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Tag: Nintendo (1-10 of 17)

Nintendo reveals New 3DS

nintendo-3ds

From the early days of the original Game Boy to its most recent system, the 3DS, Nintendo has made a habit of releasing several different, improved systems that iterate on earlier versions of its handhelds. Today, the house of Mario continued in its tradition by announcing two new 3DS models with a host of new features to correspond with some major upcoming games.

Via one of the company’s occasional Nintendo Direct videos, the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL—a version that has larger screens—debuted with a few cosmetic and functional alterations. (Worth noting, however: Nintendo has only announced the New 3DS line to release in Japan in October. Release dates for America have not been confirmed, though the system is not expected to debut until 2015.)

The most prominent change to the system is actually small in size. A small nub dubbed the C-stick has been placed above the 3DS’ A, B, X and Y buttons. This addition will allow for dual analog-controlled games that mirrors how players can control games on the company’s home console, the Wii U.

The New 3DS will also have additional shoulder buttons, placed next to the L and R buttons that already exist, again making the 3DS almost like a Wii U controller in its setup. Some games with a major following in Japan, like new entries in the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises, are already set to take advantage of these new features to make games easier to control for players.

Perhaps the most important changes to the system are those players won’t be able to see on the 3DS’ surface. Nintendo is improving the battery life, increasing the internal CPU for a smoother experience, and including functionality that will interact with Nintendo’s upcoming line of Amiibo figures. These statues, modeled after some of the company’s most famous characters like Mario, Samus, and Link will be used not just to look good on your shelf, but also to improve the experience of upcoming games like Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. 

This may seem like a strange move, and the changes appear slight. But this type of release is a common practice for Nintendo. The 3DS’ predecssor, the Nintendo DS, saw four different models in its lifetime, as did the original Game Boy. Some of these changes are also clear callbacks to Nintendo’s history, as the C-stick was also the name for a nub on the Nintendo GameCube controller, and the A, B, X, and Y buttons are now colored to reflect the buttons on a Super Nintendo controller. An update was inevitable for the 3DS, and it looks like Nintendo is using this improvement to marry its handheld and home console presence while celebrating the company’s past.

Look what classic Nintendo character might be in the new 'Smash Brothers'

Soon, brothers and sisters—soon, Smash Brothers will return. The latest edition of Nintendo’s button-mashing mascot-crushing fun fest arrives on the 3DS and the Wii U later this year. For years, the rumor mill has been churning with possible new additions to the lineup. We already know that Mega Man and Pac-Man are joining the Smash crew. But how deep would Nintendo dig into their back catalogue? Could Birdo finally be a playable character? Would Bubbles the Bubble Fish finally get her chance at a comeback? Whither the Tatangas of yesteryear? READ FULL STORY

'Super Mario 3D World' review: The portly plumber's latest is totally pawesome

Super Mario 3D World is not extra-dimensional in the sense that it requires special specs to play it. Nor does it run on some glasses-free, 2D-defying tech like the Nintendo 3DS. No, its name actually comes from the title that spawned it, Super Mario 3D Land, which was, in fact, played on the aforementioned 3D device.

While not technically three-dimensional, though, Mario’s latest Goomba-stomping romp pops off the screen like no entry in the popular franchise before it. Forgoing the series’ oft-used side-scrolling formula in favor of layered level layouts that stretch to foregrounds, backgrounds, and any space in between, 3D World is a platforming fan’s paradise. Toss in stunning HD visuals, complemented by a rainbow-shaming color palette and plenty of clever camera perspectives, and 3D World’s Sprixieland is the most imaginative Mario universe I’ve experienced since planet-hopping in the Galaxy games.

More than just painting a pretty picture, the eye-popping presentation translates to the title’s creative level designs as well. Environments are constantly changing, tossing up new eye-candy-coated challenges at every turn; from piloting giant ice skates and exploring a pirate shipwreck to traversing river rapids atop a dinosaur and avoiding a Bullet Bill barrage while riding a Bowser-themed train, this is not your typical Super Mario run-and-jump collect-a-thon.
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Nintendo Wii U sales triple after price drop

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While the videogame world waits quivering with trepidatious excitement for the oncoming arrival of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Nintendo has seen a significant jump in sales for its third-way Wii U. As reported by GamesIndustry, the tablet-control console saw a 200 percent spike in sales last month, following a $50 drop in price for the Wii U Deluxe Set to $299. READ FULL STORY

The most exciting games at E3 2013...and everything that might be wrong with them

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) marked an exciting moment for the videogame industry. New consoles. New blockbuster titles. Long-awaited sequels. What follows is a list of the 15 most exciting games I saw this year. I got hands-on time with most of them, but it’s important to remember that playing videogames at E3 is not the same as actually playing the videogames. At E3, you’re staring at the most expensive TV screens corporate money can buy, while various company reps urge you on and assure you that you’re much better at the game than all of the other journalists they’ve seen that day. (One developer assured me I was doing great after I died for the fifth time in two minutes.) With that in mind, each of these games comes with an addendum: What could go wrong between now and when the game is actually released?

15. Killzone: Shadow Fall
The franchise about futuristic space dudes with futuristic space guns gets a next-gen makeover. I’ve never been a Killzone fan. In fact, I couldn’t pick out the first three games from a lineup of futuristic-space-gun shooters. But the level I played through offered a fascinating array of possible tactical decisions. Also, this was The Year of the Ziplines at E3, and Shadow Fall lets you fire a zipline anywhere you want. (Playstation 4, End of 2013)
What Could Go Wrong: The title Killzone: Shadow Fall sounds like a straightfaced parody of a contemporary futuristic-space-gun videogame, and what little I could glean of the plot sounded like boilerplate from the post-Gears of War era.

14. Mariokart 8
After many months of hype and rumors, Nintendo’s biggest franchises were mostly no-shows at this year’s E3 — unless you consider an HD remake of an old Zelda game a new development (it isn’t) or you think Super Mario 3D Land is even close to Super Mario Galaxy (it ain’t.) But the new Mariokart offers some intriguing twists on the two-decade-old formula, with the ability to drive on walls. Also, the levels are so pretty in HD. (Wii U, Spring 2014).
What Could Go Wrong: It’s the same old Mariokart, except this time it’s on a console you still don’t feel like buying.
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The State of Nintendo: 22 important points about the Wii U E3 presentation

1.  Nintendo is in a great position at E3 for one simple reason: Everyone loves Nintendo. Or rather: Everyone wants to love Nintendo. Anyone who cares about videogames almost certainly spent a considerable part of their childhood living in universes created by Nintendo. Super Mario Brothers, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby’s Dreamland, Donkey Kong, Starfox: These were experiences inscribed in a couple generations of young people. Growing up playing videogames isn’t like growing up watching movies or reading books, for one simple reason: You are playing along. You are there. It’s like having an amusement park in your living room. Anyone who ever loved Nintendo will always love Nintendo a little bit, like a lapsed Catholic who still feels guilty about skipping church on Sunday. READ FULL STORY

Nintendo announces new 'Legend of Zelda,' a sequel to 'Link to the Past'

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Nintendo announced a new entry in the Legend of Zelda series today. Good news: It’s a sequel to A Link to the Past, which is generally considered one of the flat-out best games ever made. Less-good-news: This is not the long-rumored Wii U HD Zelda game, but rather, a retro-ish 3DS adventure which imitates the top-down view of the original game. Nintendo released a video of the 3DS Zelda, which looks pretty nifty. You can watch it below — the game is currently slated to hit stores near the end of 2013. READ FULL STORY

Nintendo's 'Year of Luigi' puts Mario's brother on center stage. But why?

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It’s no secret that Nintendo is not in great shape. It’s not in bad shape. The Wii U ain’t the GameCube. But the Wii U also ain’t the Wii; sales of the new console are off-pace with the Wii’s launch, and Nintendo’s president recently apologized for the dearth of new titles. The beloved videogame company needs a hero. And so, Nintendo has taken the unusual step of declaring that 2013 will belong to one of its oldest characters. “Who is it?” you ask. “Mario? Link? Samus? Star Fox, but like, pretending that there hasn’t been a Star Fox game since the ’90s?” None of the above! Instead, Nintendo today announced the onset of “The Year of Luigi,” officially insisting that the year which marks the dawn of the eighth generation of videogames belongs to Mario’s tall, skinny, anxious, high-jumping, mansion-flipping younger brother.

Here’s the video of the announcement: READ FULL STORY

The Nintendo Wii U: A review

The best and worst thing about the Wii U is that you can’t quite figure out just what, precisely, Nintendo’s new console is trying to accomplish. The Wii had a clear-cut gimmick that became a revolution: Motion sensors and Wii Sports contributed to 97 million units shipped. Off-brand pretenders like the Kinect (a legitimate step forward by Microsoft) and the Move (an embarrassing step sideways by Sony) appeared just in time for motion gaming to look passé.

The Wii U is very different. It’s central innovation — the idea that your controller can also be a console unto itself — feels like an attempt to crossbreed two very different strains of videogame culture: The TV-based console games industry (which is ailing) and the smartphone/tablet/handheld-based mobile games industry (which is booming). New Super Mario Bros. U is a game that works equally well on your big HD TV screen or on your GamePad’s touchscreen. That is an impressive achievement, which would be even more impressive if the size of the screen could make New Super Mario Bros. U anything more than helplessly mediocre. READ FULL STORY

'Super Mario,' 'Batman,' 'Nintendo Land': Reviews of new Wii U games!

We spent the weekend with Nintendo’s latest entry into the videogame platform market, the Wii U. Featuring the innovative GamePad — part controller, part tablet — the new system was released Sunday, along with a slew of new games and Wii versions of existing games to go along with it. Below, we review some of the latest Wii U game entries: New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. READ FULL STORY

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