Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are shaping up to be really rather excellent, despite releasing only one year after X and Y. With more features and Mega Evolutions than even its predecessor, including the ability to fly around the continent atop Latios or Latias, I'm more excited than any grown man (allegedly) probably ought to be.
Anyway, £29.95 is a great price courtesy of The Game Collection. Thanks to ElectroDragon8 @ HUKD!
Zavvi are currently selling a basic white Wii U console with Super Smash Bros and Nintendo Land for £179.99, which is cheap as chips, at least if you're willing to rely on an external hard drive to compensate for a paltry 8GB of onboard storage.
I also don't think that SSB supports WiiMote and Nunchuck controls, so bear in mind that you might also need to shell out for extra GameCube controllers/adaptor or Pro controllers to maximise your multiplayer. Thanks to goonertillidie @ HUKD!
This is the best game I've played all year.
I'll admit that I had a hunch it might be. The preview events up to this point haven't been vertical slices or perfectly constructed demonstrations created solely for the events at which they've been found. They've just featured Wii U's boasting self-contained snippets of the game at various points, letting Platinum's latest tour de force speak for itself. No frills, no gimmicks, just the same grin on the faces of every rep hired for the day who've stood beside the terminal and said something along the lines of "it's pretty special isn't it?" as I've hastily picked my jaw up off of the floor after playing.
So much of that, of course, has to do with the combat. Bayonetta 2, just like its predecessor, is an absolute delight to play. You can make combos up on the fly, experimenting with various combinations of light and strong attacks, mixing in spurts of pistol fire here and there, never stuck in a canned animation, with the acrobatic evade option always readily available. There's no real difficulty curve in learning the game's systems, you just slip into the role of Bayonetta with fluid ease, chaining together balletic barrages and furious flurries of Umbran aggression. You evade enemy attacks and then hit them with your own -- working out that side of things is never a problem.
That's not to say that the game isn't challenging. Coming to terms with the freedom of combat, and the pinpoint timing required to maximise the abilities that you have at your disposal involves practice. Bosses will become sub-bosses, that then turn up in greater numbers just to make things interesting. The enemies that you'll face -- both celestial and damned -- telegraph their attacks, but will certainly gang up on you. There'll be moments of peace in which you can take a breath or launch an attack sequence, but equally there will be sequences where you simply must dash and evade and jab and counter, sending Bayonetta into a cartwheeling, breakdancing frenzy of slim attacks and self-preservation. Enemies will vary the windows of opportunity that they present, and though there will be some attacks you can predict well in advance, others will come more quickly, testing your reactions and your concentration.Click here to read more...
Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS is great so long as you own a 3DS XL, and 2.8 million gamers are already on board, but the fact is that the handheld version feels a little like a stopgap before the Wii U edition arrives. Boasting crisp visuals and the legendary single-screen play we crave from the franchise, along with Amiibo figurines and GameCube controller compatibility via a new adaptor, we've been clamouring for this long-awaited brawler ever since the Wii U launched.
Nintendo has finally confirmed that it's out on December 5th here in Europe, available solus or in a bundle with the GameCube controller adapter. They'll even be manufacturing a new run of wired GameCube controllers to go with it!Click here to read more...
Super Smash Bros. For Nintendo 3DS (let's call it Smash 3DS from now on) presents a unique problem for us videogame reviewers.
No, not nostalgia. Of course I've got fond memories of happy hours throwing down on my friends in the N64 original before graduating to the twitchy brilliance of Melee. Granted, playing it reminds me of simpler times before I fully understood the horror of self-assessed tax returns and other adult annoyances, but the fact is that Smash is utterly brilliant even without the rose-tinted spectacles.
It's still a superb arena brawler that forces you to unlearn everything you know about fighting games to revel in a crazy chaotic mess of ridiculous attacks, hilarious character matchups and manic button mashing. This is more than enough silly cathartic fun for many players, but dedicated fans can then bring order to the chaos with arena control, aerial attacks, positioning and competitive depth for days. Packing outstanding handheld visuals, a superb roster, brilliant stages and masses of additional content, there's no quibbling with Smash 3DS' quality and value regardless of whether you're looking for a casual diversion or a more hardcore experience.
However, its issues -- some of which are rather sizeable -- have nothing to do with the game. Rather they stem from the platform itself. As such, the big question here isn't "is Smash 3DS any good?," rather we have to ask whether Super Smash Bros is actually worth buying on 3DS in the first place.
The short answer is "yes, probably." The long answer follows.Click here to read more...
Fantasy Life will eat your real one if you're not careful.
Imagine the job system of Dragon Quest mixed with Skyrim's 'learn by doing' skill advancement and Animal Crossing's obsession with collecting stuff. The three most addictive, if not necessarily the best, bits of each genre thrown together into a single adorable JRPG.
You'll set out into a compact fantasy world and find your place in it. Whether you want to be a greatsword-swinging mercenary, heroic paladin, bragging fisherman, skilful tailor, deft hunter, renowned blacksmith, clever alchemist... and more... and any combination of the above... there's a career for you here. You'll kill monsters one minute, then make armour out of their hides the next.
It's grind, pure and simple, but the kind of wholesome 'gamey' busywork that makes minutes turn to hours and chores feel like a job well done.Click here to read more...
I can't get enough of Hyrule Warriors. It helps, of course, that I'm quite a fan of the musou genre, but Omega Force have quite outdone themselves with this hybrid mashup. I spent much of yesterday listening to the game's outstanding soundtrack, which mainly consists of epic, widdly, J-rock variations on an abundance of Zelda themes.
Much like the OST for Pacific Rim, it instantly makes whatever you're doing seem more awesome than before.
Anyway, our review is already out, in which I gave it 8/10 and called it a bunch of fun, along with branding it as probably the best Warriors game to date:
Hyrule Warriors doesn't pretend to be anything that it isn't. It does exactly what it says on the tin, producing what is probably the best Warriors game to date, and doing so by taking many of the best aspects of The Legend of Zelda and successfully incorporating them into the classic 1-vs-1000 gameplay. The fan service is astonishing, the level of detail very welcome indeed, and the action can be truly satisfying, with the various bosses going a long way to making the repetitive action seem quite refreshing at times. A triumphant mash-up indeed.
Not only that, but we've also gone and captured the game's first battle on Hyrule Field, which features lots of Spin Attacks from Link, and an appearance from King Dodongo.Hit the jump to see Hyrule Warriors gameplay in action >>
Nintendo are usually fairly strict when it comes to their own IPs, especially when it comes to their big hitters. But their slight history of sharing isn't without success stories... along with other, admittedly contentious, results. Take the Metroid series, for instance. Retro Studios' Prime trilogy is still a benchmark in fantastic reimaginings of a yesteryear favourite, even if Other M proved that sometimes there'll be mixed results when a Nintendo IP is loaned out into other creative hands.
Unlike those games, though, Hyrule Warriors is not representative of Nintendo giving another studio relatively free rein with one of their most beloved franchises. Here we find a very specific mashup, and one that tends more towards the latter part of its name than the former. Hyrule provides the sizzle, but Warriors the steak.
It's worth bearing in mind that I like the various Warriors series that have emerged over the years. My favourite is still probably Dynasty Warriors 4, but that has more to do with it being an incredibly cathartic game at a certain point in my life rather than anything that game does especially well over any of its fellows. You generally know what you're getting with a Warriors game: a range of playable heroes, amusingly nonsensical cutscenes, 1-vs-1000s combat stuffed with button mashing and epilepsy-inducing special attacks, taking over enemy keeps and knocking out Outpost Captains.
Hyrule Warriors does all of those things.
But it does them in better fashion than I've ever seen from a Warriors game before.
Hyrule Warriors is basically a Warriors game as modded by the world's biggest Zelda fan. It's a spectacular piece of fan service that manages to frame everything in terms of the various adventures of Link and Zelda over the years, from playable characters and weapon sets to fairly pretty maps based upon locales from a number of different Zelda titles, to an entire adventure mode that plays out on a retro map plucked from the original Legend of Zelda NES game. Rupees burst out of downed enemies, fulfilling certain requirements on the battlefield will cause chests to spawn that tinkle in familiar fashion when they appear, and deliver the same anticipatory music when you take a peek inside. Variations on Koji Kondo's musical themes weave in and out of the wildly-soloing electric guitars that accompany most Warriors titles.Click here to read more...
Perhaps finally realising that announcing a New 3DS with a faster processor will stop people buying the original versions this Christmas, Nintendo have decided to sweeten the deal with a free digital download if you buy and register a new 3DS and one of the big winter titles.
Note that I'm talking about a new 3DS, not a "New 3DS." Oh gawd.Click here to read more...
With four Super Mirrors available in Bayonetta 2 (although only one that we can talk about currently), there's a fair bit of opportunity to play dress-up in Platinum's madcap action bonanza. To give you an idea of what to expect, hit the jump for a bunch of gameplay footage of Bayonetta in action, dressed in a variety of costumes and outfits from Super Mirror 64-2.
The Super Mirror's are all available at different intervals via Rodin's shop -- The Gates of Hell -- and the Mirrors themselves all cost 100,000 in currency. Unfortunately, you only get one costume included in that price (for 64-2 it's Fox's outfit), and every other costume costs another hundred grand as well. Cosplaying is an expensive pastime when you're an Umbra Witch.
The effects that the costumes have on the game itself are fairly minimal -- this is pure bonkers fan service, and there's nothing wrong with that. Most of the little changes are cosmetic, but there's something undeniably grin-inducing about rolling a Morphball about the place, or kicking the butts off of angels and demons with a set of tiny Arwings.Click here to read more...
Speaking with regard to development practices and the nature of projects being led by creatives or bean counters, Nintendo dev guru Shigeru Miyamoto has suggested that "the industry has a long way to go" in encouraging freedom of creativity and bucking popular trends.Click here to read more...
Ask the question "what Nintendo IP would you most like to see on the Wii U/3DS?" and the answer often involves Samus. It's been too long since we've had a kickass Metroid game (sorry Other M), and being one of the most popular Nintendo IPs, you'd think that the Big N would have been eager to mobilise on it.
God only knows it would have been a better use of Retro's time than Donkey Kong Tropical Laurel-Resting.
As it turns out, a Metroid game for 3DS might well have been in the works at Next Level Games, only for Nintendo to nix the very early prototype in favour of Luigi's Mansion 2.Click here to read more...
This week's Game Buzz sees us take a gander at Nintendo's new new 3DS and attempt to understand its confusing branding and odd design choices, Jon explains in fowl detail how to chat up birds, I forget how to use words in describing Bayonetta 2's bonkers magnificence, we choose our favourite Batman film (and talk about Arkham Knight), and Carl might finally be about to buy a new-gen console.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Today's Nintendo Direct presentation was all about Bayonetta 2, the sequel to the best brawler ever made that's been getting us hot under the collar for some time. No, not like that. As in: it's looking more utterly ridiculous every time we see it.
You can watch the video below, but here are the salient points:
Almost all good news, but unfortunately it appears that we won't get the original game for free as originally advertised; rather we'll have to pay an extra tenner. Why does Europe deserve nice things, right?
We'll keep an eye out for a deal.Click here to read more...
The New 3DS looks fantastic, doesn't it? Last week, Nintendo revealed a brand new hardware revision for both the original 3DS and the vastly more comfortable 3DS XL, boasting a sweeping raft of improvements that even I -- an enormous and unrepentant fan of Ninty handhelds -- have been clamouring for since launch.
Increased 3D viewing angle? Check. Second thumb-nubbin to replace the Circle Pad Pro peripheral? That's a big check. Onboard NFC reader for the new Amiibo figurines? Brilliant. Chunky industrial design? You bet. Swappable faceplates! Sign me up!
All of this is music to my ears, but the New 3DS has one last trick up its sleeve: a faster processor.
Click here to read more...
Super Mario 3D World is definitely the 'go to' Mario game on Wii U, but platforming fans should definitely check out New Super Mario Bros U if they have a gap in their schedule. And have played Rayman Legends to death. This launch title isn't designed to be a tech demo, rather it's a familiar yet tightly-designed experience with a few cheeky surprises along the way, not to mention a whole mess of levels. ShopTo's £18.81 price tag is seriously cheap, so be sure to use the FBFAN5 voucher code. Thanks once again to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!
Words can't quite explain just how utterly bonkers Bayonetta 2 actually is, so here's a little video showcasing five of the most crazy happenings I've encountered thus far in the game. We can only talk about the game up to chapter five currently, but already I've unleashed a Hellish unicorn, surfed the tunnel of a tsunami on the steeple of a cathedral, stopped a Lumen Sage with an epic fistbump, and seen Black Santa wall-ride a department store in a Cadillac.
I can only apologise for the number of times words fail me in this video and I'm reduced to shouting "WHAT?!" in delighted confusion, but you'll hopefully understand why by the end.
Just in case I haven't told you yet, because I've got a sneaky suspicion that there are still some people out there who don't own a Wii U and therefore either haven't heard or fully understood the seriousness of what I'm about to say, I bought a Wii U for Bayonetta 2.
I've already waxed lyrical about the game's dual control systems in a previous preview so I won't repeat myself in that sense here. Having now played a large chunk of the game, I have to say that I'm not particularly fond of the touchscreen input for long periods of play (or indeed at all for that matter), but that's because I adore the way the game handles when you're playing it as you would have the original. The swipe and tap inputs essentially turn Bayonetta 2 into the most bonkers smartphone experience you ever laid eyes on, and although it's perfectly poised in that respect to bring in a new audience who want to enjoy the absurd spectacle, it's not really for me.
But that's the joy of choice. Finally, with the difficulty raised above the Easy setting that they must have been flouting months back at the preview event, the standard control system really comes into its own once more. Pirouetting about the place, cartwheeling out of danger before spinning back in for a flurry of attacks is beautifully balletic and gloriously responsive. It's a near perfect setup, the controller really just an extension of your mind. Everything is so fast and fluid that you're just stepping into combos on the fly, mixing and matching button combinations to see what happens, always with a finger delicately poised over the dodge button to take you out of harm's way.Click here to read more...
Nintendo are infamous for their handheld hardware revisions, but today's Japanese Direct presentation unveils their most ambitious update yet. The New 3DS and 3DS XL models contain a host of upgraded features including the long-awaited second circle pad, wider 3D viewing angles and a faster processor that can support a new wave of more graphically intensive games.
Unfortunately they won't be out in time for Christmas here in the UK... meaning that you might want to strike a 3DS off Santa's list, but fence-sitters might finally get the push they need.Click here to read more...
Over the weekend, a fairly complete-looking roster of Super Smash Bros was leaked onto the internet via some screenshots and some rather legit videos (courtesy of NeoGAF) showing off the unlocked character selection screen and showcasing some of these characters in action.
In the interests of let everyone decide for themselves, we've hidden the images below the jump, and you can have a gander if you're up for some spoilery goodness.Click here to read more...