Archive for the ‘Video Games News’ 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.

Angry Birds Space gets a content update

Friday, January 11th, 2013
Angry Birds Space gets a content update this afternoon. The Pig Dipper update brings 30 new aquatic-themed levels to the popular game, extending its life and keeping players hooked like only Rovio can. The new levels require a bit of a strategy change, as you’re now fighting gravity and buoyancy at the same time.

Angry Birds Space

You can have a crack at the new levels by updating via the Google Play app on your phone or tablet, or if you haven’t been sucked into this one yet and want to give it a try, use the link above to the free version. An ad-free version is also available for a buck, and you can get it here. Just watch out for the mermaid — we hear she is tough.

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.

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.

Top 5 Free iOS Games for Holidays

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

The holidays are here, and you’re probably exhausted from all the frantic shopping, ready to kick back, relax and maybe take a break from the relatives. With these five free apps you can have a good time on the house. (We mean free, not sitting on the roof like Santa.)

“You Don’t Know Jack” (Jellyvision Games) The clever trivia game features hundreds of humorous questions (all read by the wise-cracking host Cookie Masterson), as well as bonus rounds like Jack Attack, where you tap the screen when the right answer appears to get bonus cash.

Mini elicottero telecomandato F161€ 45,00 Spedito Gratis

Connecting your Facebook account lets you play online against friends at least once a day for free — or more if you buy “tokens” from within the app [iTunes link], ranging from a small pack ($1.99) to a huge one ($16.99).

“Real Racing GTI” (Firemint) This quality racer features superb game controls, with the option for both touch and tilt steering. It has smooth graphics and three modes to choose from — GTI Cup, Quick Race and Time Attack.

“Real Racing GTI” is also supported by Apple’s GameCenter, so you can post your best times in the leaderboards and unlock Achievements. It’s well worth a test drive.

“10 Pin Shuffle Lite” (Digital Smoke, iOS and Android) This game is a curious but enjoyable mix of three activities — shuffleboard, bowling and poker. You start off by lining up your puck in front of a set of pins, as you would a bowling ball.

Scoring strikes or spares earns you cards, which you can then compare against other players’ to see who has the best poker hand. If you choose to pay $3.99 for the full game, you’ll unlock two additional activities (regular shuffleboard and bowling), along with online multiplayer. This one is available for both iOS and Android.

Pesce Volante Telecomandato€ 35,00 Spedito Gratis

“Frisbee Forever 2” (Kiloo Games) The game features more than 70 courses of ring-passing challenges and finding hidden secrets across three continents. “Frisbee Forever 2” also comes with plenty of unlockable Wham-O! licensed discs, which you can use within the game.

Plus, for a freebie game, it has fantastic graphics, as well as a fun soundtrack. Get it at iTunes.

“Bejeweled Blitz” (PopCap Games) “Blitz” offers a quick, competitive take on the gem-matching puzzle game. You have one minute to get the highest score possible, aligning three or more gems in rows and columns and eliminating them from the playfield.

Your best scores are then posted to leaderboards, where you can challenge the world. You can also connect your game through Facebook, taking on opponents through Cross-Play, should you know people playing it on the social network.

A Must Play for Gamers: Halo 4

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Lovers of the Halo series are sure to get a kick out of the latest offering. Halo 4 was released for the Xbox earlier this month and is already proving to be a huge hit among gamers. Join the Master Chief on a new campaign as he fights the forces of evil to fulfil his destiny. Natural, the fate of the universe depends on his success, and it is up to you to make sure that he saves the day.

Halo 4: A Must Play for Gamers

Halo 4

As with the other Halo episodes, Halo 4 features fantastic graphics and imaginative environments. The story is well thought out and engrossing, while the stimulating soundtrack is sure to get players in the fighting mood.

This new episode in the Halo saga takes place four years after the end of Halo 3 and players join the Master Chief and his companions as they grapple with mortality and face new challenges in more detail than ever before. The story is extremely detailed and players are sure to enjoy becoming lost in this multilayered world. All the best features of the other Halo games are present, such as excellent combat and perfect pacing, with new twists to keep players coming back for more.
halo 4

New Developers Create Halo 4

However, this time round Halo 4 is in the hands of a new creative team, and the results are impressive. Among the new features that make Halo 4 superior to its predecessors is a greater diversity in the competitive multiplayer function, which adds a whole new dimension to the game. Groups of friends can have fun battling it out to see who has what it takes to be the best, while the powerful customisation and creation tools make the game highly playable.

Halo 4 proves that this gaming franchise has a long way to go before it reaches it sell by date and there are sure to be more exciting Halo instalments yet to come.

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.

A new games magazine for iPad: iGamer

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Videogames on iPad are different. The good ones are difficult to find, the bad ones are all too easy to stumble upon. They rarely cost more than a few pounds, and sometimes they’re completely free. There’s no need to clear out the living room for several hours or to be intimately familiar with a 12-button control pad; They feel more wary of your time, and more eager to please straight away.

Most games on the App Store aren’t the result of greenlight processes and market research. There are no discs to print nor boxes to distribute. Now, videogames are developed and released directly onto the App Store, and often rise to the top based on their quality and through word of mouth. Games studios have greater creative freedom, and most thrilling of all, the really good new iPad games feel different. Daring, and new.

iGamer is CVG’s newly relaunched sister publication. It is exclusive to iPad through Apple Newsstand, and it is exclusively about iPad games. It has been designed to address and acknowledge this exciting new breed of videogame.

iPhone / iPod Touch Screenshot I don’t want to trawl through twenty or thirty games Apple has recommended – I want to know which ones are the best, and what they’re like to play all in one place. I want to know which games fit a certain purpose, or a particular mood i’m in. I want to know more about this exciting, explosive new creative industry that is rising out of the App Store. I want to know about the games I may have missed, and why I should download them.

In every issue of iGamer you can find the fifteen best new games from the last month’s releases. iGamer editorial is direct and upfront. You will discover what they’re like to play and why you might like them quickly, and you can download them now with a tap of your finger.

Tablet Android 7 pollici Capacitivo
Tablet Android 7 pollici Capacitivoonly €80.10

Playlists are games I recommend based on a theme, be it to keep the kids quiet or to indulge in some videogame nostalgia. Insider is the features section, in which you’ll find interviews and insight into the MÓVIL DUAL SIM ANDROID games industry, plus behind-the-scenes tales of games development. In the relaunch issue, we have interviews with Rovio, Activision, Chillingo, the and the developers of Punch Quest and SpellTower. Classics is iGamer’s directory; 50 games we’d recommend to anyone, plus a re-appraisal of a recent inductee into iGamer’s hall of fame.

iPhone / iPod Touch Screenshot The relaunch issue is free for a limited time. If you enjoy what you read, you can subscribe and get each issue for 69p. I’m confident that minuscule monthly outlay will save you both time and money wasted on taking a punt on an unknown New & Noteworthy game.

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.

Nintendo 3DS Ads Roll Out For Holidays

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Nintendo dish out some prospective propaganda as That Time Of Year™ continues to encroach on us all.

Nintendo 3DS American Ads Roll Out For The Holidays

Things are pretty big for Nintendo right now. There’s the Wii U launch to consider, still awaiting release in some regions of the world. There’s Nintendo’s own promise to ensure that the R4 i 3DS remains a top priority this festive season. There’s even praise coming from Sony, it seems, as Nintendo expands its scope.

But with the coming of the busiest month of shopping on the calendar comes a new range of Nintendo advertising, and the 3DS commercials from Nintendo Of America are out in force!

In the first, various gamer chaps compare New Super Mario Bros. 2 bragging rights. And snails. Obviously.

Despite being released many months ago, both games seem to be big hits for the Christmas period, or so Nintendo seems to hope. Are you looking forward to getting New Super Mario Bros. 2 andFreakyforms! Deluxeyourself? Or have you already played these?

The second commercial focuses on Nintendo of America’s ongoing efforts to characterise the R4 3ds as a trendy lifestyle accessory for the garrulous gal about town. This is possibly due to the ongoing inability planet Earth has to realise that female human beings can play videogames too, without them having to have pixies and chocolate sprinkles on them or something.

R4i 1.4.3 NINTENDO + 4 gb
R4i 1.4.3 NINTENDO + 4 gb

Still, she seems to be having a lovely time, so we can hardly blame her.

So there you have it! The advertising begins. Do these commercials do enough to portray the merits of the 3DS in an admittedly small timeslot? Can Nintendo rely on big name titles and niche new instalments of Style Savvy alone? Will the Wii U itself be making so much noise that our beloved little handheld that could gets forgotten?

As 2012 rushes to a close and harrowed gift-givers rush to the shops, it will fall to campaigns like these to ensure the 3DS’s message is put across. What’s your opinion on the marketing thus far?