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Netflix Developing Live-Action Zelda Series

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With Netflix set to bring comic book shows to their streaming subscription service, they are apparently now looking to bring video game franchises as well.

The Wall Street Journal reports Netflix and Nintendo are developing a live-action Zelda series.

It’s reported Netflix is in the early stages of the Zelda series, which is about an ordinary boy named Link who must rescue a princess named Zelda and save a fantasy world called Hyrule.

A person said to be familiar with the matter has also stated Netflix is describing the Zelda series as a Game Of Thrones for a family audience.

It’s noted Netflix and Nintendo are working closely together and writer is still being sought for Zelda.

Nintendo also has new highly anticipated open-world Wii-U Zelda game coming out this year.

Zelda open-world video game demo:

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Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Wii U Starter Features Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow

Details for the Wii U edition of Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes have been released which includes mention that the starter pack comes with Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow.

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Details:

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition)

PRODUCT OVERVIEW
Last year, Disney unveiled its most ambitious and successful video game initiative to date – Disney Infinity. Now, the 2.0 edition of Disney Infinity – Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will take players deep into the Marvel Universe with classic characters and original storylines – all while offering players more opportunity for unprecedented freedom and endless possibilities to create new adventures.

In Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, players will use real-world interactive Marvel figures to activate original storylines (Play Sets) in the virtual game worlds of some of Marvel’s most popular franchises, including The Avengers. In the Play Sets – penned by award-winning Marvel comic writer Brian Michael Bendis – players will be able to take on the role of more than 20 Marvel characters including Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk and Hawkeye to battle enemies, complete challenging missions, solve puzzles and ultimately save the world from destruction.

Featuring an enhanced Toy Box mode, Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will introduce new structured, franchise-themed adventures that players can customize and play using any in-game character from across the Disney Infinity universe. Fans will also have hundreds of Marvel-themed items, locations, props and characters at their disposal to create their own stories or even re-create their favorite comic book moments.

GAMEPLAY FEATURES

MARVEL FRANCHISES – Marvel franchises introduce deeper, immersive storylines and Marvel Super Heroes deliver new combat gameplay, more destruction in game worlds, authentic Marvel gadgets and vehicles in Play Sets and Toy Box.

EPIC STORYLINES – Original, character driven stories written by award-winning Marvel comic writer, Brian Michael Bendis. Authentic, intertwined stories where some Marvel Super Heroes can cross between Play Sets, all set in iconic Marvel locations.

ENHANCED TOY BOX – An all-new Toy Box mode that makes it easier for players to create and share their one-of-a-kind levels and mini-games with family and friends. Use the new Auto Creator tool to quickly build your worlds faster and easier than ever before.

TOY BOX GAME DISCS – New pyramid shaped discs deliver structured, franchise-themed games to the Toy Box. Build and customize your games by using Toy Box Toys of your choice and play through each game using any Disney Infinity character to complete missions.

FORWARD COMPATIBILITY – All of your Disney Infinity figures, toys and power discs are compatible with the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Toy Box – stats and upgrades intact. Disney Infinity characters can increase their level cap from level 15 to 20 and skills can be allocated across a variety of attributes using the Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes skill tree.

POWER DISCS – New set of circular and hexagonal Power Discs will be available for Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes. Circular discs will add costumes, Area of Effect attacks and team-ups. Hexagonal power discs will add new weapons, vehicles and sky and terrain customizations. Select Power Disc descriptions are below:

– Marvel Skies and Textures

World War Hulk – Customize your landscape to make it look as if Hulk went on a smashing rampage

War Hulk Sky – Turn your blue skies green with this Hulk themed power disc

Stark Tech – Deck out your Toy Box compliments of Tony Stark. Unlock the Stark Industries Tech theme with upgraded Hologram Readout Tech ability

View from the Suit – Ever wonder what it’s like to see the world from inside Iron Man’s helmet? Check out the Hologram Readout Tech upgrade and unlock Stark Industries “View from the Suit”
– Marvel Vehicles/Mounts

Hydra Motorcycle – Take Hydra’s Motorcycle for a spin. Sidecar included

Lola – Need a ride? Unlock this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hover car

S.H.I.E.L.D. Containment Truck – Contain enemies and protect civilians with this S.H.I.E.L.D. truck

Falcon’s Wings – You’ll be soaring when you put on Falcon’s Wings

The Avenjet – Hop on board the Avenjet for a speed boost in your Toy Box
– Marvel Team-Ups and Costumes

S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier Strike – Send down a missile strike from above. Your enemies will need to take cover

Marvel Team Up: Winter Solder – Team up with the Winter Soldier and catch your enemies in the crossfire

Marvel Team Up: Iron Patriot – Hit them hard, hit them fast, hit them everywhere! Iron Patriot reporting for duty

Stark Arc Reactor – Try the Mark 42 on for size! Unlock Iron Man’s black and white special edition Guardians of the Galaxy armor with added boom!

Sentinel of Liberty – Expand your Super Hero wardrobe with Captain America’s World War II costume and original shield!

Gamma Rays – Time to get old school and unlock the Original Grey Hulk costume with added smash!
The Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) video game Starter Pack includes:
– 1 Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) Video Game
– 3 Marvel Super Heroes Figures: Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow
– 1 Disney Infinity Base (2.0 Edition)
– 2 Toy Box Game Discs
– 1 Marvel’s The Avengers Play Set piece
– 1 Web Code Card

Publisher: Disney Interactive
Developer: Avalanche Software
Release Date: Fall 2014
Genre: Action/Adventure
Platforms: Wii U™
Pricing: Starter Pack: $74.99
Play Sets: $34.99  

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Open-World Legend Of Zelda 2015 Announced At E3 – Trailer

Nintendo announced plans for the next Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U at E3.

The newest game in the franchise, scheduled for 2015, introduces the first truly open world in a game from the series. Players can roam Hyrule Field or set off on a trek to distant mountains if they prefer. Players can get to any area they can see from virtually any direction. That’s one of the ways the game breaks with franchise norms and introduces new ways to play.

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In addition, Hyrule Warriors was announced.

The game artfully merges the world of The Legend of Zelda and the style of Dynasty Warriors into one legendary hack-and-slash Wii U adventure. Players control hero Link or Princess Zelda, or might opt to play as Impa or Midna in their debut as playable characters. Familiar locations from The Legend of Zelda world subtly change to reflect the art styles of their original games. The game is scheduled to launch on Sept. 19.

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Mario Maker Trailer – E3 2014

Nintendo revealed at the E3 that players will be able to edit and create their own Super Mario levels in Mario Maker for Wii U.

Check out the trailer below.

Mario Maker (working title) offers up a Super Mario Bros. dream: the ability for players to use the Wii U GamePad to design levels from scratch. Place blocks and enemies anywhere and play through the level. With the tap of an icon, users can even switch the visual style between a classic 8-bit Super Mario Bros. look and the world of New Super Mario Bros. U in the E3 version. The game is scheduled for the first half of 2015.

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Black Friday 2012: Nintendo 3DS Special w/Super Mario 3D Land

Nintendo is offering a special Black Friday deal for a flame red Nintendo 3DS with Super Mario Land 3D pre-intalled for $169.99

See below for more.

 

Press Release

 

 NINTENDO SETS BLACK FRIDAY ON FIRE WITH FLAME RED NINTENDO 3DS BUNDLE

 

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Nintendo is giving early holiday shoppers a way to knock two items off their lists at once. Starting Nov. 23, a limited-edition version of the Flame Red Nintendo 3DS will come with Super Mario 3D Land pre-installed on the system. The bundle is offered at a suggested retail price of $169.99, providing an incredible value for holiday shoppers. If purchased separately, the system and the game would be offered at suggested retail prices of $169.99 and $39.99 respectively.

Since it launched, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems has sold nearly 6 million in the United States alone. The portable dual-screen system lets users see 3D images without the use of special glasses, while providing them with a wide variety of gaming and entertainment options. People can explore and purchase additional games in the Nintendo eShop, or watch the fun and funny 3D videos on Nintendo Video.

Super Mario 3D Land reinvents everything fans love about Mario gaming with the first platforming environment in true 3D. Players will experience an exhilarating new sense of depth, distance and speed while running, jumping and stomping on enemies throughout the levels. Mario can also use the tail of his Tanooki suit to swipe at enemies or float down from heights.

 

For more information about Nintendo 3DS, visit http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.

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Target Black Friday 2012 PS3, XBox 360, Nintendo Deals (Official)

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Target released information on their upcoming Black Friday deals related to the PS3, XBox 360 and Nintendo, though noticeably absent is information regarding the new Nintendo Wii U, most likely because the Wii U is just about all sold out.

Target also released information on their pre-Black Friday gaming deals as well.

 

Press Release

 

Target’s Black Friday Deals Feature This Season’s Top Gaming Gifts

Shop at Target on Black Friday (beginning this Thursday, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. and all day on Target.com) and find the best value on Target’s selection of must-have electronics and games. This week’s deal’s include:

•  Save $100 on 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle including 4GB Xbox 360, Kinect sensor, two games shown, wireless controller and one month free of Xbox Live (on sale for $199.99, regularly $299.99)

•  $199.99 for Playstation 3 250GB Game System Bundle including PS3 console, 2 games and one wireless controller

•  Save $50 on PS Vita with Wi-Fi Bundle including free LEGO batman 2 game (on sale for $199.99, regularly $249.99)
•   
•  Save $149.99 for Nintendo 3DS Game System including free pre-installed Super Mario Bros. 3D land game
•  Purchase Assassin’s Creed 3, Halo 4 or Forza Horizon and receive a FREE $20 Target Gift Card

For even more ways to save this season, shop with the Target REDCard to receive 5 percent savings or trade in used electronics and DVDs for a Target GiftCard. With TV delivery and installation services and 24 hours-a-day toll-free support from 1-877-myTGTtech, Target’s services will help families get up and running with their new gadget fast and easy. Visit Target.com to view Target’s Black Friday ad with surprise doorbuster deals on TVs.

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Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

The Art of Video Games

A Film Review of: Wreck-It Ralph

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

I believe that the video game is the leading entertainment art form of today.  Purists that represent older art forms had best accept this trend (if not outright truth) and get over the sour grapes of the ever increasing popularity that games and gaming represent.  Simply put, video games place the viewer on an unprecedented plane of interaction with the art itself.  Only now, in the year 2012, do we find games finally exiting their infant steps of childish frivolity and counter-culture fascination.  Contemporary games can and have pushed the envelope in spinning tales of drama, suspense, action and adventure that rival some of the best moving pictures of the past.  Yet, video games weren’t birthed from the love parents of Hollywood and the computer with this level of acumen.  Wreck-It Ralph is a throwback reminder that games were clearly not about social commentary in the beginning, but the fact that this film exists is proof of gaming’s expansive influence and a mile-marker for the ground this medium has gained over the years. 

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8-Bit graphics are well represented in Ralph.

However, to suggest that Wreck-It Ralph is some kind of necessary viewing for being the definitive alliance between games and film would be a gross overstatement.  This movie is a fun little narrative that attempts to bring the extended family of video game characters together in an entertaining, child friendly and somewhat thought provoking way that has an important (and incredibly cliché) moral to it all.  The story was conceived by screenwriters Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee (with additional contributions by John C. Reilly) which is interesting considering none of them have any professional experience with any aspect of gaming, but clearly a decent proficiency with comedy amongst them.  Ralph is a Donkey Kong inspired villain who is simply fed up with the thankless job of being “the bad guy” for his particular videogame.  Ralph’s no dummy.  He sees his counter-part, Fix-It Felix, soaking up the praise and admiration for doing his hero’s duty and in hopes of changing his stars, Ralph goes on his own quest to improve his status.  The most charming aspect of this film is all the other iconic videogame characters that make cameos throughout which could only have been made possible with (once again) Mickey Mouse’s bottomless pockets paying out to various licenses like Nintendo and Capcom.  It would have been nice to see even more crossover with these other characters, but that would have diverted the importance of Ralph’s journey.  Overall, the script isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but it sends a good message to young people about how to treat your neighbor and discovering a positive sense of self worth, while not boring adults to tears and being quite amusing to gamers.

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In no way is this rivalry meant to channel DK vs. Mario.

The CG animation style of Wreck-It Ralph may be reminiscent of a Pixar Studios production, but this film is straight out of Walt Disney’s regular Animation Studios.  You won’t see Monster’s Inc. attention to the 3D rendering.  You won’t see the graphic depth of any Toy Story film.  But, you will see some sharp, vibrant renditions of some of the most iconic characters in video games and it sure is an absolute joy seeing them all come together on the big screen.  They do some really interesting things with perspective in this film: for instance, the perspective of people in the “real” world playing these games vs. the characters inside each arcade box trying to play out their respective parts like a theatrical production for their audience of players.  How the camera shifts through the screen produces an excellent effect for getting the audience to suspend their disbelief in regards to the fiction of video game characters being “alive” inside their games.

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Perhaps the best scene in the movie, but everyone’s already seen it in every trailer.

Another area where Wreck-It Ralph diverts from the Pixar formula is in the voice-over department; specifically how A-List names aren’t exactly rounding out the roster.  Sure, John C. Reilly is a comic genius and other people really love what Jane Lynch does on Glee, but I don’t particularly care for anything Sarah Silverman does and how many people know that guy from 30 Rock and Will Ferrell comedies is an actor by the name of Jack McBrayer?  I don’t mean to diminish the performance of any member of the cast, but I couldn’t quite justify shelling out the greenbacks for all of these names strictly for name recognition.  The exceptions have to be Reilly and Lynch because their voices embody strict character types for Ralph and Calhoun respectively that represent the exact characters both actors became popular depicting for live action in the first place.  I truly felt the vocal performances for every other character were acceptable, but not particularly remarkable which was especially disappointing for the proper video game characters represented in this film.

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Jane Lynch takes no prisoners as Calhoun.

Wreck-It Ralphis clearly a “videogame” movie designed for kids and its very successful opening weekend at just under $50 million dollars is a step in the right direction.  But did all of you know that this film’s budget was a whopping $165 million bucks!?  The actual production comes off as professional and clean, but also seems on somewhat of a shoestring because the fact remains that all of these software companies weren’t handing over their IP likenesses for peanuts.  Licensing must have been the lion’s share of this production and I completely understand that, but this film doesn’t feel like a $200 million type of blockbuster.  As such, I seriously doubt that Wreck-It Ralph will turn into a franchise, but will be viewed like a litmus test for how to combine IP licenses for adaptation purposes.  This movie was a cool experiment fueled by nostalgia and laughs and held together by simplicity and relatability.  Only gamers will get ALL of the Easter egg references throughout, but it is more than charming enough to hold the audience’s interest both young and old.

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Video Game Review of Pokemon Conquest

Pokémon with a Purpose

A Video Game review of Pokémon Conquest

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

            I am not a mobile gamer.  The only handheld system I ever owned was the original Gameboy and I only had a couple of games for it a million years ago.  When I get my game on, I like a nice big screen, a comfy seat and either the room to myself or an attentive audience to soak in the experience.  I used to be a rabid fan of RPGs, particularly JRPGs (Japanese Role Playing Games) because of their focus on turn based strategy, party building mechanics and exploration.  [Side note #1: Final Fantasy VIII was the game that made me walk away from the franchise forever]  However, doing a little thrifty shopping at your local big box retailer can occasionally offer deals that might alter one’s preferences.

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Are you ready to beat some ass with Mewtwo?  Good luck finding him.

I recently picked up a Pokémon White DSI bundle on clearance for $70 (that’s the game, a white DSI and a case) and I must say, the game was very entertaining considering the fact that every expansion to the original Red and Blue hasn’t exactly reflected the exponential evolutionary rate of the gaming industry during the past 10 years.  Pokémon White got me back into the franchise a bit, but there’s still no purpose to the never ending capturing of critters and battles with random people who jump out of tall grass only to tell you some random soliloquy after you’ve beaten their ass.  If only they could take the Pokémon franchise into a game production that had a reasonable story, dynamic game format and an actual purpose while retaining the patented collectability and cast of characters.  To this I say to you all: Look no further than Pokémon Conquest!

Setup

            Pokémon Conquest is an isometric, turn based strategy RPG developed by Tecmo Koei that was published and distributed by Nintendo for the DS (which can also be played on the DSI and 3DS).  The game puts the player in the role of a generic male or female general in the fictional world of Nobunaga’s Ambition.  What’s unique about this game is that instead of recruiting and allocating resources to amass armies, the player is rounding up Pokémon to do the actual fighting on the field of battle.  Different scenarios within Pokémon Conquest have various map sizes and difficulties, but the name of the game is still making parties of Pokémon strong enough to invade enemy castles, defend said castles and continue your campaign until you own the field.  This game is the perfect lovechild between Ogre Battle for the SNES and Lords of the Realm II for the PC.  If you like castle conquest games and Pokémon, or either as individuals, this is a must-own game for you. 

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Left = Conquest

Right = Ogre Battle

                 

 

  

Story

            Like all Pokémon games, there really isn’t much of a plot at work here.  There’s no rhyme or reason to all the warring factions in the Ransei Region, but they all seem to have the same motive for defeating everyone else: peace.  [Side note #2: peace obtained by obliterating everyone else is not really peace and is perhaps the most common plot device used in video game history] Very little is revealed about the player’s main character other than he or she develops a special bond with an Evee at childhood which eventually becomes the player’s marquee starting Pokémon and perhaps most balanced unit in the game.  Through the course of various campaigns, the player will be introduced to other signature warlords who each have their preferences to the type of armies they feature (much like gym leaders in standard Pokémon games), but the big bad of this game is Nobunaga himself who wants to destroy the region in addition to the unnamed Legendary Pokémon that supposedly created said region in the first place. 

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This is the manner in which most of the “story” plays out.

Basics

            The overall structure of this game involves a turn based series of activities from army assembly, training, castle maintenance and strategic attack that all involve the deployment of the player’s trainers/warlords that happen to be at their disposal.  Each turn represents the passing of 1 month’s time.  In order to do anything, the player must assign someone to do it and each personality can only do one activity per turn/month.  The number of personalities a player has recruited is directly proportional to the amount of activities a player can complete in one turn.  Each personality can be sent to the training grounds to fight or capture wild Pokémon, purchase items at the local shop, use gold at the local bank to upgrade locations within a particular kingdom (yielding better items at the shop and better Pokémon on the field), mine for gold or go to the local grocery to feed Pokémon that have a low energy rating (the higher a Pokémon’s energy, the more effective they are on the field).  For these activities to be completed successfully, the player can assign more than one personality to work as a team (highly recommended for recruiting/training/invading), but beware, only 6 personalities can occupy each castle under the player’s control so there are limits as to how many Pokémon can fight at once, mine for gold, etc.  (And no, you cannot send multiple armies of fully filled squads against single enemy locations – there will never be more than 12 Pokémon on the field at once) 

Pokémon and Warlords

            Pokémon aren’t exactly “captured” with Poke Balls in this game.  Trainers/warlords “link” with them in the same manner they would fight them on the field, but instead of destroying them, they befriend them.  Thankfully, multiple Pokémon can be attached to single personalities which allows for some level of adaptability, but Pokémon cannot be swapped in and out of active battles and only active Pokémon gain experience.  The player must reassign the Pokémon each trainer will feature prior to any engagement if a change is desired, so if you’re wondering what happened to that wild Charmander you just captured, it’s not gone, you just have to assign it under the “Information” option at the castle icon.  From that menu, the player can view each warlord’s type preference in addition to the stats of each Pokémon in their possession.  This is vital in seeking ideal Pokémon for the player’s warlords as there are seemingly infinite individuals to recruit each having a so called “perfect link.”

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Not every link is “perfect.”

            Pokémon also do not “level” they way they have in standard games as their strength and evolution is tracked by the “link percentage” each has achieved with their respective warlord.  The higher the link percentage, the stronger the Pokémon and when certain percentages are reached, the Pokémon will evolve.  Most trainers the player recruits will not have ideal Pokémon on them already so the maximum link percentage is usually capped at around 30-50%.  This means if a warlord has a Charmeleon with a link capped at 42% and it evolves to the next form at 50%, there’s no way that warlord will see Charizard.  Warlords that find their “perfect links” can achieve 100% synergy with that Pokémon and will eventually see their ultimate forms, that is, for Pokémon that don’t require items to evolve (yeah that annoying mechanic carried over from the standard games as well).  I’ve put at least 25 hours into this game and have only discovered a few perfect links.      

            So how come the Pokémon do all the work?  Well, the warlords themselves can contribute by using their unique special ability for their respective Pokémon once per battle.  These effects range from healing individuals/groups, higher accuracy, greater damage, increased movement range, curing status ailments and so on and so forth.  I really like this element of the battles because it not only makes the type of Pokémon that is battling important, it also makes whoever is controlling them actually relevant.  

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You see? Warlords can contribute once in a while.

Gameplay and Battles

             Pokémon Conquest is not a game that requires any degree of dexterity as real time is simply not a factor.  The game is testing your mind and knowledge of Pokémon to form a strategy to achieve victory, given certain limitations.  As such, most of the “play” involves navigating through several menus out of battle while managing the field in battle by commanding where Pokémon move and who to attack.  In fact, the only modest challenge to this game is the timing mini-game that prompts every time the player attempts to link with a new Pokémon.  Only young children and people with zero hand-eye coordination should fear this.

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Get used to this screen.  You’ll be making plenty of party alterations.

            The battles in Pokémon Conquest are without question, the most fun and dynamic expression of this fictional experience to date.  The animations are very approrpiate for the kind of attacks we’re used to seeing in the standard games.  Each Pokémon have various movement ranges to simulate the burden of bulk.  Heavy tanks will move only a few spots at a time while light flyers can move across the whole field in a turn or two.  It’s not just the movement, but the placement of your units that is step 1 in achieving victory.  Sure, it might sound good fielding a squad of light flyers that pelt your opposition from a distance, but their damage output per turn is much lower than tanks and if one gets close enough, it can wipe out your whole party.

            I also enjoy all of the different fields of battle because the environment can have a huge impact on the outcome of a confrontation.  Larger fields that have lots of obstacles will favor some Pokémon while smaller ones will favor others.  It doesn’t end there.  Some fields are more than static as some parts can be interacted with to discover items while hitting switches can set traps for enemy Pokémon (or your own if you don’t learn the field) that could allow a party of weaker Pokémon to defeat a stronger one.  Some fields also change the landscape around you periodically which forces the player to change strategy on the fly.

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The blue designates the movement range of your Evee on crack.

Still, simply having stronger Pokémon will always be a winning strategy in every confrontation but knowing how they attack must also be taken into consideration.  Pokémon attacks have various ranges and patterns so it’s not as simple as running up to the closest enemy and punching it in the face.  Some can hit multiple targets while others can strike only one.  Some attacks result in the enemy being moved while others actually move yours. 

“Duh, Winning” Strategies

            It might seem like a lot has to be thought about while playing this game, but believe me, it all becomes second nature with a little trial and error.  Control, however, is an element of this game that favors the player over the AI.  You can save at any point during this game whether it is in between turns while managing castles or during actual battles.  But be warned, this could act like a double-edged sword as saving in the middle of a battle could have you committed to a fight you really can’t win and there’s only 1 save slot.  As a result, I never suggest saving during battles while saving like a madman on the management screen.

            In order to raise an army of epic Pokémon warriors, the player needs to recruit unaffiliated trainers/warlords.  There’s no negotiation or bribery involved in this game.  To get their services, the player must defeat these trainers in battle in convincing fashion, using as little turns as possible to KO their Pokémon.  This isn’t too difficult at the beginning of the main game as the player’s Evee is much more powerful than the common trainers you encounter early on.  The type of trainers and the Pokémon they use is randomly generated turn by turn (or they may not appear at all) so consider saving before ending a turn if you keep encountering weak or redundant Pokémon/trainers so as to reload and perhaps get something better when you end the turn once again.

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Pikachu is neither weak, nor redundant.

            Do your Pokémon a favor and give them items because the AI will use them against you.  Yes, even common potions are expensive seeing how items can only be used by the Pokémon that equip them prior too battle and most of them evaporate when they are used once, but if you have no warlords that have healing abilities you might be up the creek without a paddle.  Always consider healing items as a safety net for your Pokémon, but don’t be compelled to use them every battle because Pokémon don’t actually “die” (it is a kid friendly franchise, after all).  They just get KO’d and will be revived to full health after every battle, regardless of the outcome.  Unless you have a team of Pokémon mining gold every turn (and you can auto-delegate your trainers/warlords to do so every turn if you wish) you aren’t going to be earning a ton of gold as a result of battles and the really good items like rare equipment could suck your coffers dry in one shot.  Knowing what to buy and how much to buy is a strategy in and of itself.

            Recruit dragon type Pokémon at the beginning of every campaign!  This may be outside of the player’s control because region and randomness determine the trainers that are available to be recruited, but if dragons appear, you must get them.  Even the weakest dragon types like Dratini and Axew use the “dragon rage” attack that always does 40 points of damage to any Pokémon it hits, regardless of type.  Most Pokémon don’t have 40 health points in the first year’s worth of turns so this amounts to a one hit kill despite its occasional inaccuracy.  It also happens to be a ranged attack that melts anything two spots directly in front of the dragon so you could wipe out two enemies, with one shot, from one Pokémon, in one turn.  Watch out though.  To recruit or link with these dragons early on is risky as the Pokémon you currently have probably don’t have durability or exceptional damage dealing on their side.

            Use alpha strikes!  (I.E. everyone attacking the same enemy on the same turn) It is the single most important strategy I can recommend to the player for victory in battles.  Early on in any campaign, few Pokémon are strong enough to KO enemies with one hit, so concentrating your team’s attacks on one target eliminates threats methodically, but effectively.  It also counters the AI’s rampant use of healing items/abilities, especially in more difficult campaigns.  Even if you have a numbers advantage in a battle, sending two Pokémon to deal with one enemy might not be enough while the enemy heals the party on its next turn, thus negating whatever progress you just made.

Conclusion

            This is a very fun game for fans of turn based RPGs.  However, even fans of Pokémon might be turned off by the time commitment to complete not just the main story, but all the unique campaigns that unlock after.  This could mean total hours spent playing this game well over 50, give or take 10 based on the player’s skill.  Still, it’s a nice experience even for those with limited attention spans because of the “save any time” option so theoretically one could pick it up and play anywhere for any amount of time.  This game was a huge surprise for me and I never would have considered it had I not gotten back into handheld gaming.  Well done Tecmo Koei!  You have proven that great games that aren’t “Pokémon” can be made using Pokémon.  Now let’s see if a brave developer exists that could produce an MMO based on this franchise because it seems like a “perfect link” to me and Nintendo sure doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to be risky with its single most important IP next to Mario.

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E3 2012: Batman: Arkam City “Armoured Edition” Announced for Nintendo Wii U

Press Release

 

WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY ARMOURED EDITION FOR Wii U
Become the Dark Knight like never before with the reimagined action game of 2011 featuring enhanced gameplay made possible with the Wii U GamePad
 

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BURBANK, Calif. â€“ June 5, 2012 – Step into the Arkham action like never before! Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced Batman: Arkham Cityâ„¢ Armoured Edition for the Wii Uâ„¢ system from Nintendo. Developed by WB Games Montréal the game delivers the same impactful story and gameplay of the award-winning blockbuster created by Rocksteady Studios, now with enhanced gameplay features made possible with Wii U and the Wii U GamePadâ„¢.  The game is scheduled for release holiday 2012.
 
Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition contains all of the content fromBatman: Arkham City, including all available downloadable content, and introduces Battle Armored Tech (B.A.T.) Mode and the new Armored Suits for both Batman and Catwoman.  Fans can become the Dark Knight like never before with the upgraded battle suit that gives players an additional power-up by allowing them to build kinetic energy during combat.  When activated, players enter B.A.T. mode and dole out more damage than previously possible. 

“Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition harnesses the power of the Wii U system and the Wii U GamePad with features that allow fans to further immerse themselves in the role of Batman like never before,” said Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  “WB Games Montréal evolved the incredible hit game by Rocksteady into a truly unique experience on Wii U.”

“WB Games Montréal is very excited to unveil the all new Wii U features we’ve created in Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition,” said Reid Schneider, Vice President and Executive Producer, WB Games Montréal.  “The new controller allows for a different twist on the Batman: Arkham City game, as players now have the power of the Batcomputer and gadgets in the palm of their hands.” 

The Wii U GamePad provides instant access to the wrist-mounted Batcomputer throughout the game, allowing players to use the touch screen to seamlessly select objectives, choose their gadget, track forensic evidence, upgrade their gear, detonate explosive gel, and more, all while remaining immersed in the action. Additionally, all gadgets have been reimagined to utilize the power of the GamePad, offering an unprecedented level of accuracy when using the Batarang and scanning for clues.

Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation ofBatman: Arkham Asylum, sending players flying through the expansive Arkham City – five times larger than the game world in Batman: Arkham Asylum â€“ the new maximum security “home” for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Featuring an incredible Rogues Gallery of Gotham City’s most dangerous criminals including Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze and many others, the game allows players to genuinely experience what it feels like to be The Dark Knight delivering justice on the streets of Gotham City.

For more information on Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition, visit www.facebook.com/batmanarkhamcity.

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E3 2012: New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo Wii U Gameplay Footage Video

Nintendo released the following video featuring gameplay footage of the New Super Mario Bros. game for the Wii U at the 2012 E3.

Looks like a lot of fun!

New Super Mario Bros. Fact Sheet

New Ways to Play and Share Your Mario Fun
 
New Super Mario Bros. U is a new, side-scrolling adventure featuring Mario, Luigi, Toad … and your Mii character. Now’s your chance to step inside the Mushroom Kingdom and explore new worlds, new power-ups and new ways to play.
 
FEATURES:
• Swoop through levels and cling to walls when Mario transforms into Flying Squirrel Mario, or gently float through the air while hanging onto Tiny Balloon Yoshi.
• The Wii U GamePad controller offers a new way to play multiplayer in this game. An extra player can jump into the action using the new Boost mode, creating platforms out of thin air to help others navigate tricky stages or access hidden or hard-to-reach items.
• Boost mode also makes cooperative speed runs possible for the first time. Use the GamePad to interact with and manipulate enemies and objects in real time, allowing for new ways to find the fastest routes through each level.
• Play on the big screen or the small screen. Switch game play from the TV to the GamePad at any time to continue playing even when others are using the TV.
• Experience Mario together like never before with Miiverse. See other players’ comments and accomplishments while you play and leave your own feedback for others to see when connected to the Nintendo Network.
 
Platform: Wii U
Genre: Side-Scrolling Adventure
Players: 1 – 5*
Rating: RP (Rating Pending) –
Release: Holiday 2012
Developer: Nintendo
URL: e3.nintendo.com
Suggested Retail Price: TBA
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Nintendo’s E3 2012 Wii U Line-Up Includes Super Mario Bros. and Batman: Arkham City

Press Release

 

 

NINTENDO’S Wii U USHERS IN NEW AGE OF VIDEO GAMES WITH INTEGRATED SECOND-SCREEN EXPERIENCE


The Biggest Names in Video Games Bringing Their Best Franchises to Wii U; Company Provides Details about Social and Broader Entertainment Strategies with Miiverse and Partnerships

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LOS ANGELES, June 5, 2012 â€“ Nintendo revealed a massive lineup of first- and third-party video games for its upcoming Wii U home console today, including new games in the Super Mario Bros.PikminWii FitBatman: Arkham CityScribblenautsAssassin’s Creed and Just Dance franchises. The Wii U console launches this holiday season and introduces the Wii U GamePad, a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that redefines how people interact with their games, their entertainment and one another. Video game publishers from around the world, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, SEGA, THQ and NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. are demonstrating how their biggest franchises are being reimagined for Wii U.

In addition to the wide array of established brands shown during the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, Nintendo also revealed new games like Nintendo Land, a Wii U game set in a virtual theme park with a dozen attractions inspired by fan-favorite Nintendo franchises such as The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. Just as the motion-controlled games in Wii Sports helped players discover the fun of the Wii console, Nintendo Land brings the promise of the GamePad to life with a range of single-player and multiplayer experiences.

Nintendo Land introduces the entirely new dynamic of asymmetric game play, where the images being displayed on the GamePad are entirely different than what is seen on the TV. Giving the player with the GamePad different information, viewpoints, advantages and objectives creates completely new cooperative and competitive opportunities and enables novice and advanced players to enjoy games together and not be forced to play above or below their skill level.

“The GamePad doesn’t just introduce a new type of game play, it redefines an entire dynamic. With asymmetric game play, multiple experiences are possible in the same game at the same time. That’s transformative,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “While games are the focus of this year’s E3, the Wii U story also includes the enhanced social connections and integrated entertainment experiences created by the GamePad. We’re providing a glimpse of that with the introduction of Miiverse and by revealing partnerships with some of the biggest content providers on the planet.”

Mario will leap onto Wii U in New Super Mario Bros. U, a new side-scrolling adventure that introduces new transformations for Mario and the ability for players to play as their Mii characters. The game also introduces the new Boost Mode, which can be used to add blocks, to help players avoid enemies, enable Mario to discover secrets or allow multiple players working together to perform a speed run in record time.

Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of a number of original and popular Nintendo franchises, joined the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 to introduce Pikmin 3, the first original entry in the Pikmin franchise in nearly eight years. The game includes new challenges, new characters and mysterious new Pikmin types. The Wii U GamePad creates new player experiences for the real-time strategy franchise by reinventing the control scheme and challenging players in exciting new ways. Pikmin 3 also takes advantage of the HD capabilities of Wii U to more elaborately depict the rich nature landscapes, various creatures and the lovable Pikmin.

SiNG (working title) is a new interactive musical performance game for Wii U that gets everyone at the party involved in the music. With dozens of popular songs to choose from, everyone from novice singers and dancers to budding stars can join in on the fun. The main performer holds the GamePad while others in the room sing, dance and clap along with the music.

Wii Fit U is a new installment in the Wii Fit series, a brand that has sold more than 40 million units worldwide. The game combines fun and fitness with new exercises and activities, and incorporates the GamePad in unique ways. It’s compatible with the existing Wii Balance Board, and Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plusowners can transfer their existing workout data. Nintendo also revealed the Fit Meter, an advanced activity monitor that will be packaged with the game and enables users to track fitness activities throughout the day and upload that data back into Wii Fit U.

In LEGO City: Undercover developed by TT Games and published by Nintendo, players assume the identity of Chase McCain, an undercover detective armed with clever disguises. As players run, drive and even fly through the city, they’ll use the Wii U GamePad as a map, communicator and indispensable crime scanner. This is the first time that the LEGO City play sets have come to life on a gaming platform and it’s exclusively on the Wii U console.

Also exclusive to the Wii U is a new franchise from Ubisoft called ZombiU, which puts players in the middle of London circa 2012 where an outbreak has infected the population, destroying their humanity and turning them into mindless monsters. Ubisoft will also bring the highly anticipated Assassin’s Creed III to Wii U, as well as Just Dance 4, a new installment in the Just Danceseries.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is supporting Wii U with Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition, an enhanced version of Batman: Arkham City,which includes new game play that makes distinct use of the unique features of the GamePad. The publisher will also introduce Scribblenauts Unlimited for Wii U, marking the first appearance of the imaginative Scribblenauts series on a home console.

Other Wii U games revealed during the Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 include Mass Effect 3 from Electronic Arts, Darksiders II from THQ, Aliens: Colonial Marines from SEGA, TANK! TANK! TANK! and TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 (working title) from NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., Trine 2: Director’s Cut from Frozenbyte and Rayman LegendsYour Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013Sports ConnectionRabbids Land and Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth from Ubisoft.

Nintendo also revealed details about Miiverse, a new network communication system that lets gamers from around the world share experiences, discuss games and discover new content. Using their personalized Mii characters, players enter Miiverse and see games, applications or entertainment content that either they have interacted with recently, expressed interest in learning more about or that their friends are using or discussing. From here they can challenge their friends to play together, ask a question about a difficult level or discover new elements of their favorite games they never knew existed. After a notable achievement or other share-worthy moment, players can pause their game or application and seamlessly post messages to the Miiverse community. Eventually Wii U owners will be able to join Miiverse from a Nintendo 3DS, PC or any smartphone or Web-capable mobile device.

Nintendo also revealed details about its broader entertainment strategy and the impact that the GamePad will have on how we find, interact with and watch video content. The company is working with Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube to bring video experiences to Wii U that will take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience.

In addition to the 6.2-inch touch screen and dual analog sticks, the Wii U GamePad also includes traditional buttons for gaming and the ability to function as a TV remote. Users can change channels or adjust the sound, whether they are playing games or just watching TV. The GamePad is tied to the console and TV, providing a perfectly integrated experience, no matter how it’s being used. Players can move games from the TV to the GamePad. Different players can enjoy different experiences in the same game, depending on which controller they opt to use.

The Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012 also featured games for the portable Nintendo 3DS system, including Luigi’s Mansion: Dark MoonNew Super Mario Bros. 2 and Paper Mario: Sticker Star. More information about these and other games will be announced during a separate hourlong presentation at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on June 6. Members of the public can watch the event online at 
http://e3.nintendo.com, or on Nintendo’s Facebook page athttp://www.facebook.com/nintendo.
A replay of the complete Nintendo All-Access Presentation @ E3 2012, a “virtual hands-on” video that gives consumers who can’t attend E3 a taste of the Wii U experience and additional Wii U and game details can be found online at 
http://e3.nintendo.com or http://www.youtube.com/nintendo.
For more information about Nintendo, visit 
http://www.nintendo.com.

About Nintendo: The worldwide pioneer in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™ home console, Nintendo 3DS™ and Nintendo DS™ family of portable systems. Since 1983, when it launched the Nintendo Entertainment System™, Nintendo has sold more than 3.9 billion video games and more than 630 million hardware units globally, including the current-generation Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™, as well as the Game Boy™, Game Boy Advance, Super NES™, Nintendo 64™ and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. It has also created industry icons that have become well-known, household names such as Mario™, Donkey Kong™, Metroid™, Zelda™ and Pokémon™. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, please visit the company’s website at

http://www.nintendo.com

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