I Haven’t Lost Faith In Nintendo (And You Shouldn’t Either)


Tuesday morning, Nintendo had the E3 Digital Event and other than a few highlights (Star Fox, Super Mario Maker) it seemed like a relatively weak event.

Unfortunately, the internet retaliated, mocking and insulting Nintendo’s presence this year to the point where thousands flocked to an online petition to get the games cancelled.

At the time of posting this piece, the YouTube video for Metroid Prime: Federation Force had over 500k views and over 48,000 dislikes as opposed to 4,900 Likes.

Nintendo financially has taken a hit too, with close to a 5% stock drop since the morning of the Nintendo E3 Digital Event.

And in all fairness after watching the E3 Digital Event, I can understand the backlash from the general public as Nintendo’s line up this year did seem rather lacklustre, however, I don’t agree with the execution of it.

I had the pleasure to experience the Nintendo booth at E3 this year and can assure you that this years line up is far from lacklustre. And probably one of my favourite experiences from the show was with Super Mario Maker, which I was fortunate enough to play last year, and have noticed a huge improvement in terms of design and features in comparison. Not to mention how much fun it was to just mess around with it, whether it came to playing some of the ridiculously designed levels or making your own, the game really has a lot of polish and is a great stepping stone, not only in the Mario franchise, but for game design in general.

Nintendo also showed Star Fox: Zero, and while a Star Fox game was announced last year, the only thing revealed was they were making a game. If Nintendo didn’t announce a Star Fox game last year, I’m sure fans would have gone insane with the announcement of it this year.

In addition, Nintendo are constantly rolling out Digital Events every few months, announcing new games or revealing more information about existing ones. Not to mention the titles released recently, like Splatoon, new content for Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS, as well as the upcoming titles like Yoshi’s Wooly World.

Satoru Iwata, the current CEO of Nintendo, has acknowledged the fan backlash via Twitter, taking on the opinions of fans to improve future Digital Events.

The fact of the matter is this, we can’t expect Nintendo to bring out a new Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Star Fox game every year, they’re not Activision/Ubisoft/EA. Nintendo has always had a certain amount of polish on their games, and we can’t demand that Nintendo start cancelling games that we don’t like the look of. E3 2015 may have not been Nintendo’s best, with new hardware looming and a new full-fledged Zelda game in the works, we need only wait for what Nintendo has in store for the future.

Nintendo Officially Announces New Content Update for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS


This morning, a few days before E3 officially starts, Nintendo revealed via their Twitch stream updates to their existing Super Smash Bros. games for both Wii U and 3DS, including new fighters, costumes, levels and modes.

The updates include the previously announced DLC character, Lucas, but also two new characters that enter the arena, Ryu from the Street Fighter series as well as Roy from the Fire Emblem series.

These two characters don’t come as any surprise to Smash Bros. fans, as Nintendo has a pre-existing partnership with Capcom (with Mega-Man being in the line up of fighters at launch) and Fire Emblem being published by Nintendo, as well as Roy previously appearing in Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Also included in the update are new costume DLC for Mii fighters based on Sega’s Virtua Fighter, Capcom’s MegaMan series, Namco Bandai’s Tekken and Nintendo’s own Splatoon.

A slew of new Amiibo’s were also announced, including Mii Fighters, R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch and Falco. Mr. Game & Watch is flat, and his poses can be swapped out. These new Amiibo’s based on existing fighters will be available in September.

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One new stage was also shown, the Dreamland stage based on the Kirby series, however it’s designed to look as it did on the N64 version of Super Smash Bros. Miiverse posts and a Miiverse stage will also be made available, and will be a free download.

Another new feature added to Smash Bros. for Wii U is the ability to upload your saved fights to YouTube, allowing access to your battles via computer, tablet, mobile phone or TV without the need of a video capture device.

All of these updates are being made available today, however several users are reporting difficulty accessing the Nintendo eShop due to heavy traffic.

Buy Don’t Starve on Wii U and Get a Second Copy Free


Don’t Starve: Giant Edition has just made its way onto the Wii U and Nintendo have a special offer for those who purchase the game.

If you buy Don’t Starve on the Nintendo eShop between May 28th to June 28th you will receive a bonus copy of the game for free – a perfect gift for Nintendo lovers.

Don’t Starve: Giant Edition includes the original game, Don’t Starve, along with its Reign of Giants expansion which adds new characters, seasons, challenges and creatures to the game. It also utilises the Wii U gamepad, displaying a map and your inventory as well as being playable in off-TV mode.

Banjo-Kazooie’s Successor Smashes Kickstarter Goals


Yooka-LayleeBanjo-Kazooie’s spiritual successor, has surpassed all of its stretch goals raising £1,281,900.

Yooka-Laylee is being developed Playtonic Games, a group of game developers who have formally worked on Banjo-Kazooie as well as Donkey Kong Country.

They’ve added another stretch goal to the mix hoping to raise £1,500,000 in order to include an orchestral score as well as fine tune the game.

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Yooka-Laylee is estimated to come out around October 2016 and it will be available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U.

If you wish to contribute to this game you can find their Kickstarter here.

Indie Puzzle Platformer, Poncho Coming To Wii U With A New Trailer Revealed


At Delve Interactive they were happy to announce that they have a new trailer for their indie game Poncho, coming to Steam, PS4, PSVita and the newly announced Wii U version this year. You can check out the trailer below:

Poncho is a puzzle platformer where you explore a ruined open world in multiple dimensions on a journey to meet your maker. If you like the idea of waking up in an post apocalyptic world filled with life where humanity has disappeared, robots roam freely and amongst it all you must meet your maker in a journey spanning multiple dimensions, then this game would be a perfect match for you.

Netflix Will Begin Streaming In Australia And New Zealand On 24 March


The wait for Netflix in Australia and New Zealand is nearly over. The world’s leading Internet television network will begin streaming in the two countries on 24 March, as Netflix announced today.

Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer, has commented:

Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we’re excited they’ll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price.

Netflix will be available on all major Australian broadband operators. Customers of iiNet will be able to enjoy hours of entertainment, including all three seasons of the political drama House of Cards, family thriller Bloodline and other movies and TV shows from the Netflix catalogue, with no fear of the usage counting against home data caps, under the first un-metering agreement announced with a major broadband provider in Australia.

David Buckingham, chief executive officer of iiNet, has stated:

Offering our customers quota-free access to Netflix is yet another demonstration of iiNet’s commitment to providing our customers great, hassle-free entertainment experiences. iiNet is proud to facilitate consumers’ access to this great entertainment service.

At launch, Netflix will be available on smart televisions manufactured by Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and HiSense, and Fetch TV‘s second-generation set-top box. Film and TV fans can also access Netflix on game consoles, including Sony‘s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Microsoft‘s Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and Nintendo‘s Wii U, as well as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Apple and Android tablets and smartphones. Mobile users who sign up for specific plans offered by Vodafone in New Zealand will receive several months of prepaid service, whilst consumers purchasing Microsoft’s next generation console, the Xbox One, at select stores will receive three months prepaid access to the Netflix service, starting 24 March and for a limited time only.

Jeremy Hinton, business group lead for Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft Australia, added:

Xbox has a long association with Netflix around the world, and with this announcement we’re excited to bring our partnership to the millions of Xbox owners across Australia and New Zealand. With Xbox One we are committed to delivering the best entertainment experience in Australian and New Zealand living rooms.

From launch, consumers will be able to purchase Netflix gift cards in denominations of $20, $30 and $50 at participating Australian retailers, including Woolworths, Coles, Big W, 7-Eleven, Australia Post and Officeworks. Netflix will offer a single-stream standard definition plan, two-stream high-definition plan and four-stream 4K ultra-high definition “family” plan. Details on monthly pricing will be available at launch.

Gold Editon Mario Amiibo Exclusive to Walmart


Nintendo will release a golden Super Mario amiibo figure exclusively at 3,000 Walmart stores in the U.S.

According to Nintendo’s press release, the Super Mario amiibo – Gold Edition will release alongside Mario Party 10 for the Wii U on March 20, with the price of 12.96 USD.

The shiny, gold Mario will be the third amiibo in the Mario series after the original ‘fireball’ Mario from Super Smash Bros. and the new ‘wave’ Mario.

Nintendo will release a new series of amiibo alongside the gold Mario, including Luigi, Peach, Bowser, Toad, Yoshi and a non-golden Mario. These characters will be playable in Mario Party 10. 

Hands on with Project CARS


Last week I was fortunate enough to spend about half an hour with Slightly Mad Studio’s upcoming racing simulator Project CARS, and while I definitively lost just about every race I attempted, I had a damn good time doing so. The sheer level of polish and customisation on show in Project CARS is staggering, and the attention to detail is nothing short of amazing, even to someone who hasn’t spent more than a few races with a racing title since Need For Speed: Underground. It’s hard not to be impressed when this is what you’re looking at.

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Truthfully, I’m not used to a racing game that can’t be won by simply holding the accelerator and popping the handbrake on for some of the more difficult turns, as sad as that sounds. I’m happy to report that I tried my special kind of racing in Project CARS, was near immediately in last place, skidding off the track with next to no hope of recovery. My first though was, “The handling all messed up, I tried to turn and my car barely moved!”, but I soon realised it wasn’t the game that was messed up. Queue the sad realisation music.

I considered my first race lost, and so spent the remainder of my time trying to learn how to handle the car properly, feeling out when to brake effectively in order to make the turns competently – it was a far cry from the arcade style racers I am used too, but certainly not in a bad way. Learning the ins and outs of a track, and your chosen vehicle, are so much more important than driving faster than your opponents, since one wrong move can easily throw the entire race for you. I will say that in my second race I came second last, so my strategy of controlling my car rather than rocketing it to the finish line must have been a stumble in the right direction.

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So, the game handles great, but how does it look? Well, let me put it this way: Project CARS might be the most beautiful console game I’ve ever laid eyes on. The way the track and sky before you are reflected off of the bonnet of your car. The incredibly detailed interiors shown when racing from a cockpit view. I was fortunate enough to see the game played on a 4K screen, which just about blew my mind, showing me that these next-gen consoles (which are considered mid-range PCs at best) have so much potential in them. I’m not usually a graphics guy; I tend to value gameplay over aesthetics, but when a game gives you both, you know you’re playing something special.

One feature that really caught my eye was the active weather system: basically, provided you are connected to the internet, you can choose a race track – let’s say Bathurst – and the weather at the track will be chosen for you based on the actual weather data from what the weather is like in Bathurst right now. It’s a fantastic use of online features, and was one of the things that really sold me on the level of detail in the game.
Or, alternatively, you can choose from a number of preset weather conditions – sunny, rain, snow, etc – if you want to create a certain race.

Or you can create transitions that will play out during the race, going from sunny to rainy to snowy, and can choose how often the changes occur. The level of customisation astounded me, as a purely console player I’m not used to this kind of freedom, and we haven’t even gotten to the cars yet.

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There are three preset ‘difficulties’, essentially boiling down to Easy, Normal or Hard, but beyond that there are myriad tuning capabilities within the game – for each car. I was astounded by the sheer level of customisation present, and I only wish I had a screenshot to show you guys. The options spilled out further than one screen could show you, needing more room than the real-estate available would allow, promising minute adjustments are available to anything you could want to change about your vehicle of choice. It became clear this game could become an amazing time sink, if you understand what any of it means, and thankfully Slightly Mad have graciously included Help, Glossary and Troubleshooting sections, allowing you to realise the problem your car has, find out how to fix it, and then tune it – essentially allowing the game to function as Edutainment should you wish it to.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to try out Project CARS. I’m not a racing fan, and hadn’t really been following the title, but what I saw piqued my interest. I’m someone who might buy one racing game per generation, and by the looks of it, I know which one I’ll be buying.

Project CARS releases March 17th, 2015, on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Wii U.