Category Archives: Featured Content

Soon Shine Review

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Release Date: August 14, 2014 | Price: $1.99
Genre: Action Arcade | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: Dahku Creations

Soon Shine is the second game from Dahku Creations to hit the Wii U eShop. Much like its brethren, Chubbins, Soon Shine opts for a simple concept that is easy to learn, but hard to master. In fact, Soon Shine can be best compared to classic action arcade games that gradually become more challenging as you play. While the game’s classic gameplay style might not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that Soon Shine delivers fun and challenging gameplay.

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In Soon Shine, your task is to try to survive an attack from ravenous spirits for as long as you possibly can. To survive, you must use the sun and moon’s power to destroy the spirits before they can reach the sun/moon; however, don’t worry too much as spirits can be destroyed while they are sapping the sun/moon’s power. Spirits are destroyed by tapping them on the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen, though certain spirits can only be destroyed by sunlight, while others must be destroyed by nightlight. To switch between the sun and moon, you must make a sliding movement across the touchscreen. This feels natural and is extremely important to master as you’ll be using it quite often.

As for the spirits themselves, they spawn in five main colors: red, green, purple, black, and white. Black spirits must be killed by sunlight and white spirits by moonlight. The catch for the other colors is that darker reds, greens, and purples only spawn during the day, and can only be destroyed during the sunlight. Of course, this means that lighter reds, greens, and purples will spawn during the moonlight. Also, spirits that spawn during sunlight will stop dead in their tracks once you summon the moon. The same can be said about those that spawn during the moonlight.

Destroying each spirit will add points to your total score, but to really garner a high-score, you must game the system to create massive combos. Creating combos is extremely simple and is done by destroying same color spirits in succession. However, as simple as creating a combo is, the challenge lies between being able to flip back and forth between the sun and moon to keep building it. This combo system is hectic and forces you to either sacrifice some of the sun/moon’s power, or chicken out and destroy incoming spirits. Soon Shine showcases a winning combo system, one that offers plenty of depth to those that are paying attention.

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There are three modes of gameplay in Soon Shine, all of which are nearly identical save for some slight differences. Standard is the standard mode of play, which happens to let you use items. Purist mode denies you the ability to use items, while Timed is basically a three minute version of Standard mode. Getting a high-score in all three modes is important for earning tokens. Earned tokens can be used to buy items, new backgrounds, and new music. Items can refill your health, destroy spirits, and more, all of which can come in handy during gameplay. Also, the ability to buy new backgrounds and music is a nice touch and will serve to push gamers to unlock everything.

Final Thoughts:

Soon Shine is an absolute delight to play. It offers easy to learn gameplay, flawless controls, a deep and rewarding combo system that is hard to master, as well as a charming and relaxing soundtrack. My only criticisms of the game are directed toward the graphics and lack of online leaderboards. As for the graphics, they are definitely a step above Chubbins, though there are a few jagged edges that I would have preferred not to see. Online leaderboards would increase this game’s value even more, though I guess an alternative would be to brag about your scores on the Miiverse. As an overall package, Soon Shine offers hours of challenging, score attack gameplay for just $1.99.

9/10 – Excellent
Review copy provided by Dahku Creations

Shut The Box Review

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Release Date: August 7, 2014 | Price: $0.99
Genre: Tabletop | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: RCMADIAX

Shut The Box is the second of three games in RCMADIAX’s “Tabletop Gallery” series to hit the Wii U eShop. While the first game in this series, Poker Dice Solitaire Future, brought forth fantastic visuals and decent gameplay, Shut The Box delivers the opposite: decent visuals and fantastic gameplay.

Shut The Box is an extremely simple game to learn – which I found out is based on a real tabletop game of the same name – and even more fun to play. The objective in Shut The Box is to eliminate as many tiles as you can from a total of 27 tiles, which is made up of three sets that are numbered 1 to 9. This is done by tossing some dice and eliminating as little as one tile that matches the numbers on the dice. For example, if you roll a 6 and a 2, you will be responsible for removing the 8 tile from the board. I mentioned that you need to choose as little as one tile, that’s because if, using the above example, the 8 tile has already been removed, you can choose as many tiles needed to make up the number 8.

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To my surprise, I found this concept to be quite appealing and actually have trouble quitting the game once I’ve started playing. This is partly due to the fact that a perfect score is 135, and the temptation to reach that score is extremely alluring; so far, I’ve only managed to score a 130. Much like Poker Dice Solitaire Future, your score and moves depends on luck, though the ability to add tiles together feels strategic and that’s something I love. One could argue that this element is also present in Poker Dice Solitaire Future, but I feel it is much better executed in Shut The Box.

Shut The Box is controlled entirely on the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen. The touchscreen controls work as you’d expect, so there are no complaints here. However, I feel that the sense of style found in Poker Dice Solitaire Future has disappeared in Shut The Box. Objectively, the graphics aren’t even bad, though I can’t help but feel the game could have received an extra visual bump.

Final Thoughts:

Shut The Box surprised me with its addictive and fun gameplay, which coupled with its attractive $0.99 pricing makes it a must buy for fans of the genre. There’s honestly not much more to say other than I believe the game’s entrancing music kept me playing even longer than I expected. Actually, now that I think of it, having the option to change backgrounds, tiles, and music would give the game some much needed visual and aural variety.

7.5/10 – Good
Review copy provided by RCMADIAX

Mario Kart 8 Review

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It’s hard to believe that 22 years – give or take a few months – have passed since Super Mario Kart was released on the Super Nintendo. I’ll never forget how amazed I was the first time I used a lightning bolt to shrink my competitors. I’ll also never forget spending hours upon hours battling it out with my brother in the game’s spectacular Battle Mode. Fast forward to today and I’m plopped in front of my TV playing Mario Kart 8; however, I’m no longer enjoying the series’ Battle Mode.

Nintendo’s Wii U has taken quite a beating in the media since launch, partly due to its skimpy lineup of desirable software. Of course, the console is now garnering a healthy lineup of software, which includes the likes of Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and yes, Mario Kart 8. Finally, those looking forward to the frantic gameplay of the Mario Kart series in HD can satisfy their desires.

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Mario Kart 8 has everything you love about the previous games while adding new twists to advance the series. Grand Prix – the game’s primary single player mode – returns with 8 cups comprised of 16 brand new tracks and 16 revamped retro tracks. Of course, you can also try your hand at beating the game’s speedy ghosts in Time Trials – doing so will win you some cool Miiverse stamps – and race your friends locally and online to determine the ultimate Mario Kart 8 champion. You can also play against your friends in the disappointing Battle Mode, which is made up of select tracks instead of traditional arenas, though you’ll likely focus most of your time racing against your pals. Paired with classic items, these modes are what fans have come to expect from a new Mario Kart game, though Nintendo has defied gravity once again to offer a brand new way to play.

The biggest additions to Mario Kart 8 are the new anti-gravity sections. Much like how the glider and propeller allowed you to fly in the air and drive underwater in Mario Kart 7, the new anti-gravity sections spiced up the design for the new tracks. Most notably, these sections allow you to drive on a variety of walls and ceilings, and lets you opponents for a brand new spin boost. These sections add even more excitement to the already successful kart racing formula. Even the retro tracks have added anti-gravity sections that completely change how you approach those tracks. My only complaint would be that it’s not used nearly enough as it should be, especially when you consider the possibilities in Battle Mode – a singular square arena connected by anti-gravity pads anyone?

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Of course, with each new Mario Kart game comes new items, and Mario Kart 8 certainly doesn’t disappoint. The most prominent new items are the Piranha Flower, Boomerang Flower, and the Super Horn. These items are fantastic additions to the series and give players new ways to approach each race. The Piranha Flower will hover in front of your kart waiting to take a chomp out of your opponents, giving you a speed boost with each chomp. Boomerang Flowers will give you a boomerang that can be used up to three times. Lastly, the Super Horn was added as a way to block the dreaded Blue Shell, though you can honk it to blast away your foes, as well.

While not a new addition, Mario Kart 8 lets you mix and match kart pieces just like in Mario Kart 7. You’ll gradually unlock new kart pieces by collecting coins during races. While most of your choices will be unlocked with coins, some special golden pieces are unlocked by achieving various in-game tasks. Kart pieces can drastically affect your kart’s stats, so it’s best to mix and match until you find a combination that you like to use.

Aside from single or multiplayer Grand Prix and Battle Mode, you can race against people from around the world in this game’s fantastic online mode. The online mode works similar to other Mario Kart games, though it’s most like Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7. The big changes include a limited number of tracks to vote on between races and the ability to create and host your own tournaments. Of course, you’ll also be racing to build up your player score by coming in the top group of each race.

Final Thoughts:

There’s not a whole lot left for me to say about Mario Kart 8 that hasn’t been covered by now. Some things I didn’t cover above include the game’s stunning HD visuals, amazing soundtrack, and the ability to edit and upload highlight videos to YouTube. As a whole, Mario Kart 8 is a stellar, console-selling beast that caters to the die-hard fan, as well as those that may not necessarily consider themselves huge Nintendo fans. It controls and looks like a dream, plus offers plenty of tracks, karts, and modes to keep you coming back. It’s worth the asking price of $60 and will likely be a mainstay in many Wii U libraries. Lastly, whether or not Nintendo believes the game’s Battle Mode is important, its halfhearted inclusion keeps this Wii U title from obtaining a perfect score. Nintendo, if you’re reading this, that mode is most definitely important to the people.

9.5/10 – Excellent

Obtained by purchasing at retail

Guest Post: F1 ROC II: Race of Champions Review

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From time to time, we’ve featured articles written by other people, but this time we have a video review to showcase. Produced by Tom Badguy of VTW Productions and takes a look at F1 ROC II: Race of Champions for the Super Nintendo.

I also want to thank Tom for taking the time to create this video.

Enjoy!

What Were the Best Selling NES Games?

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A friend of Mini Fortress, Tom Badguy has put together a great, informative video regarding the best selling NES games. There are some interesting facts here that make this an worthwhile watch.

This video was originally produced for Questicle.com.

Super Toy Cars Review (Wii U)

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Release Date: July 24, 2014 | Price: $7.99
Genre: Racing | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: Eclipse Games

Mario Kart 8 isn’t the only new racer on the Wii U; Super Toy Cars from Eclipse Games was just released on the Nintendo eShop. Super Toy Cars is a combat racing game that will undoubtedly be compared to Mario Kart 8, mostly due to the proximity in release dates, though Mario Kart this game is not. Super Toy Cars can be better compared to NES games like R.C. Pro-Am and Micro Machines.

There are three main modes in Super Toy Cars: Career Mode, Quick Race, and Track Editor. The Career Mode consists of eight episodes, each containing six events worth ten points a piece. Points are awarded based on your performance and are used to unlock other episodes. Speaking of events, there are five different types to play during Career Mode: Race, Time Trial, Time Attack, Elimination, and Evade.

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The Race event is pretty straight forward and challenges you to win the race while competing against 7 computer opponents. Time Trial challenges you to finish one lap as fast as possible, while Time Attack sees you racing to cross checkpoints before the time limit runs out. Elimination and Evade are both similar and challenge you to race against other cars in a battle to not be in last place, for if you are in last place, you will be eliminated. The only difference between the two is there are mines on the track during Evade events. Of the five events, Race, Time Trial, and Time Attack are the definite highlights, while both Elimination and especially Evade can be frustrating. Regardless, it’s great to see variety in the game’s Career Mode, despite there being only 12 tracks.

When you are not racing, you can be buying new cars and upgrades with coins collected and won during Career Mode. You may have to unlock a few cars before finding one you like to control, though once you do, you’ll likely want to spend time upgrading it with new parts and perfecting its handling.

As for the other modes, Quick Race lets you play against either the computer, or three human players in one of the game’s 12 tracks. An interesting touch for this mode is that each track has an easy, medium, and hard version, which determines how challenging the track layout will be. As for the game’s Track Editor, you start with a basic track outline that you can manipulate and place objects on. The Track Editor must be controlled using the Wii U GamePad, though stages can only be saved locally and not shared online.

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As for the game’s controls, Super Toy Cars offers an incredibly competent and comfortable set that makes playing the game a blast. I used the Wii U GamePad and Wii U Pro Controller, both of which have similar controls. Of course, each car has different stats that make them handle differently, though when you find a car that suits your style, drifting around corners becomes the highlight of the game.

On the surface, Super Toy Cars looks and plays like a competent racer, though there are some glaring issues that are hard to ignore. First, off-TV play is not fully supported. You can play on the Wii U GamePad, but there are no sounds, no HUD, and no menus, which make playing on the Wii U GamePad extremely difficult. While I like the game’s cel-shaded look, it’s easy to see that the Wii U’s strength is not being fully utilized. Also, there are zero online features at the moment, though I have been assured by the developer that an update is coming to add online leaderboards.

As for the game’s tracks, while they are certainly imaginative, they aren’t nearly as unique as I wished they would be. With regards to the weapons, I also feel they are lacking imagination, though the rolling eight-ball is definitely fun to use. Lastly, I feel the music that plays in-game doesn’t suit the game’s style. Instead of the rock anthems that play, I think music that highlights the game’s playful style would have been more appropriate.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re looking for another Mario Kart 8, you won’t find it here; however, Super Toy Cars offers plenty to the racer fan, which includes a track editor, at the low price of $7.99. You could easily spend hours playing Super Toy Cars, especially if you’re trying to unlock and upgrade every car, and enjoy playing against friends. Finally, while the game does disappoint in a few areas, there is still a lot of enjoyment to be had in this game.

7/10 – Good

Review copy provided by Eclipse Games

Internal Invasion Review

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Release Date: July 3, 2014 | Price: $4.99
Genre: Action | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: Bear Box Media

The Nintendo eShop has been invaded by independent video game developers and this latest title contains an invasion of its own. Of course, I’m talking about Internal Invasion: in this world, nano-bots are injected into sick human beings to seek out infections and bring the patient back to health. In Internal Invasion, players take control of a nano-bot known as Ro’bert, who needs your help to save the life of his patient.

Internal Invasion is a unique gravity-based action game where players must launch Ro’bert from special nano-devices to find and destroy the infection. Once Ro’bert lands in a nano-device (usually a nano-cannon), players must use the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen to manipulate the nano-devices. Controlling these nano-devices is simply done by tapping them and dragging back to increase launch power. Of course, these devices can also be rotated to launch Ro’bert in the desired direction. Gravity takes over as Ro’bert is launched throughout the level, but you must be careful as Ro’bert can only withstand being outside of a nano-device for a limited time.

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While the main objective in every level is to find the exit, players can also collect pills to use a special power and to perfect a level. Pills add power to a special meter that allows you to use a special power to attract Ro’bert to the stylus. This can be useful to help Ro’bert navigate the level. In addition to collecting pills during the level, players can also obtain two more pills for completing the level under the time-limit, and using the specified number of nano-cannons designated on each level.

Collecting pills during the level is quite easy, though navigating the levels in general can make obtaining the others a little frustrating. Usually, I had difficulty finishing a level on time, unless I bypassed most of the level, which can be done on a few levels. Also, especially during my first time playing a level, finishing it using the designated number of nano-cannons was really difficult. Of course, because of these design choices, Internal Invasion must be played numerous times to learn the best way to navigate through each level.

As for the game mechanics, they work quite well throughout the majority of the game. However, there are a few times where launching Ro’bert would lead to some unnecessary deaths. This can be chalked up to the level design and not the game’s mechanics. An example would be trying to launch through a tight corridor only to have Ro’bert bounce around wildly, resulting in having to restart the level. Opening some of these corridors even a little bit would make a world of difference.

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To keep things fresh, Internal Invasion introduces other mechanics like magnets, air bubbles, and lasers. Magnets and air bubbles will push Ro’bert in different directions, while lasers will restrict his movement through the level. These are nice additions to the game and prove even the simplest of concepts can provide players with some variety. The gameplay doesn’t really change up much throughout the game, though players must avoid a boss character while navigating every tenth level.

Final Thoughts:

In addition to interesting gameplay, Internal Invasion also features both great art and music tracks. There are a few questionable object placements that make some levels a tad frustrating to complete, though these are in the minority. Also, the game suffers from slight, but noticeable performance issues in most levels. However, I have been assured by Bear Box Media that these issues will be addressed in an upcoming update. If you like gravity-based gameplay and have the $5 to spare, Internal Invasion could provide you with an afternoon of fun. Others may want to hold out for a sale, if one should happen.

7.5/10 – Good

Review copy provided by Bear Box Media

Poker Dice Solitaire Future Review

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Release Date: July 3, 2014 | Price: $1.99
Genre: Tabletop | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: RCMADIAX

Poker Dice Solitaire Future is the first game in RCMADIAX’s “Tabletop Gallery” series, of which two more will be released this summer. Much like Blok Drop U – which has since received an excellent update – Poker Dice Solitaire Future was developed using Construct 2 software. Video game developers can use Construct 2 to create a myriad of truly unique games, though Poker Dice Solitaire Future opts for a much simpler approach.

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Poker Dice Solitaire Future is – as its title suggests – a solitary form of poker that uses a dice rolling system. You start by rolling the dice to create a hand of poker. Poker chips range from 1 to 6 and will be either green or pink, meaning players posses the ability to create flushes, full houses, and other common hands of poker. You can hold desired chips by tapping them and roll the dice two more times to try to create a better hand. After three rolls have been used, you will be notified to select an eligible poker chip that matches the hand you’ve built. Each hand has a different point value with the most valuable hands being the hardest to compile. For example: say you’ve built a full house, you will be able to select the poker chip that represents a full house, three of a kind, or a flush if they are all the same color. Of the three, the full house will give you the most points, so that would be the best hand to select.

Of course, your main objective is to create the best hands to gain the highest score possible. However, the number of winning hands you can keep are limited to four. If you create a hand that doesn’t match an available hand, you will lose a chip, which applies a negative value to your overall score. This also takes away one potential chip from that hand. Once all potential hands have been used, the game will end and your final score will be tallied, which may include bonus points for getting one of each hand.

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The concept is quite simple making Poker Dice Solitaire Future easy to pick-up-and-play. Its simplicity will appeal to a broad range of demographics, though it’s unlikely that Poker Dice Solitaire Future will appeal to gamers that prefer testing their skills as opposed to relying on luck. The only real strategic element is deciding which poker chips to keep. This doesn’t make Poker Dice Solitaire Future a bad game by any means, though there’s really not a lot to see in this package.

Poker Dice Solitaire Future features a nice presentation that sports clean, colorful, futuristic graphics, as well as a great user interface. Also, while the game only has one music track, it’s relaxing and quite catchy, which most certainly fits the Poker Dice Solitaire Future style created by RCMADIAX.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Poker Dice Solitaire Future does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it remarkably well. However, Poker Dice Solitaire Future doesn’t provide gamers with challenging gameplay, or any incentive to keep coming back. As a single title, Poker Dice Solitaire Future isn’t an attractive purchase, even at its $1.99 price point. That being said, those that really enjoy tabletop games might still want to give Poker Dice Solitaire Future a look. I’d normally consider Poker Dice Solitaire Future an average game, but its fantastic presentation is hard to ignore.

6/10 – Above Average

Review copy provided by RCMADIAX

Chubbins Review (Wii U eShop)

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Originally released on the App Store, Chubbins has bounced its way to the Wii U eShop. As its title suggests, you play as Chubbins, a chubby bunny who must bounce his way to victory. Achieving victory isn’t going to be an easy task, though it’s one that Chubbins is willing to tackle.

While there is no story to follow, Chubbins makes up for it with clever and challenging gameplay. Chubbins – the character – continuously bounces on blocks and its up to you to control his movement. This is accomplished by pressing left and right on the d-pad, the only two buttons you will need. Your objective is to reach the end goal on every stage, which is definitely easier said than done as enemies and obstacles are cleverly placed for maximum difficulty. Getting through walls of enemies and obstacles takes patience, though it can be done with some skill and maybe even a little luck at times. Overall, there are five worlds in Chubbins and each contains eight levels. The first seven levels are traditional side-scrolling levels while a boss encounters waits for you in the eighth. Like any boss fight, learning their pattern is the key to victory.

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Chubbins can be completed in a short amount of time, that is, if you’re playing the game’s “Soft Mode.” The Soft Mode can be considered the game’s easy – or casual if you will – mode, which gives you tons of checkpoints to make each level a little less frustrating. The other mode is “Hard Mode,” which is a more traditional Chubbins experience. There are no checkpoints and each death sends you back to the beginning of the level; however, you have unlimited lives in Chubbins, so those whom fear death can rest easy. Providing players with both modes is a nice touch, because Chubbins can be a little on the unreasonable side when it comes to enemy placement.

Chubbins can be played with the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, and Wii Remote (Plus). Like many Wii U games, Chubbins also supports off-TV play. While having all these control options is nice, one odd decision stands out; you can’t control Chubbins with the analog stick. This may seem like a nitpick, and you’d be correct, though I found myself reaching for the analog stick more than once out of habit. I don’t think the game would be better if it had this option, though it also wouldn’t be the worst thing.

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Those looking for variety in Chubbins will be disappointed. While the game’s levels employ good design, the basic gameplay remains the same. Yes, there are different blocks – some that break and others that bounce Chubbins to different heights, though neither of these make Chubbins a more interesting game. There are also some vegetable power-ups that allow Chubbins to travel through spikes of the same color, which creates some interesting moments. Overall, if you’re up for a good challenge, Chubbins can be quite fun to play.

While the gameplay for Chubbins isn’t terrible, its graphics certainly don’t impress. The backgrounds may have a simple look, though I find them to be quite enjoyable and entrancing. However, the game’s character models and overall generic design does disappoint. The Wii U is capable of much more and this game’s look may put some people off despite its clever gameplay.

Final Thoughts:

Chubbins is an interesting and challenging game that fans of platforms could easily enjoy. It’s not without faults – moments of unreasonable challenge and generic art – though it could easily provide you with some great entertainment should you give it a chance. Chubbins is available for $5.99 on the Wii U eShop, which is a tad high for the relatively small amount of content in the game. The game is $2.99 on the App Store, which would have been a more reasonable price on the Wii U eShop, as well. It may be better to wait for a sale on this game, though the asking price isn’t too high if you believe you really need to play this game today.

6.5/10 – Above Average

Review copy provided by Dahku Creations

Nintendo Digest: Day 2 of E3 2014 – The Nintendo Digital Event

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Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

Nintendo’s big day has come and with it they have brought plenty of stuff for me to write about. Actually, the amount of content is kind of overwhelming. Today, I’m going to highlight the biggest announcements, tomorrow I will do a trailer roundup.


Nintendo Announces Amiibo Figurines

One of Nintendo’s biggest announcements today comes in the form of Amiibo figurines. Amiibo figures are part of Nintendo’s Nintendo Figure Platform (NFP) initiative that was mentioned earlier this year. Amiibo figurines will be compatible with multiple games across the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, starting with Super Smash Bros. U this year.

Nintendo is planning to launch 10 figurines later this year, though no price has been as of yet. Other games that Nintendo plans to add Amiibo support to include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (mentioned below), Mario Party 10 and Yoshi’s Woolly World.


Super Smash Bros. Welcomes Mii Fighters, Palutena, GameCube Controllers, and Amiibo Support

For the first time ever, players will be able to fight as their Mii characters using one of three fighting styles: Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Gunner. Each style has a set of 12 special moves that can be customized to your liking, giving you plenty of choices for making the ultimate Mii Fighter. In addition to Mii Fighters, Palutena was also announced for both Super Smash Bros. games. Palutena will make use of her powers to overcome the battle.

Also, a special edition of Super Smash Bros. U will be available for those wanting a GameCube-like experience. The game will come bundled with a Wii U GameCube Adapter that lets players use GameCube controllers, and a special Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. This bundle will be available for $99, though the adapter and controller can be purchased separately for $19.99 and $39.99 respectively.

Lastly, Super Smash Bros. U will be the first game to feature support for Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines. These figurines can be summoned to fight for you or alongside you and can be leveled up with repeated use. It’s a unique feature, though not one I’m particularly sold on. However, the figurines will probably be worth the price alone.


The New The Legend of Zelda is Revealed

Unfortunately, not a lot was showcased concerning the new The Legend of Zelda game for Wii U. However, we are being assured that the conventions of Zelda are being tinkered with, and that the game will feature a large, open-world that lets players tackle situations and puzzles in a variety of ways.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U is currently scheduled for a 2015 release.


Miyamoto is Bringing Four Wii U GamePad Focused Games to Wii U, Including Star Fox

Shigeru Miyamoto is working on four games that focus on using the Wii U GamePad to present gamers with unique ways to play. All four games are currently scheduled for 2015.

  • Mario Maker: Gamers will now be able to use the Wii U GamePad to build their own Super Mario Bros. levels with Mario Make. Players will be able to place a variety of enemies, power-ups, and more using the Wii U GamePad. Sharing features weren’t mentioned, though it seems like an inevitable announcement, but gamers do have the ability to switch between classic Super Mario Bros. and the New Super Mario Bros. aesthetics. Mario Maker is scheduled for a 2015 release.

  • Star Fox Wii U: Finally, Star Fox will be making a big comeback in 2015 by utilizing the Wii U GamePad to change the way Star Fox is played. Players will be able to hop inside the cockpit of Fox’s Arwing using the Wii U GamePad and target enemies using an intuitive gyro sensor control scheme. While this is happening, players will receive the classic Star Fox presentation on the TV screen. Also, players can switch between the Arwing and Landmaster with the press of a button, and control a new helicopter-type.
  • Project Giant Robot: Project Giant Robot (which I assume is a tentative title) lets players build a fighter robot on the Wii U GamePad then puts them inside the robot’s cockpit to battle other robots. Players will look through the Wii U GamePad as if they’re really inside their robot.
  • Project Guard: Gamers must place and use 12 cameras to stop a robot invasion. This unique game combines the TV screen with the Wii U GamePad for an experience that can only be had on the Wii U.

New IP Splatoon Splashes onto the Scene

Perhaps the most original title showcased on today’s Nintendo Digital Event was Splatoon. Splatoon is a unique third-person shooter that combines ink shooting and graceful squid movements to create a new kind of experience.

Players are divided into two teams of four and must battle to cover the arena in as much ink as possible. The winning team is the team that covers most of the arena in their ink, however, to do this, players must master diving into the ink and becoming a squid to travel around the map.

It’s an interesting concept and it’s great to see Nintendo branching off and bringing a one of a kind online experience to the Wii U.


Captain Toad Embarks on a Full-fledged Adventure

Captain Toad is getting his own game for Wii U called Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. This game expands on the concept first seen in Super Mario 3D World. Captain Toad must navigate his way through a maze-like structure in order to reach the star goal. The level design looks great and there seems to be plenty of new concepts that could make this a sleeper hit.


Yoshi’s Woolly World Spins a Gorgeous World

Finally, Yarn Yoshi has been given some time to shine and boy does it shine. Yoshi’s Woolly World takes the yarn aesthetic first seen in Kirby’s Epic Yarn and knits a brand new experience.

Yoshi will be able to unwrap secrets and use yarn eggs in unique ways to traverse the environment. Also, the two-player co-op looks particularly interesting as player’s can inhale their Yoshi partner and fling him around like a yarn egg.

Yoshi’s Woolly World is scheduled for a 2015 release.


Hyrule Warriors to Release in Sepetember

Hyrule Warriors will be coming to the Wii U on September 26 and with it comes a multitude of playable characters. Of course, Link will be playable, but gamers will also be able to play as Zelda, Impa, and Midna. The game looks to be shaping up nicely and we’re sure to learn more before its release date.


Bayonetta 2 Comes Packaged with Bayonetta in October

As you can see above, a new Bayonetta 2 trailer has been released, however, the biggest news is that Bayonetta 2 comes packaged with the original Bayonetta. Bayonetta will also include Nintendo cosplay, allowing gamers to dress Bayonetta up as Samus, Link, and more.

Bayonetta 2 is coming to Wii U during October 2014.


A Curse Returns in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

The unique touchscreen gameplay from Kirby’s Canvas Curse is returning in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This time, the world Kirby inhabits is made of clay, including environments sculpted to look gorgeous in HD. Overall, the game looks similar to Kirby’s Canvas Curse, albeit with a fantastic visual upgrade.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is scheduled for 2015.

Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

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Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

Nintendo’s E3 2014 presence can be felt a day early thanks to an abundance of trailers uploaded to Nintendo’s YouTube channel. Also, a few other significant announcements were made with regards to the big N.

 


Capcom Unveils a Large List of Virtual Console Games Coming in 2014

Capcom unveiled 14 games coming to the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console in 2014. This list of games included NES, SNES, and GBA titles.

Read the full story here

 


Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse Will be Coming to Wii U

In a somewhat surprise announcement, WayForward announced that their 3DS title, Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse, will be Coming to Wii U. The game is expected to launch late Summer 2014.

Read the full story here

 


Gunman Clive 2 Announced for Nintendo 3DS eShop

Another surprise announcement, and a big one for fans of Gunman Clive, was the announcement of a sequel. Gunman Clive 2 looks to bring back the solid platforming of the debut title, but adds more color, more dynamic levels, more interesting bosses, and more ducks.

Read the full story here

 


Trailer Roundup featuring Tappingo 2

Swords and Soldiers HD (Wii U eShop) Review

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Two Tribes is certainly no stranger to the Wii U eShop. They have previously released the highly anticipated sequel, Toki Tori 2, and a series of updated, classic Two Tribes games for an unbeatable price. Now, they have remade another classic Two Tribes game for the Wii U eShop, complete with high-res HD graphics and Wii U GamePad integration. This remake is known as Swords and Soldiers HD, a game that originally enjoyed a release on the WiiWare service in June of 2009. I never played the game when it was first released on the Wii, though I’ve spent many hours challenging Swords and Soldiers HD on the Wii U.

Swords and Soldiers HD is a simplified real-time strategy (RTS) game that is presented with a side-scrolling perspective. Players control a team of soldiers based on one of three ethnic groups – Vikings, Aztecs, and Chinese – and must summon troops to carry out battle with the opposing team. While many RTS features appear in Swords and Soldiers HD – mining for gold, summoning troops, and building towers – they are presented with a simplified approach that makes Swords and Soldiers HD easy to learn and play for RTS newbies.

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You will be responsible for only a handful of activities, all of which are easily manipulated with the Wii U GamePad. On the Wii U GamePad, you must touch icons to build troops and towers, summon spells, or to advance through your skill tree. Building troops and upgrading your team comes at the cost of gold, which is gathered by special units, while summoning spells comes at the cost of mana. What differentiates Swords and Soldiers HD from other RTS games is that you have no direct control over your troops. Instead, when they are summoned, they begin advancing toward your opponent and will automatically fight opposing troops when they come across them. Taking direct control away from the player is an interesting choice, but Two Tribes has done a fantastic job of making it work in Swords and Soldiers HD.

Players can also use the Wii Remote if they wish – utilizing the IR pointer to select options on the TV screen – though I preferred the Wii U GamePad. Using the Wii Remote does work just fine, though selecting icons on the Wii U GamePad is much faster, which is especially important during the tougher rounds.

There are a few ways to play Swords and Soldiers including campaign mode, skirmishes, and challenges. The campaign mode consists of three campaigns, with each one based on the three ethnic groups in the game. Skirmishes are single encounters that can be played against the computer, or another player. Lastly, there are three challenges that are unlocked after completing a group’s campaign mode. Of the three, I spent the majority of my time with the campaign modes, though I will commend Two Tribes for including a lot of maps – small, medium, and large – in the skirmish mode, as well as some neat distractions in the game’s challenge modes.

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I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the campaign modes in Swords and Soldiers HD. Each campaign is made up of 10 missions, all of which have similar objectives – such as destroying certain objects, or defending for a set amount of time. While the gameplay is strikingly similar throughout all three campaigns, each group has special units and spells that make each experience feel fresh. For the most part, each mission can easily be conquered, though there were a few that kept me on my toes for up to 30 minutes at a time. Knowing which units and spells to use will be the key to victory in some of those longer, tougher missions.

As its title suggests, Swords and Soldiers has received a wonderful HD upgrade. The game’s world and characters drip with personality and look absolutely gorgeous on my HD TV. While the graphics are fantastic, they can only be fully enjoyed if you’re playing with a Wii Remote. However, the game still looks great on the Wii U GamePad’s screen.

Final Thoughts:
Swords and Soldiers HD is another great Wii U offering from Two Tribes. The game controls beautifully with the Wii U GamePad and there are approximately 3 to 4 hours of gameplay in the game’s campaign mode – many more if you enjoy multiplayer skirmishes. There is currently no online multiplayer or DLC, but the game is a steal at its $2.99 price point on the Wii U eShop.

8.5/10 – Great

Review copy provided by Two Tribes

Turtle Tale Review (Nintendo 3DS)

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Saturnine Games is back with another platformer for Nintendo fans to enjoy. This time, however, Saturnine Games is leaving behind the gravity flipping mechanic of Antipole for a more straightforward experience in Turtle Tale.

Turtle Tale is a tale about Shelldon, a water gun wielding turtle who enjoys relaxing in his hammock. One day, however, Shelldon’s relaxation time is interrupted by Capetian O’Haire and his gang of pirates. Realizing they are looking to capture his island again, Shelldon sets off to take it back from this band of pirates. This is as deep as the story ever gets for Turtle Tale, which is complemented by the game’s simplistic gameplay.

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Turtle Tale is a 2D, side-scrolling platformer that plays extremely similar to many platformers from the NES era. Players must guide Shelldon to the end goal of each level – of which there are 15 – by jumping over pits and obstacles, and defeating enemies in his path. You’ll only need to use the B button to jump, the Y button to shoot his water gun, and the D-pad (or Circle Pad) to control Shelldon. Players must also keep an eye on Shelldon’s health meter as four hits will do him in.

Players can expect to find a variety of classic platforming elements including automatically scrolling levels, falling and moving platforms, tricky enemy placement, etc. For the most part, Turtle Tale is really easy, making it a less interesting game for platforming veterans; however, I could see children really enjoying Turtle Tale. In general, Saturnine Games does a good job with the game’s level design, making great use of every enemy and obstacle. There are a few places in the game that are considerably more challenging than the rest of the game, but nothing comes close to being impossible, especially seeing as there is an unlimited amount of continues and a great continue/level select system.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Turtle Tale is Shelldon’s water gun. This water gun doesn’t shoot a single blast of water, rather it shoots a burst of water that travels slightly downward. Your aim is to hit enemies with as much of this water as you can. This mechanic makes using the water gun a fun experience. I would like to see this mechanic used again, though it would be nice to add a charging system to send out larger blasts of water.

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It takes nearly an hour to fully complete Turtle Tale’s 5 worlds (Beach, Forest, Cave, Tiki, Sky), which includes collecting 100 fruit on each level, and defeating the game’s final boss. While collecting 100 fruit on each level sounds like a gigantic task, fruits are placed in your general path making it a simple task to complete. It is worth completing as a second quest will open up with 15 brand new levels to tackle. The second quest also challenges you with a reduced health meter. This second quest will essentially double your time with Turtle Tale.

Turtle Tale isn’t the most impressive in the art department, though I think the graphics are far from terrible. They are a tad generic with little sense of style, but should be commended for their bold use of colors. The game certainly looks better in motion as opposed to screenshots, and even better in 3D – though the stereoscopic 3D has been done better in other 2D side-scrolling games. In the audio department, Turtle Tale scores with enjoyable theme songs for each world. While the music is certainly above average, the sound effects aren’t quite as memorable.

Final Thoughts:

Turtle Tale will definitely be enjoyed by young children, though platforming veterans might find it a little underwhelming. Regardless, I can still recommend Turtle Tale for those days you need to find an affordable game to scratch your platforming itch. The game is only $2.99 on the Nintendo 3DS eShop (soon to be found on the Wii U, as well), which is fair for a game that will take around 2 hours to fully complete.

7/10 – Good

Review copy provided by Saturnine Games

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