Club Nintendo will unfortunately close it's doors on September 30th, but don't worry, it's going out with somewhat of a bang. The above 5 trophies have now been added to the Stars Catalogue for all gamers with the 5000 stars asking price to purchase (that sadly doesn't involve me).Click here to read more...
We're big fans of our sister site PlayPennies. They're the best in the business at finding hot deals for kids' stuff, whether practical goods or toys, and we're not above pinching the occasional gaming-related post.
Like these heavily discounted Mario Kart toys, spotted by Lisa Hayes (thanks!). Though they all add up to less than £20, meaning that you'll have to pay delivery, you can alternatively use them as add-on items to push other orders over the limit, or add something else to the order.
Great stocking fillers or even unique wedding table favours!
Pub games are as old as drinking itself, and frankly, we need to see more boozers move with the times. These days classic coin-ops have been replaced by fruit machines and trivia, but with the likes of Loading Bar and now Brighton's Duke Of Beaufort bringing proper videogames back into the fold, we've had a bit of a think and decided what virtual delights we'd like to sample while drinking responsibly, oh so very responsibly, on a Friday evening.
'Nuff said.Click here to read more...
With Mario Kart 8 - the Wii U's latest installment of the ever popular multiplayer racing franchise - penned for release on May 30th this year, with more information revealed on the track design and characters, and now with Nintendo's fantastic "buy MK, get another game free" package deal, it's high time we started getting serious about our favourite plumbers latest kart outing.
And with the recent announcement of some new and interesting items we'll all be using in Mario Kart 8, I've decided to pull together my top ten items in Mario Kart history, giving particular preference to those that changed the way we play, or indeed the outcome of races. Hopefully this will serve to whet your appetite before the game's release at the end of the month.
So strap in, watch the lights, and prepare for that turbo start!
Now I know this first entry feels like a con, but hear me out. First showcased in the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES, the coin was an additional pick up to your regular items, that increased your overall speed the more you picked up, upto a maximum of 10 coins. When you get hit by items, you lose time and coins, and start the jolly process all over again. Up until now the coin has been limited to it's initial release, and handheld Mario Kart versions, but I'm pleased it's back in Mario Kart 8.
The reason I love coins in Mario Kart is because I believe they bring a new tactical dimension to the racing. It might be more prudent to move off the racing line to net a few coins, to give you a speed advantage in the long-term. There's the fact that you can pick up more than 10 (in Super Mario Kart at lest), just to prevent other people from getting them, and also the added bonus of nailing a successful shell hit or banana drop, will cause other racers to lose their speed advantage.
It adds another level of spice and tactics to the racing, and that's why it makes the list.Click here to read more...
Videogaming is one of the most versatile and thought-provoking forms of entertainment out there. They teach us about ourselves, they enrich our lives, they let us bond with unforgettable new friends and push the boundaries of what it really means to interact with a work of art. But, let's not kid ourselves, usually we play games because they're barnstormingly fun and properly satisfying to the point of afterglow.
So, to this end, we've prepared a list of some of the most satisfying moments in videogame history. There's no rhyme or reason here, just ten of our most exquisitely gratifying gaming experiences that leave us smugly grinning at our tellies and handhelds like an utter loon. Naturally we want to hear from you in the comments, and perhaps create a brand new democratic list in the discussion thread!
Honourable mentions: Beating Shao Khan, dual-wielding anything (especially RCP-90s), getting a massive cascade in Puzzle Quest, beating Chrono Trigger, defeating Gannondorf, Wii Sports hole-in-one, scoring an impossible goal in FIFA, LOOTSPLOSIONS, "Monster Kill... kill... kill...kill!", annihilating the Four Kings, achievement unlocked, crushing your best lap/ghost time, surviving Ninja Gaiden
We've all done it, even though we all know better. When staring death in the face, we should go to ground or use our equipment, but in the heat of the moment it's all too easy to clench the triggers and throw a grenade god knows where in the vain hope that we take someone with us.
It's stupid, except that sometimes it works. And it feels just... so great.
By far the most satisfying 'post-mortem Hail Mary' comes courtesy of the Halo series, when you manage to stick a plasma grenade to a fully-manned Warthog the split-second before it runs you over. Dying has never felt so awesome.Click here to read more...
Nintendo has announced a global Nintendo Direct broadcast for 11th June at 15:00 GMT, which will replace their usual E3 press conference. They'll use this international platform to "provide updates about future Wii U games," and almost certainly unveil three heavy-hitting first party franchises. "We will discuss new Smash Bros., 3D Mario game, Mario Kart and other Wii U titles in our #NintendoDirectNA before the start of E3," reads a recent tweet from Nintendo Of America, which got us rather excited on Monday. No pressure, but this needs to deliver.
We'll look to host the presentation on-site, but you'll also be able to watch it on the Nintendo Direct website.
According to a new tweet from Nintendo, they plan to properly reveal three of their biggest first-party Wii U titles in a Nintendo Direct presentation before E3. "We will discuss new Smash Bros., 3D Mario game, Mario Kart and other Wii U titles in our #NintendoDirectNA before the start of E3," reads the missive, which is music to our ears since the console doesn't really have any confirmed system sellers on the horizon as yet (sorry Pikmin 3).
We'll naturally keep you posted with the date, links and on-site embed code for the presentation. There's less than a month to go until E3, so expect firm details soon. Also this.
We celebrated the Mario Kart series' twentieth birthday in Europe this week, and marked it with the first in what will hopefully become a semi-regular series of gaming showdowns - pitting the SNES original against its N64 successor. Of course, when it comes to picking a best Mario Kart game (let's face it, the portable ones rock the hardest), the GameCube's instalment - Double Dash - tends to be left out in the cold, having attempted to stuff the franchise with a number of seemingly-superfluous additions, and suffered some rather disappointing lapses when it comes to inventive design.
It says much about the game when the most enjoyable track in the whole thing turned out to be a simple oval. After the excellent driving mechanics exhibited in Super Mario Kart, and the superb track layouts in MK64 afforded by the 3D engine, Double Dash's recourse was to feed more items into the mix, have two characters per kart, and throw as many colourful things into the ideas blender as possible, whilst nixing the hop so favoured by time trial aficionados.
There's an argument to be made that Mario Kart: Double Dash was, to borrow a fellow writer's description, a complete and utter mess.
But mess can be fun. Food fights, mud wrestling, that scene in Zombieland where the protagonists go into that abandoned store and smash everything to pieces. There's a reason why Double Dash was stuck in our Gamecube at uni for years, and that reason was named 'Baby Park'.Click here to read more...
This week marked the 20th anniversary of Super Mario Kart's release in Europe - a game that would fuel an entire genre for years to come and birth a franchise that would see a new instalment across each subsequent Nintendo platform, both home console and portable. Many would come to try to claim Mario Kart's throne, many mascots and their chums would strive to prove that they could do kart racing better, but there really is nothing quite so appealling or so addictive as hooning around a gloriously designed set of tracks plucked from Nintendo's archives of excellence.
On SNES, N64, Gamecube, and Wii we punched the air in victory, often our friends in defeat; we prayed that the smiling gods would bless us with the right colour of shell or adverse weather conditions; we learnt how to make blue sparks fly from our wheels, and how to time a feather or a mushroom perfectly for maximum advantage. We learned to hate Lakitu's smug face as he fished us out of the ether for the tenth time on Rainbow Road. There was always time for just one more race, and never a good enough excuse to put the controller down. Across four generations of Nintendo consoles, it's been the standard-setter for pick-up-and-play multiplayer goodness, for ghost-busting time trials, and vehicle-based battling shenanigans.
But naturally, reminiscing about the series led to a spot of verbal handbags. Which was better: Super Mario Kart or Mario Kart 64?And so, in the first of what we hope might prove to be a series of semi-regular features, we bring you the premier instalment of...The Showdown. Forget the Clash of the Titans, forget the Rumble in the Jungle, here stand two games and two champions - two arguments for two causes. But only one can be crowned victorious. We'll stake our claims, and then we'll let you decide the winner...Click here to read more...
Nintendo announced that Nintendo EAD's Tokyo Development Groups - the same teams that brought us Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, and Super Mario 3D Land - are hard at work on both a 3D Mario title for Wii U and an instalment of the hugely popular and addictive Mario Kart franchise for the console.
Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, noted that although there is nothing specific to revel as yet, both games will be available to play at E3 this year, possibly pointing towards a Christmas release, as they did with SM3DL and MK7 on 3DS.
When it comes to racing games, there's nearly always at least one track that separates the wheat from the chaff. Though free-for-all arenas such as Double Dash's Baby Park provide frenetic, item-led affairs that see racers switch and swap every second, there are always courses that require concentration and focus, knowing that one slip-up can result in karter and chariot careering helplessly into a sparkling ether.
In the Mario Kart series, that course has always been Rainbow Road.Click here to read more...
This week we take a look at some of the worst weapons to have been inflicted upon gaming. Most of those in this list have proven themselves to be loathed through sheer uselessness, but there are one or two of the items below that have made the grade through sheer profane merit. Leg us know if we've missed any!
Honourable mentions: Everything You Pick Up - Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Leaf Shield - Mega Man 2, Wooden Sword - Ninja Gaiden, Bubble Gun - Earthworm Jim 2, Most Things In Dead Rising - Dead Rising.
One supposes that, being set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where presumably most creatures have succumbed to death, it might actually be fair to assume that the only things out there in the wilderness that might hurt you are rusty tin cans. What better weapon, then, for the wastes than your trusty childhood BB gun.
Except, oh wait, there are flesh eating rabid ghouls and enormous mutant killers out there. A nice homage to a period toy, but utterly useless in the fray.
In the land of side-scrolling beat 'em ups, the man with the extended reach is king. Leonardo, Donatello and Michaelangelo all had weapons that came served with a side salad of considerable reach, but poor Raphael shuffled into battle with nothing but a pair of forks. What this meant practically is that anyone playing as the red-bandana'd turtle had to get up close and personal with foes, inevitably dying rapidly to the sounds of laughter from their fellows.Click here to read more...
Blue shells are capable of dragging up both the light and dark side of human emotions in gamers, on the one hand they can produce a feeling of joy that makes an evil smile slowly cross your face as you send them on their way to take out the player who's leading the race, which can be particularly satisfying when that player's one of your friends who fancies themselves as a bit of a Mario Kart legend. On the other hand when you're in the lead and you've broken away from the rest of the pack whilst heading towards almost certain victory, the sound of a blue shell rushing towards you can cause you to take some drastic action whilst screaming a long list of profanities at the screen, which in the majority of cases is utterly futile.Click here to read more!
I've got some pretty good memories of this game from my third year at uni, seeing as it took pride of place in our living room and provided a nice break for both myself and my housemates. Mario Kart's one of those games you can never get bored of because it's great fun for all ages. It'll also bring out your competitive streak to the point where you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat screaming at your TV, and you'll find it hard not to mock your friends when you rocket into first place. But is it worth the £24.99 price tag? I'd have to say yes considering how much I've played this game, plus it'll save you almost £2 on the next best offer.
Nintendo have confirmed that the Wii will be getting a huge price cut come mid-May. On May 15th, US gamers will be able to pick up a console for $149.99, which will come bundled with Super Mario Kart Wii and a steering wheel rather than the previous Wii Sports (Resort) bundles.
The same bundle will be available here for £129.99 (£50 down on current RRP - though this varies from merchant to merchant) from May 20th.
The date will also see the introduction of a new line of reissued games - much like Sony and Microsoft respective Platinum and Classics ranges - called Nintendo Selects at a reduced rice of £19. The first five titles to be announced in the range, launching over here on the 20th, will be Wii Sports, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Mario Strikers Charged Football and Animal Crossing: Let’s Go to the City. [MCV]
It might not be the best Mario Kart ever but it's a damn fine game and perfect for Christmas, whether as a gift or family entertainment so I thought it was worth reminding y'all that Amazon are still selling Mario Kart Wii for £19. It's great fun to tear around a satisfying variety of environments, an assortment of all new tracks and revamped ones from previous instalments of the series. My personal favourite thing about the Wii itineration of Mario Kart is the opportunity to play as King Boo, even if he is a nightmare to control. NB. The game is bundled with the Wii Wheel accessory but not an actual wiimote!
Let's face it: you know what Mario Kart is all about. I'm sure you all know your blue shells from your chain chomps- and I'm not going to patronise you by explaining the concept over again- but if you haven't already picked it up, Amazon are currently providing an excellent stocking filler price. Mario Kart is perfect for players of any age and ability; providing accessible racing thrills that's as competitive or as casual as you want it to be. Thanks to nicster08 at Hot UK Deals.
Note that a supplementary Wii remote is not included.
Halo Reach is out and Bungie are now getting stuck into their new Activision partnership project. Speculation about both genre and platform/s are rife (though, let's face it, it's likely to be a shooter involving an armoured cyborg if Marathon and Halo are anything to go by), but a leaked slide from Activision’s presentation at the BMO Capital Markets 18th Annual Digital Entertainment Conference may indicate that it will reach the PC as well as both the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Apparently it will also have "Online" functionality- but before you start getting too excited about a Bungie MMO, both CoD and Guitar Hero have also been classified with an Online label. Note, however, that this same slide indicates that Guitar Hero franchise is "#1 Ranking In Genre", suggesting that Activision may be suffering from deep denial.
Right- I'm willing to take all bets. Fancy taking a swing at what Bungie's next title is going to be? Drop us a line in the comments!
It took Microsoft an absolute age to agree on a price point for Kinect, with many reports indicating that the company was wracked by internal disputes over the high cost of manufacturing. A number of sources claimed that the peripheral would actually cost $150 in parts alone, but according to a recent stripdown by UBM TechInsights the sum total of the components will only set Microsoft back as little as £35 (US $56).
It's important to note that this £35 figure only covers the components themselves and doesn't include labour, manufacturing, packaging and shipping... but even so, they've still got over £100 to play with. That's one hell of a markup- and makes their pricing delays even more mysterious.
In other news, Microsoft's UK Marketing boss Stephen McGill has announced that "2011 is going to be an amazing year for gamers both on Kinect and normal controller-based games for Xbox 360. I think there's something for everyone." He's referring to the surprisingly hardcore slew of titles that will be hitting the console next year, as well as the possibility of hybrid controller/sensor experiences. We hope that they take full advantage of the new tech. [CVG]
Hot on the trail of the 25th Mario Anniversary Red Wii bundle, Nintendo has announced another themed console SKU for this holiday season. As well as a copy of the game, the Mario Kart bundle will include a black Wii, black Nunchuk, black Wii Remote Plus, black Wii Wheel and Wii Sports. As an added bonus, the original Donkey Kong will also be pre-installed on the hard drive to celebrate our favourite plumber's first ever appearance.
No word on price yet, but Ninty have confirmed a street date of 26th November. We'll update with the price when we hear anything.
Psyched for Netherrealm's new Mortal Kombat? We certainly are. It's going to be a long, gore-less wait until the unspecified 2011 release date, but here's a new story trailer showing off Sub Zero's retconned character history and hatred for Scorpion. Oh, and plenty of ice-cold murder.
Sitting in the cinema in the months before Avatar came out, I was with my girlfriend at the time, preparing to indulge in Dreamworks' 3D Pixar-wannabe Monsters vs. Aliens. Now, I already wear specs (we're talking jam-jar strength here) and I loathe contact lenses, so the only recourse was to put on the 3D glasses over my existing pair to avoid having the movie look like a two-tone blur. I don't have a Roman nose, there wasn't any room. They kept falling off onto the head of the person in front of me who had tattoos and several gold teeth. My girlfriend barely managed to last five minutes without erupting in laughter and, whilst trying to push them up my nose, I managed to accidentally break the pair I'd been given.
In short...I hate 3D glasses.
Thankfully, someone at Nintendo either tapped into my prayer line to the big man upstairs, or they've been inconvenienced too. Either way, the 3DS is coming and I got a chance to get hands-on with the nifty little handheld on Tuesday at Nintendo's showcase.
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Hurrah. Just what we need. Another racing game...
If you’re not a fan of the burn-em-up’s shoot-em-up subgenre, then walk away. Put down your gamepad or driving wheel and walk away. There’s nothing for you here. While Blur is undoubtedly well made, and slick as a lubricated seal in a waterslide, it’s not what you’d call original, nor will it be the game to convert the unbelievers.
If, however, you like your action fast, motorised and with a variety of chunky weapons, you’re going to have a whale of a time.
If you’re the sort of person who needs an obvious hook, think Project Gotham – another Bizarre Creations, er, creation of course – spliced with Burnout levels of damage and a splash of Mario Kart. Whether the game is greater than the sum of its parts is debatable – Unlike Mario Kart, in any of its incarnations, I’m not sure you’ll be playing this post-pub for years to come – but as a temporary diversion, it’s really rather good.
The “world of Blur” (as the packaging has it) is, predictably enough, a round-the-world series of races. This means you get to race your photo-realistic real motors around properly realised, actual locations – Barcelona, New York, Tokyo (natch), London, LA, Brighton. No Milton Keynes though: come on developers, if Green Day Rock Band can do it, you all can. Let’s get Milton Keynes in EVERY title!