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.

OXCGN’s Project Cars Review


Project Cars is the ultimate racing-simulator for the current generation. It’s racing expectations hit you in the face from the moment you ‘press start’. And it is definitely not a game for everyone.

From the very beginning Project Cars feels like it assumes players come from an automotive background and would know their way around its complex menu’s. The lack of explanation provided in some areas can offer a confusing experience. I’m afraid that many people may form their own opinion on Slightly Mad Studios game before they have even pulled the right trigger to accelerate.

Take Career mode for example, players are immediately given access to the entire range of career modes on offer, from Go-Karting to Formula One, the freedom here is greatly appreciated.

However, many players will be completely lost as to where they want to begin, because Project Cars’ menus can explain things very poorly. The career modes offer no explanation besides a small logo/graphic of the type of race they will be involved in, so hopefully you can decipher them.

Once you think you have it right and press that A button – you’re locked into that Career type. No back button to change your mind.

But the good news is that you can run multiple careers at the same time. The downside is you’ll need to fill out your driver profile details for every time you want to investigate a new career mode. This may get quite tiring if you’re a naive car gamer just looking to find a race with a Nissan GTR.

Did I say Nissan GTR? Sorry, it doesn’t exist in the world of Project Cars. Nor do many other popular brands that you would imagine would exist in racing games of today. No Lamborghini, no Ferrari, no Subaru and no Nissan are just examples off the top of my head.

I feel this is a huge deal breaker for any car enthusiasts wanting to race in a similar car that they own in real life.

One great piece of news for Australia is the Bathurst track is featured here, but don’t expect any Australian cars. I image the latter part just caused you to slide your Forza disc back into your disc tray. By the time you make it into your first race hopefully you’ve left all your Forza knowledge locked up outside. Forget it all. Project Cars is a true test of skill, and by far it is the most unforgiving and raw racing experiences on the current generation consoles so far.

Project Cars is like learning to play an instrument, it’s a frustrating test of willpower until one day when you just pick it up and it just works. Along the way you will get penalised for touching the grass, love tapping other cars and just general loss of control. The game offers an insane level of customisation for your driver preference. From its difficulty, to tuning your car, to even the location of everything on your heads up display. For those true racing-sim fans – paradise. But everyone else, I must ask, how long do you want to be in menu’s compared to actually driving the cars?

There is so much driver preference customisation you may feel disadvantaged by just wanting to come home from a long days work and have a few quick races before dinner.

Forgetting Career mode, I found a much more enjoyable experience simply using the quick race feature found from the home screen. Simply pick any car and any track and off you go. I felt this was a great way to experience all that the game offered and was a much quicker learning process than from career mode.

In the brief time I’ve spent in multiplayer a large portion was waiting for matchmaking to work. Finding a specific game type with a similar class of car was a test of patience.  After waiting for 10+ minutes I finally was placed in a match that was already in progress and lasted 30 seconds before ending.

After that test, I used the quick match option featured from the home screen. Which was not quick at all, but substantially shorter than the earlier 10 minute wait. The result was a race against a completely random collection cars and classes. Was it a race? not really, in fact it was more of a test of who could stay on the track for the longest.

Multiplayer is a testament to the difficulty of this game. Forget the battle to the podium simply trying to reach 1 lap with no major incident is hard, whether your fault or not someone will stack and crash into you. In fact in one match, I had a player stack their car right at the pit lane exit and every player crashed one after another.

If you’re the type of enthusiast who hears the title ‘Project Cars’ and thinks of Dad working on his rusty 69′ Camaro for years until it’s restored to glory. Think again. In fact there is really no vehicle customisation available in the game at all, the cars are all already at ‘race spec’. If that type of project is your thing then walk away right now.

Graphically the cars look fantastic and very realistic, the amount of different camera angles to choose from is appreciated and really suggests they have thought about exactly what this niche group of gamers would want. Slow the car’s down and look at the environments and perhaps they’re a bit blurry but who cares you’re supposed to be going fast!

TL;DR

Project Car’s is a raw racing-simulator experience. And expect just that. This game is for the niche that have been dying for a true  racing simulator. If you can overlook the lack of vehicle-customisation and lack of cars on offer there may be a home here to truly test your skills. If you have the patience and invest the time you will find a considerably strong racing-sim that I’m sure will grow stronger as the months go by.

Project Cars is available now on Xbox One, PS4, and coming soon to Wii U and PC.

Pros:

  • Ultra Realistic Racing
  • Realistic Physics
  • Graphics
  • Niche game many have been wanting

Cons:

  • Ultra Realistic Racing
  • Lack of cars to choose
  • Matchmaking needs improvement.

For the casual racing gamers:

6/10

For the racing simulator fans:

8.5/10

OXCGN’s Super Smash Bros. Wii U Review


Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a whole other beast in the console-reviving line-up of late. Having played the recently released little brother of Smash Bros Wii U for the 3DS, I went into this thinking all I’ll get is some improved graphics, bigger stages, and a few bonus features. Well… ultimately that is completely true, but this game stands alone as a sparkling light in the previously dark life of the Wii U console. New stages, amazing music, incredible graphics, and multiplayer mayhem make Smash Bros. a Wii U owner must have. Many features are perfectly akin to the 3DS version of the game, so to catch up on the major analysis of many features, give OXCGN’S Super Smash Bros. 3DS Review a read here.

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Smash mode brings the generic 4-player mayhem with hundreds of new items from new and old games alike. The console-game based stages offer a great range of challenge from basic to infuriating. Some are just plain huge. And boy do I mean gi-goddamn-normous. The new super-sized stages are made fresh for the 8-player smash mode. Using any combination of the Wii U gamepad, Wii-controllers, Wii U pro controllers, classic gamecube controllers, and even your 3DS console, you and 7 of your closest friends can battle it out on the massive arenas. If 4-player smash ever felt like a horror show of particle effects and explosions that contain no discernable trace of your character, double it and add a dash of hellfire. 8-player smash is chaotic, confusing, gigantic, and double the fun with friends.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U comes with the bonus minigame modes that came with the 3DS version: multi-man smash, target smash, and home run smash. All have been scaled up for the console iteration. Multiple players, allowing you to rack up the percentages on those bombs and sandbags, can now complete all these modes. Multi-man smash now plays with up to 6 fighters on screen including your own, which really lends itself to a Dynasty Warriors-esque feeling of satisfaction in KO’ing handfuls of enemies at once. Target Smash and Home Run Smash both lend themselves to the same pitfall as the 3DS version; they’re fun for a little bit, but other than besting your own high scores they offer little in entertainment after a few rounds with your favourite fighters. Also like the 3DS version, multi-man smash offers a ton of satisfying single or multiplayer brawling to break up just playing smash mode.

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Like the 3DS version, the console version also ships with no Story Mode; its replacement is a little game called “Smash Tour.” Ultimately, it is Super Smash Bros. Wii U’s biggest let down. What was removed was a core single-player element to Smash Bros; the story mode, where you unlock all the trophies and bonuses and progress through a Nintendo-antics filled story alone or with a friend. What has replaced it is Mario Party’s little brother; a board game that you traverse with 3 other players, picking up fighters, trophies, and winning special moves. Plainly put, it is not enjoyable when playing alone. At all. The entire thing feels like a very poorly randomized series of unexplained events, and it’s really hard to know what is ever going on. With friends it is another story; friendly competition always livens up a video game, though the mode itself still suffers from a bit of “dammit just end already” syndrome. It is disappointing that the core single-player element of Super Smash Bros. was replaced by a mode that is dull and near unplayable alone, and merely okay when with friends. I would gladly trade Smash Tour for it’s 3DS counterpart ‘Smash Run’, or better still a full story mode.

Customisation is much the same as the 3DS version, in that it is a welcome and engaging feature that suffers from a few unpolished edges. There’s no way of telling how many items there are, who they’re compatible with, or how many you’ve got left to unlock. A simple menu with some numbers, or a chart showing who has unlocked what moves would be a welcome and basic addition. Different upgrade branches for most of the fighters’ moves give great variety to the characters. It is possible to have 4 people play Mario and all be unique for reasons other than being a non-canonical colour.

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 Customisation takes another turn in the Wii U version in the form of music chances and the stage builder. Using the music menu, you can set the chance of certain songs playing on particular stages. If you don’t like a track, crank down the chance of it playing and turn up the chance of the songs you like. It’s a great feature, and it really showcases the great compilation of amazing Nintendo music through time. The custom stage builder has reached the epitome of stage builders when used with the Wii U gamepad’s touch screen. Drawing up your own battle royale locales has never been easier, and the number of little tweaks you can make to your stages adds what is essentially an unlimited number of stage choices.

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I also got to test out the Mario Amiibo, and it wasn’t what I originally expected. As per my experience with Skylanders and Disney Infinity, I assume we could play as our figure characters and level up to gain stats and items across Amiibo games. This isn’t the case, as your Amiibo figure is it’s own entity, a character to fight with or against, but not as. They level up on their own, and learn how best to aid or defeat you through particularly remarkable AI. Though the menus for saving and writing data are a little clumsy. It will be interesting to see where these Amiibos take us in other games.

Many other features like classic mode and all-star mode carry over mostly similar to the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. and you can read about those in our 3DS review from a few months ago. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a monster game with few downfalls. Smash Tour could have been ditched for Smash Run, or even better, a story mode. However, 8-player smash, sized up target, home run, and multi-man smash modes, music customisation, and exciting stages all make for the Wii U’s game of the year for brawler fans.

TL;DR

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U brings together everything amazing about the Smash Bros. games: multiplayer mayhem, incredible fighters, fantastical stages, great Nintendo music, and competitive rifts in previously bonded friendships. It falls short in its Story Mode replacement, Smash Tour, which is boring at best when played alone, and between bearable and kind of fun when played with friends. With new fighters like Mewtwo to come, Smash Bros. looks to entertain Wii U owners for a long time to come, and offers everything we love about Super Smash Bros. and more to the next generation.

Pros:

  • Fun, addictive gameplay.
  • Amazing graphics and soundtrack.
  • Perfect for parties; Smash Bros. shines in multiplayer.
  • Fun and exciting characters, that are all balanced in their own way.
  • Stages are enjoyable and frustrating all in one, and it’s perfect.
  • Amiibos aren’t what I personally expected, but they are an intelligent and interesting feature that will remain so into the future.

Cons:

  • Smash Tour is a poor replacement for the core single-player experience of Smash Bros.
  • Customisation is lacking some polish and details.
  • Minigame modes become repetitive very quickly.

7.5/10

Super Smash Bros. Wii U and the Mario Amiibo figurine were provided to OXCGN to review by Nintendo Australia.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Developer Diaries Released


Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released two new developer diaries giving you an inside look at the making of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Check out how the developers at TT Games bring more than 150 DC Comics characters to life in an in-depth behind-the-scenes character video. And don’t miss your chance for a sneak peek at the creation of the title’s stunning gameplay mechanics in the second video.

Developer Diary 1:

Developer Diary 2:

In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the super heroes of the DC Comics universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Using the power of the Lantern Rings, Brainiac shrinks worlds to add to his twisted collection of miniature cities from across the universe. Now the greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains must unite and journey to different Lantern Worlds to collect the Lantern Rings and stop Brainiac before it’s too late.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham launches on 26 November in Australia for  Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC.

Project CARS Halloween Trailer Shows Off Night Racing


Bandai Namco and Slightly Mad Studios have released a new trailer for Project CARS trying to be a tad spooky for the Halloween season.

Sadly it’s no Duel with some creepy, monster-like car but the trailer does show off some rainy night racing along with engines roaring.

To celebrate the Halloween season, enjoy a thrilling ride in a dark and scary atmosphere of night racing. The Halloween trailer exemplifies Slightly Mad Studios’ approach that everything they put into Project CARS not only has to look absolutely stunning but must add additional gameplay.

Project CARS launches on March 20, 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC with a later 2015 release for Wii U.

Join Nintendo On 50 Must See Things On Super Smash Bros. Wii U Broadcast


With the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Wii U release, Nintendo announced a new broadcast named Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 50 Must-See Things, which will provide new details on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U coming exclusively to Wii U on 6 December 2014. It will be streamed from the Nintendo Direct website on Friday, 24 October at 9 a.m. (AEDT). What are you hoping to see at the broadcast? We have listed the times at selected cities below so you don’t miss out on the live broadcast.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U: 50 Must-See Things Broadcast:

Sydney: 24 October at 9:00 am

Brisbane: 24 October at 8:00 am

Melbourne: 24 October at 9:00 am

Perth: 24 October at 6:00am

Adelaide: 24 October at 8:30am

Darwin: 24 October at 7:30am

Conan O’Brien, Stephen Amell and Kevin Smith Starring in New LEGO Batman 3 Trailer


At this year’s New York Comic Con, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment revealed that Conan O’Brien, Stephen Amell and Kevin Smith joined the incredible cast of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Now you can see all three stars in a brand new trailer that takes you behind the scenes of this year’s ultimate superhero adventure for the entire family.

They have also released screenshots for newly announced characters including Arrow, Conan, Condiment King, Deathstroke, Music Meister, Polka Dot Man, Green Loontern, Man Bat, Deadshot, and many more, including world-renowned comic book artist and Co-Publisher of DC Entertainment, Jim Lee . These are just a few of the characters revealed, so be sure to check out the new images yourself to see if your favourite character is included.

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LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be launching on 14 November 2014 for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC.