1. Pushmo

Built by the same developer that worked on franchises like Advance Wars and WarioWare, this inventive three-dimensional puzzle game is easily one of the best 3DS titles on the Nintendo eShop. Using stereoscopic visuals, the player controls a little character named Mallo that pushes and pulls platforms out of a wall in order to climb to the top. The game does an excellent job of walking the player through the initial steps in the early levels and the challenge progressively increases throughout Pushmo’s stages.

While the story behind little Mallo is silly, classic Nintendo fun, the puzzles are the real showcase. Just as addictive as Picross on the original Nintendo DS, solving each puzzle is extremely satisfying and encourages the player to continue. There’s even a custom puzzle creator for the more inventive players and puzzles can be shared with other players via QR codes. It’s also an excellent deal at $6.99 for the amount of time you will spend working through all 250 puzzles. Pushmo requires 144 blocks of space (18 MB) on a 3DS memory card.

Sakura_Samurai2. Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword

Not to be confused with the lackluster Samurai Sword Destiny eShop title, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword is an absolutely beautiful, action sword fighter with plenty of RPG elements tossed in to boot. Complete with a full narrative told in an animated slideshow, a young boy named Sakura Samurai is tasked with battling countless enemies in order to free Princess Cherry Blossom from a dark, powerful force. Spread out over thirty different locations within the game, Sakura Samurai faces off against ninjas, archers and other sword-wielding enemies.

The game is heavily reliant in timed movements in order to dodge incoming attacks and counter with a devastating blow of attacks. As the player progresses through each stage, Sakura Samurai can visit local villages to save the game, purchase upgrades or simply stock up on helpful items. After battling through all boss castles and completing the game for the first time, a harder mode of play is unlocked to encourage another play-through in addition to time-attack and survival modes. Great for fans of action games, Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword is priced at $6.99 and requires 457 blocks of memory (58 MB).

rolling-western3. Dillon’s Rolling Western

Released this week on the Nintendo eShop, Dillon’s Rolling Western is a hybrid of an action title and a Tower Defense game. The player is put in control of a Wild West ranger named Dillon that also happens to be an armadillo. During the day, Dillon rolls around the old west collecting resources for the local town. Back in the village, Dillon is tasked with building up the local livestock (Scrogs), increasing the defensive ability of the fortifications and mounting guns on the towers spread throughout the village. As the day shifts into night, the town is attacked by rock-like creatures called Grock in typical Tower Defense style. While the Grocks are being weakened by offensive weapons on towers, Dillon can also directly damage groups of enemies during attack instances.

Once the attack is completely repelled for the night, Dillon heads to the saloon to upgrade equipment, train on various attack moves and accept quests that will add more cash for village upgrades in the future. This cycle repeats over three full days and the player is awarded a star rating which unlocks more towns as stars are collected. Overall, it’s a fun twist on the Tower Defense genre, but players will need to focus on resource management just as much as the action. With approximately 15 to 20 hours of gameplay,Dillon’s Rolling Western is priced at $9.99 and requires 377 blocks of memory (48 MB).

mutant-mudds4. Mutant Mudds

Paying homage to the 8-bit days of the past, Mutant Mudds is a clever platformer that combines 2D gameplay with a 3D effect made for the R4i 3ds. The player takes control of a pipsqueak kid that’s faced with battling mutant mud monsters with a water cannon in order to save the planet. The 3D element within the game allows the player to leap from the background to the foreground and vica versa. The simplicity of the art style also makes the 3D feature easier on the eyes.

Game length is an issue for Mutant Mudds as the twenty main stages don’t require a significant amount of time to complete. However, diehard platformer fans will spend time searching for all 100 diamonds within each level in order to acquire weapon and jetpack upgrades. These upgrades help the player unlock 20 additional levels hidden within the game, a difficult feat without spending plenty of time carefully working through each level. Recommended for classic platformer fans, Mutant Mudds is priced at $8.99 and requires a scant 134 blocks of memory (17 MB).

mighty-switch-force5. Mighty Switch Force!

One of the largest downloads on the Nintendo eShop at 1617 blocks (214 MB), Mighty Switch Force is a combination of a puzzle game and an action platformer. Spread over sixteen stages, the player takes control of Officer Patricia Wagon during her mission to recapture the five Hooligan Sisters. The developer makes use of the 3DS capabilities by allowing the player to switch blocks between the background and the foreground of the level design. These visual layers often require a good sense of timing to successfully navigate portions of each stage.

The detailed art and advanced visual effects likely contribute to the large file size of the game compared to other eShop releases. While the 16 levels can be completed in just a few hours, the developer attempts to encourage players to replay the game in order to beat a specific time. It does requires a great amount of practice to complete each stage in the target completion time and can be frustrating for novice players. However, this title is the cheapest game on our list at $5.99; a fair price for the amount of gameplay within Mighty Switch Force.

Best Sports goes to FIFA 12

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

FIFA 12 has been awarded Best Sports Game at the 2012 hmv Golden Joysticks.

Golden Joysticks 2012 Screenshot Last year’s EA Sports footy sim was voted ahead of SSX and PES 2012 in the runners-up places.

FIFA 12 introduced series staples including the Player Impact Engine and new dribbling and defending systems.

R4 SD HC- 4 gb per DS Lite
R4 SD HC- 4 gb per DS Liteonly € 27,99

Over four million votes were cast in this year’s Golden Joysticks – almost twice the previous Guinness World Record-breaking best.

Hands On Nintendo Wii U

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Last weekend, the doors of Earl’s Court were opened to a horde of hungry gamers as it played host to Eurogamer Expo. We attended the event and while the R4 3ds presence appeared to be non-existent, Nintendo did bring out the big guns in the form of the portable’s big brother; the Wii U. Naturally, we headed in its direction immediately to get our mitts on the shiny new toy.

The obvious question is “how’s the gamepad?” Fortunately we can report that it’s a real nice bit of kit; while the released pictures make it look a bit flimsy, that thing is real sturdy. The gamepad somehow manages to be extremely comfortable to hold while also feeling like it could take a few knocks. Nintendo have earned a +1 to ergonomics. The screen is also great; it’s really bright and the colours look great, and it was putting out some surprisingly impressive visuals. There are big television sets that can’t put out a picture as good.

Speaking of television sets, the Wii U was putting some nice visuals up on there too: It’s definitely a step up from an XBox 360 or a PS3, but if you’re used to playing on mid-range or higher PCs then you probably won’t be too impressed. The fact that it’s putting out some pretty good visuals on two screens however shows just how powerful the Wii U is.

You probably don’t care about the technical stuff though; what you’re really interested in is the games. We managed to get out hands on the Luigi’s Ghost Mansion segment of NintendoLand, The Wonderful 101, and Pikmin 3.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

If Luigi’s Ghost Mansion is any indicator, NintendoLand is going to be a ton of fun. If you haven’t seen any coverage of it yet, here is the basic premise; there are five players, one of which is armed with the GamePad while the other four carry a Wii Remote each. The goal of the GamePad player is to navigate an invisible ghost through the mansion and take out the other players, all of whom are armed with torches to both fight off the ghost and revive their fallen comrades.

While it’s fun to play as part of the torch-bearing team, it’s way more exciting to creep around as the ghost hunting down the group. The game does a good job of making the ghost feel powerful with the advantage of invisibility, though you do become visible if you dash or are hit by a torch. Over on the other side, teamwork is definitely a big part of the game and coming together to outwit your foe is definitely something of a rush. Being the one to track down your foe may also illicit a somewhat smug grin from… some people…

M3 + 2gb + Pennino per DS Lite
M3 + 2gb + Pennino per DS Liteonly € 34,99

The Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101 is a game based around forming a squad of superheroes who join together (often literally) to punch monsters in the face. The game was a little disappointing as the controls are definitely in need of some tuning; most of the time it didn’t really feel like the GamePad was having much effect on what the large swarm of heroes was doing. The combat in the game also seemed incredibly simple; you just hammer the attack button until you build up enough meter and then unleash your special attacks. It’s also really hard to tell which direction a swarm is facing, resulting in a few punches to the right veering wildly off to the left.

In one segment of the demo, the lead character walks into a building. That’s pretty standard, but the game veers off in two directions here; on the television set, you’re treated to an exterior view of the building where four numbers are displayed and can be altered. Meanwhile on the GamePad screen, the lead character was walking around inside and found a combination of four numbers! After matching the exterior set with the interior, the door was opened and the heroes were able to continue their journey. This was a surprisingly great use of the GamePad, one which will hopefully lead to some great gameplay moments.

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3 was probably the most impressive Wii U game we were able to play. If you haven’t played a previous game, they are centred around an astronaut who commands are large group of the small vegetable people, the Pikmin. The demo was a pretty simple level in which the astronaut (who appeared to be someone other than Olimar) used his Pikmin to collect fruit and wildlife and send them back to the spaceship. A pretty familiar set up, but this time there is some new additions; The most important of which is the Wii Remote.

The Wii Remote has been used poorly a lot in games like this, but here it feels intuitive. Movement of the astronaut is obviously controlled via the analogue stick on the nunchuck while you aim with the actual remote, using it to throw or call Pikmin. Pointing at the large monsters that roam the level and then smashing them in the face with your friendly Pikmin is a ton of fun. There is also the addition of the Rock Pikmin, used for smashing walls and hitting harder enemies, but this third entry into the series is mostly just more of the same great gameplay from the rest of the series.