First Impressions: New Nintendo 3DS XL

New Nintendo 3DS XL

There comes a time in almost every 3DS owner’s life where they push the 3D slider down, removing the glassless 3D image, and never adjust it back. The vast majority of games for the system don’t utilize the 3D in a meaningful way, and articles about the 3DS and its games are plagued with comments from users about the gimmicky nature of the system. The 3D has become useless enough that Nintendo even released an entirely new 3DS with the 3D component completely removed, cleverly titled the 2DS.

With 2015 came another revision for the Nintendo 3DS family, but with this system, it finally feels like Nintendo made the system they wanted to release in 2011. Continue reading

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Review: Tappingo 2 (3DS eShop)

tappingo 2

Tappingo 2 isn’t very deep. There aren’t any unlockables, no stats to raise or levels to gain. It’s just a simple puzzle game that gets more difficult, bit by bit, as you progress. And it’s unnaturally fun.

Developer: Goodbye Galaxy Games
Publisher: Goodbye Galaxy Games
Review Platform: 3DS eShop
Also Available on: N/A
Price: $2.99
NA Release Date: 04/09/14
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1
PEGI: 3

Your objective in Tappingo 2, exactly like its predecessor, is to fill in various pixel art with your stylus. Imagine Picross, except that when you drag your stylus, your line doesn’t stop until it hits something. At a basic level, that may seem… boring. But for some reason, Tappingo 2 has its own way of keeping you playing. Maybe it’s the minimal amount of time you can spend playing. Maybe it’s catering to the “completionist” lifestyle. In any case, finishing puzzles just feels good, and that’s the best thing Tappingo 2 has going for itself.

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Review: Soon Shine (Wii U eShop)

soon-shine

Dahku Creations is back on the Wii U again after their most recent release Chubbins, and it seems that they’re improving their eShop influence pretty rapidly. Soon Shine may only be their second game on the eShop, but the improvements between releases are significant and exciting.

Developer: Dahku Creations
Publisher: Dahku Creations
Review Platform:
 Wii U eShop
Also Available on: N/A
Price: $1.99
NA Release Date: 14/08/14
EU Release Date: TBC
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1

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Review: Super Toy Cars (Wii U eShop)

capsule_1000x300

Super Toy Cars is an interesting little title. Instead of racing in full size cars, the developer, Eclipse Games, decided to take racing to the tabletop. In Super Toy Cars, you’ll race your little toy car around desktops and driveways, collect items to stop your opponents, and race in career and quick races, with local matches replacing the PC version’s online multiplayer.

Developer: Eclipse Games
Publisher: Eclipse Games
Review Platform: Wii U eShop
Also Available on: PC & Mac
EU/NA Release Date: 24/07/14
Genre: Racing
Players: 1-4 locally
Price: £6.99, $7.99, €7.99
File Size: 997.8MB
PEGI: 3

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Review: Chubbins (Wii U eShop)

chubbins

Chubbins is a simple game. Originally released on iOS devices, the developer, Dahku Creations, touts the game as “…a smoothly simple precision platformer that aims to deliver a hardcore challenge that old-school gamers will appreciate.” You play as a chunky rabbit, constantly bouncing around on blocks, evading fez wearing birds and badgers with bowler hats, dodging spike balls, and occasionally defying gravity. The journey to the Nintendo eShop, however, has not been a kind one. To call Chubbins shovelware doesn’t quite do it justice, as there were some moments where there was a good time to be had learning how to move through a level, but the abysmal presentation of all aspects of the game bogged down the experience considerably.

Developer: Dahku Creations
Publisher: Dahku Creations
Review Platform: Wii U eShop
Also Available on: iOS
Price: $5.99
NA Release Date: 05/06/14
EU Release Date: TBC
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1

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Review: Moon Chronicles Episode 1: One Small Step (3DS eShop)

moon-chronicles

 

Review

Moon Chronicles is an updated version of Renegade Kid’s Moon, which originally released in 2009 on the Nintendo DS. With upgraded controls, graphics, and enemy AI, it promises to bring new life into the original Moon. Episodes are being released throughout the year as add-on content, with Season 2 expected in 2015.

Developer: Renegade Kid
Publisher: Renegade Kid
Review Platform: 3DS eShop
Also Available on: Nintendo DS (Moon)
Price: $8.99
NA Release Date: 15/05/14
EU Release Date: TBC
Genre: First-person shooter
Players: 1 Continue reading

Blog: Should you care about the Nintendo 2DS?

2ds

So… Nintendo kind of kicked the door down on Wednesday, huh? Between surprise announcements of a Wii U price drop, tons of release date information, and the Wind Waker HD bundle, my hype meters for the end of this year went off the charts. And then a strange, particularly unpredictable announcement. Nintendo is releasing an “entry-level gaming system”. They’ve taken the 3DS, fused the hinges, removed the 3D, and bam. The 2DS. Continue reading

Impressions: The Wonderful 101 (Wii U) Demo

Earlier this month, there was a Nintendo Direct released specifically for the game The Wonderful 101, which is being developed by Platinum Games and published by Nintendo exclusively for the Wii U. The Direct had a lot of information about the game, including a 7 minute “Director’s Edition Trailer” (above) and was led by the game’s outspoken director, Hideki Kamiya. After the broadcast, a demo of the game was announced and released via the Nintendo eShop in Europe, North America and Japan. Continue reading

Blog: Nintendo and the “Patch Crutch”

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I recently played through Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, released on June 14th in North America exclusively for Sony’s PlayStation 3. I began my play-through on June 19th, 5 days after its release. The game was fun enough, but I had a lot of problems with random glitches in different areas, such as guards not appearing until I got up from my crouch, rendered characters dying on a navy blue, flat background, impossible-to-climb ladders complete with buzzing characters, and a wonderfully floaty axe head. When I brought this up to my friend, he said that I had probably run into the problems because it was early in the game’s release, and the game ran much smoother after the released patches. That got me thinking. You shouldn’t have to patch a game to polish gameplay after the game has been sent to the public. Nintendo releases clean, polished games over and over again, is Nintendo ever going to give into the “patch crutch”? Continue reading

Review: Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

pikmin_3

Developer: Nintendo | Publisher: Nintendo | Review Platform: Wii U | Also Available on: N/A | EU Release Date: 26/07/13 | NA Release Date: 04/08/13 | Genre: Real-Time Strategy | Players: 2 | File-Size: 3.85GB | PEGI: 7

Review

Pikmin 3 is rough. You’d think that a game so colorful and cute would be marked up to just another of “Nintendo’s Kiddy Franchises”, thrown into the “rehashed series” bin and forgotten about. “It’s the same game as the last two, isn’t it? Why bother with it?”

I’ll tell you why. It’s one of the most intense, stressful games I’ve ever played in my life. One that manages to carry a heavy weight, a looming deadline, but still keeps things manageable. It’s the perfect balance. Continue reading