Club Nintendo Australia is closing its doors


Nintendo Australia today have announced that they are discontinuing they’re loyalty program (labelled Club Nintendo) that they have been operating in Australia and New Zealand since 2008 with the release of Mario Kart Wii.

Nintendo have a timeframe of what will be happening with the existed Club Nintendo site. As of the 1st of April, Nintendo will no longer distribute Club Nintendo cards for future release games.

From September 30th, the programme will stop all operations, where new users will no longer be able to sign up, existing members will no longer be able to login, earn further stars or purchase items with any accumulated stars.

Not all is lost, as Nintendo have stated:

We’re working hard to create a new membership programme, which we plan to launch later this year.

This new membership programme will replace Club Nintendo, so we will discontinue Club Nintendo…

We suggest to those who have a Club Nintendo account to see if you have any unspent points, and spend them before the 30th of September.

Mario Kart 8 DLC and Update coming this month!


Nintendo has announced that the first DLC and title update for Mario Kart 8 will be released on the 27th August worldwide. Firstly there is the (free) Mercedes-Benz DLC which contains three new karts to race with the ‘GLA’,  ‘300 SL Roadster’ and the ‘W25 Silver Arrow’.

Along with the DLC is some tweaks and stability fixes which are very welcomed and have been asked for since release

  • Added new feature that can display the course map on the TV screen.
  • Changed default choice to “Next Race” instead of “View highlight” in the menu that appears after the race of the Grand Prix.
  • Remember the vehicle parts to be used later / next boot.
  • In “Mario Kart TV”, added ability to copy & edit the highlight video of other players.
  • “Scoreboard” screen can be viewed and the number of characters that win-loss total number of coins, online play, etc.
  • Improving the stability of communication during online races.
  • Fixed some (other) problems.

Seems Nintendo has listened to fans and hopefully connection issues have been fixed and Nintendo will continue to listen to us and soon announce some more DLC, stages for battle mode maybe?

Post-E3 2014: A Look at What Nintendo Had to Offer


Nintendo’s Line-Up at E3 2014

Unfortunately Nintendo stopped doing media conferences a few years ago, but that didn’t stop them from showing off a great line up. Nintendo had a lot to offer, and some would say they needed to, with the Wii U having lack-lusted sales since it’s launch, and certainly disappointing in comparison to the Sony and Microsoft’s sales of the PS4 and Xbox One.

Here is a line up of what Nintendo had to offer at E3 2014.

Super Smash Bros Wii U logoPreview: Hands-On

Thoughts:  Super Smash Bros. has to be the game for Nintendo this year. There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about Nintendo’s fighting franchise, all that can be said is this incarnation of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is certainly worth the wait.The 3DS version also looks great, but takes a little getting used to with the different style of controls that you’d be used to for your typical fighting game, only a 2-player battle system was available at E3.

Several announcements were made throughout the day by Nintendo, including the use of NFC (Near Field Communication) on the Wii U gamepad, calling their system ‘Amiibo’. Nintendo are now making NFC enabled toys with their franchised characters that can be used in multiple games, including both Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 to name a few.
Other announcements made were several new characters available in Super Smash Bros., including Mr. Game & Watch, Pac-Man, Palutena and the use of Mii’s, which will have 3 different types of fighting styles, although, unfortunately, were not playable at this years E3.Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS will be available on the 3rd of October, 2014, with the Wii U version doesn’t yet have a exact release date, Nintendo are aiming for a holiday 2014 release.

Yoshis Woolly World logo

Preview: Hands-On

Thoughts: Surprisingly, out of all the platformers Nintendo have available, there isn’t a Mario game in sight. However, Yoshi does return, in woolly form.

Yoshi’s Woolly World is the same sort of gameplay you’d expect from a Yoshi dedicated game, thankfully, unlike the Yoshi’s Island titles, there is no baby Mario to cater for.

Gameplay is also familiar to previous Yoshi titles, but you can’t help but feel that it’s inspired by a previous Nintendo title, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. You’ll find yarn balls to collect, enemies to defeat, and even loose threads to pull to reveal secret areas or alternative routes.
Yoshi’s Woolly World is set to be released sometime in 2015.

Mario Party 10 logo

Preview: Hands-On – Just new mini games

Thoughts: The game you play with your friends that ruins friendships is back! Mario Party 10 for Wii U is not only the first Mario Party game in the series to be in HD, but also introduces Bowser mini-games, where someone in your group can play as Bowser, using with Wii U gamepad, and face-off against four other players. In one example, the player controlling Bowser is able to shoot fireballs in set directions, where every other player attempts not to get hit.

Mario Party 10 is also set to be released sometime in 2015.

Hyrule Warriors LogoPreview: Hands-On

Thoughts: Pair up two beloved franchises, The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors and what do you get? Nintendo’ and Tecmo’s latest offering, Hyrule Warriors.With an all-star cast from The Legend of Zelda series, featuring Link, Zelda and Midna, as well as other characters to be revealed at a later date.Those familiar to the Dynasty Warrior series will feel right at home playing this game, as the game style is very similar.

In Hyrule Warriors, and can protect and reclaim landmarks seen in previous Legend of Zelda games, defeat classic enemies as well as some new ones, collect rupees and other items from chests (in classic Legend of Zelda fashion) and even team up with a friend, with local co-op mode.

The game looks, feels and plays great. and will be available September 26, 2014.

Splatoon Logo

PreviewHands-On

Thoughts: A bit of a wildcard of all the Nintendo announcements, rather than relying on an existing franchise, Splatoon is Nintendo’s third-person shooter. You join in on a four-on-four watch, which involves you to not only to defeat your enemy, but to claim as much ground in your own team colours as possible.When I first saw this, I admittedly didn’t think much of it, and thought it was a strange release for Nintendo. However, playing it on the showroom floor, I had epiphany, I really enjoyed it.In a world full of violet shooters, like the Call of Duty and Battlefield series, Splatoon is a breath of fresh air into the genre.Your character basically has two modes, your standard shooter mode, and squid mode, which allows you to move a lot faster (in your own paint colours), hide from enemies and refill your ink tanks.Splatoon is set for release in the first half of 2015.

Mario Maker LogoPreview: Hands-On

Thoughts: Despite being such a simple title, I was really looking forward to Mario Maker when I first heard about it. In the E3 version, it had it’s limitations, as it still seems as if it’s in it’s early stages, but still has a lot of potential. Whether you want to make a infinite 1-Up machine, recreate well known Mario levels, or you’re just a glutton for punishment and want to make ridiculously difficult levels. You can even view them in either classic NES Mario Bros. style, or in the style of New Super Mario Bros. U.Mario Maker (working title) is set for release in the first half of 2015.

Captain Toad LogoPreview: Hands-On

Thoughts: Originally a mini-game in Super Mario 3D World, Captain Toad gets a full fledged game on the Wii U. In Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, you lead Captain Toad on his own adventure through a variety of maze-like stages to find all the hidden treasures and gold stars. Vastly different to your typical Mario game, Captain Toad doesn’t really have any abilities, he’s slow, he can’t jump and he has no powers, so you have to use use the Wii U Gamepad which gives you a closer perspective of the the dangers and hidden items. Although Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was originally a mini-game in Super Mario 3D World, it will be interesting to see how this plays out as it’s own featured game. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker will be available in the later half of 2014.

Bayonetta 2 HeaderPreview: Hands-On

Thoughts: The Witch is back. Bayonetta 2, being developed PlatinumGames Inc, published by Nintendo, and with Sega acting as an advisor, due to being owners of the franchise.Although on a Nintendo console, Bayonetta 2 certainly hasn’t been toned down to cater for a younger audience. Bayonetta 2, much like it’s prequel, still features the same style of gameplay, over-the-top weapons and Bayonetta’s climax techniques.Featuring a new two-player online co-op mode called ‘Tag Climax’, as well as online quick matches, where you can wager ‘halos’, the in game currency and prove yourself against your online partner. Bayonetta 2 is set to be released in October 2014, and as mentioned before, is a Wii U exclusive.

Also bundled with Bayonetta 2 is the original Bayonetta, which was never released on a Nintendo console. As an added bonus, Bayonetta will have additional Nintendo themed costumes based on Link, Samus and even Princess Peach.

What wasn’t on show?

Both The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) and Star Fox (Wii U) were only shown via Nintendo Direct, and only offered a small glimpse of what may be the final product.

Both games have no set release date, but may be released sometime in 2015.

©2013 Yvan Zivkovic

Nintendo Announce GameCube Controller Adapter for Wii U


Just in time for a Final Smash

Nintendo announced earlier today in video on the Nintendo YouTube channel more information regarding the Super Smash Bros. Invitational, being hosted during E3 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Players will get a their first chance to witness the game up close with the already announced character for the game.

Shown at the end of the video was an official Nintendo GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U. The GameCube controller, is said to be the best controller than Nintendo has made, and Nintendo seem to have acknowledged this with said adapter.

Also shown was a custom GameCube controller, with the Super Smash Bros. logo printed on it. One would assume this controller would be available for purchase, but unfortunately no other details were given in the video.

The Super Smash Bros. Invitational will begin on Tuesday, the 10th of June, during E3. Those who cannot attend E3 and are fortunate enough to live near a BestBuy in the US can play the new Super Smash Bros., which was announced a month ago with the help of the video game comedy group, Mega64.

© Yvan Zivkovic 2014

Buy Mario Kart 8 for Wii U – Get a free game


With the newest Nintendo Direct (Or rather, what they called ‘Mario Kart 8 Direct’), many features were explained, like the new anti-gravity features and the 7 Koopalings as racers, as well as others (bringing the total racers to 30).

For those who live in US and Canada, those who purchase Mario Kart 8 and register it on Club Nintendo, you will receive a free downloadable code for one of the following games:

For those who live in Europe, Nintendo has the same promotion, but with a larger selection of games, from the following:

Australia and New Zealand are also set to get the same games as Europe, according to Nintendo Australia’s Twitter account:

This includes the physical game, the digital download, or the new Mario Kart 8 Wii U Deluxe Set bundle recently announced by Nintendo.

Mario Kart Wii U Bundle
The new Wii U bundles includes the black Wii U with 32GB storage, the black Wii U Game Pad, Mario Kart 8, plus a red Mario Wii Remote Plus and a red Wii Wheel.

Mario Kart 8 is set to be released on the 30th of May in North America, and the 31st of May in Australia.

Bayonetta 2 Would Not Exist Without Nintendo


Continue reading Bayonetta 2 Would Not Exist Without Nintendo

Child of Light: 2014’s Masterpiece?


“Let me tell a story of Lemuria, a kingdom past, and a girl born for glory…”

When I first saw the trailer for a small Ubisoft game entitled “Child of Light”, I was utterly mesmerised. The art style, narration and score of the announcement trailer cemented it as a game to watch out for in the future, and after seeing the trailer announcing the release date I’m convinced that it has the potential to be one of the best games to come out in 2014 (April 30th, to be exact!).

Using Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework the developers have been able to use concept art in the game as assets, 2D animation combined with 3D models and animation to make for a unique art style. Previously used in Rayman Origins and Legends, Child of Light adopts the same technology to bring it’s watercolour world to life. The developers say they aimed for it to feel like “A playable poem”, the visuals capturing all the rhythm, flow and beauty a poem can hold.

Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming
Child of Light features some of the most beautiful art in gaming

Aurora, our young heroine, awakes to find herself in the dream-like world of Lemuria instead of her home in 1985 Austria. In this new world the Queen of the Night has taken the sun, stars and moon, and it’s up to Aurora (joined by her glowing companion Igniculus) to retrieve them whilst conquering her fears in order to return home to her ailing father. Along the way you’ll discover there is a lot more is going on than it initially seems as you delve into this new world.

This coming of age story is deeply woven into both the narrative and gameplay progression. As Aurora traverses the world and grows herself she will also gain access to over two hundred skills. During an interview, the writer, Jeffrey Yohalem, said he wanted to create a story that touched upon the darkness in the world, and the progression from the perceived world into the truth of it. These systems run deep within the game and help to give it a unique feel and fast connection with the character. As per usual, experience points are collected from slain enemies and allow you to both level up Aurora and access new skills.

A look at one of the skill trees
A look at the skill tree available to Aurora

Designed around accessibility, the game aims to both honour the JRPG style it’s born from and engage both inexperienced and veteran players in a new way. It uses and builds upon well-developed gameplay at it’s core similar to that of Rayman Legends, but also introduces a classic but refined basis for combat. The system encourages strategy and tactics through it’s turn based style, encapsulating the rhythm and timing aimed for in it’s direction as a playable epic poem. Timing, thought and watching the enemy’s moves allows you to master the flow of combat, interrupting attacks and dodging damage to beat down even the toughest of foes. The spin put on a classic turn based system, the introduction of the timing bar, allows a fresh reinvention of a popular mechanic which is sure to keep things interesting.

On top of the inventive combat, Child of Light has puzzles at its core. Though I haven’t been lucky enough to go hands on with the game myself, from all reports the puzzles are clever and well executed, with a good amount of difficulty to keep the player on their toes!

If all this wasn’t enough the game features both a vast world to explore packed with enemies and treasures, and over six hundred crafting recipes to be used with your newly acquired gems. Even from the trailers we can see there’s quite a diverse set of environments and atmospheres packed into this title. Scenes of ruins with an almost aquatic appearance conjure up memories of Journey’s darkened caverns, whilst brightt towns filled with towers and houses feel like something out of a Studio Ghibli film. I seriously can’t stop appreciating how beautiful this game is.

Child of Light also features local co-op, designed to be experienced with a friend or family member in the same room. Whilst it can be played completely solo, the addition of a partner however adds a new perspective to the tale. The second player takes on the role of Igniculus, Aurora’s small luminescent companion. He comes into play both during combat and in general play, illuminating dark passageways and helping to solve puzzles. In combat he can be used to heal our heroine and disadvantage enemies, but your choices in how you use his abilities play into the strategy of the battle. The more in sync the players, the more useful each character’s moves will be. The co-op aspect is about traversing this new world together and sharing the journey of Aurora and Igniculus.

Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world
Lemuria is a quirky, gorgeous world

In my opinion this game has all the hallmarks to be a huge hit. It seems like it will have a real deep and compelling narrative  married quite deeply with the gameplay systems and stunning art. Some of the most impressive and iconic titles over the last few years have done a similar thing, with Journey and The Unfinished Swan immediately coming to mind. Only time will tell whether it will be as successful as it seems, but it certainly illuminates itself amongst the majority of popular, more gritty and ‘realistic’, titles topping the market in recent times. In my mind this lesser known title has the capacity to at least match or succeed the acclaim of the big hitters this year, possibly even earning itself a spot as the unsung masterpiece of 2014. Either way Ubisoft Montreal have done an amazing job thus far and I can not wait to play Ubisoft Montreal’s beautiful epic poem when it launches.

Child of Light releases April 30th (digitally only!) on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC for $19.95. For more information on the game you can visit the game’s Tumblr which contains interviews, behind the scenes content and even more beautiful artwork! The announcement trailer can be viewed here, and the latest release date and features trailer below!

Australian Retailer Clears Out Nintendo Stock, Including Wii U


nintendo_cover

Australian Retailer Clears Out Nintendo Stock, Including Wii U

With PS4 and Xbox One on the horizon, are retailers abandoning Nintendo?

by David Hilton

© 2013 David Hilton

Dick-Smith_109Today I got a strange email that initially I thought was a mistake.

It was from Australian retailer Dick Smith and after some ‘online exclusive’ deals it practically shouted that all Nintendo products, including consoles, were 50% off, “reduced to clear”.

And clear they have.  If you look here, the online white basic Wii U console pack sold for AUD$174 (was AUD$348) and the black premium console pack sold for AUD$214 (was AUD$428 at EB Games).

There are none left.  But this was surely some limited online deal right?

Wrong.  And it likely spells a more than symbolic turn in the Ninendo’s Wii U fortunes in Australia.

Nintendo struggling?