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By Sean Jacobs On 19 Mar, 2014 At 02:44 PM | Categorized As Conventions, International News, News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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 make believe

Sony stepped from the shadows of Oculus Rift during the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco for a project that is not new to the ears and visually what was seen in the past. Originally shown off to the public back in 2013 as a Head Mounted Display, it is on sale for a whopping $999.00 on Sony’s website.

Sony HMD

$999.00 is the price for this puppy

PlayStation head Shuhei Yoshida revealed “Project Morpheus” expanding upon what is already provided by Sony. “Project Morpheus” is geared towards gaming 1st with a minor in multimedia. Yoshida, spoke on how the industry moved up until this point and how this new project would effect Sony and this was said;

“We believe Morpheus will further enhance the world of PlayStation 4 with seamless integration with PlayStation Camera, DualShock 4, and PS Move…may well shape the future of games.”

Sony VR GDC14

“Project Morpheus”

Dr. Richard Marks of Sony R&D elaborated on Sony’s Six Principle of VR on sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. He pointed out that “Project Morpheus” will not be limited to just gaming. Pushing this idea Dr. Marks revealed that he is currently working on a virtual walk on the surface of Mars project in partnership with NASA. Sony believes that with their expansive knowledge in High Def audio/visual displays places them in a good advantage. It was also, revealed that “Project Morpheus” will take advantage of PlayStation 4’s technology such as PS Move, Camera, and Dual Shock 4’s glowing lights & sensors. While the final specs for this device is still a mystery to the general public, it was revealed that the current prototype does include a 1080P display with allowances of wireless audio headsets (probably, Sony branded) full 360 degree positional tracking, reportedly low latency.  Sony showcased some compatible games for their VR display, one in which is a title previously slated as an Oculus Rift exclusive “EVE Valkyrie” along with an underwater adventure demo from Sony London titled “The Deep” and additional compatibility with the Thief franchise.

Before Sony’s newly revealed VR device at GDC 2014 Oculus’s VP of Product, Nate Mitchell had a conversation with IGN (Paraphrased):

“We’ve tried to assemble one of the best VR teams in the world and I think we’ve absolutely achieved that, as far as the competition goes  we’ll have to see what they (Sony) will announce, we are all about having more people involved in the VR space, We are really hopeful that they do it right, what we don’t want is for someone to rush an experience out the door and deliver something that is sub-par, that isn’t that “holy grail” So, as long as everyone is delivering great VR at the end of the day, That is whats important.”

Microsoft, of course not to be left out of the fray has rumblings surrounding their mill of rumors too. Sources close to Wall Street Journal, if correct, reported that the hardware manufacturer has already filed one patent for the project and developed virtual reality devices. The project (Fortaleza) is expected to be in a “suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products.” Apparently Microsoft’s rumored virtual reality project uses augmented reality technology, which is already used in today’s mobile devices such as smartphones & tablets.

One thing is for sure this sure isn’t the early 90’s and these new-found devices are definitely not low-def red and black display i.e. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

By Sofie Sohan On 28 Feb, 2014 At 05:13 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe winter this year in New York has been particularly harsh on everyone, both mentally and physically. The Vikings even thought Ragnarok, the Viking Apocalypse was scheduled for this weekend.

{cue Led Zeppelin – Immigrant song here}

So it was no surprise to me, that when I looked at my significant other last week during dinner and casually asked “So… what do you want to do this weekend?” that they sighed, returning with nothing but a non-committal shrug. Then, through a series of strange events, we found ourselves with our car packed to the hilt (it’s normal to need eight tiaras for a weekend…right?), on the road to New Jersey for Jeff Mach’s Wicked Faire, which turned out to be the perfect cure for the winter blues.


What exactly IS Wicked Faire? The more accurate question is what ISN’T Wicked Faire? It is part convention, part renaissance festival, part music festival, but 100% stress-free fun, as I quickly found out. The following is taken from the About section of the Wicked Faire website, and I would absolutely agree that this is an accurate assessment:

“The Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire is a miniature explosion of entertainment and activity, wrapped up in a fresh-baked Renaissance Faire exterior, filled to the brim with big tasty chunks of well-seasoned festival, spiced with a bit of convention, then dipped in a sauce of non-convention, and served at a terribly low price during one fantastic frenetic weekend every year. There are so many madly diverse fun things going on at any one time that, in general, if you come looking to find a good time, you are damn likely to find one.”

(Read more here: Wicked Faire: About )

Wicked Faire is an extravagant, fascinating, enthralling, all-you-can-experience buffet of entertainment, shows, interactions and fun. It is devoted to creating a weekend of acceptance, and creating a space where any non-normative person can express themselves; be it through geek, steampunk, kink, sexuality, renaissance, cosplay, burlesque et cetera. You can be as dressed up or as dressed down as you like – I wore cocktail dresses all weekend while a friend I was with wore jeans and a geeky T-shirt and we both still garnered an equal amount of positive attention. There were a variety of things to do, people to see and musicians to watch. There was a secondary festival going on at the same time, Voltaire’s Necrocomiccon, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to check that event out (though I really wanted to!)

We had gotten to New Jersey on Friday at about 10 PM, after a few GPS mishaps and a quick Taco Bell break. We checked in at the Doubletree Somerset, and received room keys, which apparently also came with free chocolate chip cookies. Free cookies are always a great start to a convention.


After a quick costume change and some light social interaction, we went party hopping within the hotel, which was fun in and of itself. I woke up at 11 AM on Saturday and decided to check out the dealers rooms. The vendors themselves were incredibly varied, from leather armour to teas, steampunk hats, knives, gourmet dipping sauces, and hair flowers. I spent a good three hours inside the rooms (that’s a long time when you’re hungover), talking to all of the vendors. We all laughed about my state of hangover, and one of them even gave me aspirin. All of the goods being sold were of high quality with an emphasis on homemade, and the fact that the vendors actually took the time to talk to me in depth about their products despite only buying a few small things, shows that they care about their consumer base.

I have provided links to a few of the vendors I personally talked to over the weekend with a glimpse of some of my favorite products of theirs:

– Gorgeous handcrafted wire elf and dragon ears jewellery with precious stones: Belethil, Jewelry by Alanya Divine

I love this so much. What’s great about these is you can wear them to LARPs, or as standalone jewellery.

– Handcrafted steampunk and leather hats, goggles and other accessories: The Blonde Swan

I love red, I love lace, and I love hats… so naturally I love this.

– Hand blended artisan teas that are inspired by music, works of literature and fantasy art. Gluten free and vegan friendly! Dryad Tea:


– Infused oils, dips, kitchen wares and cookbooks with a pagan touch: Cucina Aurora 

I cannot stress how delicious this infused oil was enough.

– Handcrafted hair flowers, sticks and fascinators: Pyraara

I love the combo of hair flower + feather.

Saturday afternoon I caught a cello performance by The Wandering Cellist. I had played cello all throughout secondary school, and the technical skill displayed was astounding. It should also be noted that Mike covered “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica on cello. I REALLY wish I had caught it on video, but I felt my cell phone recording wouldn’t do it justice. You can find more cello music here: The Wandering Cellist 

Saturday evening we caught Busts & Trunks Burlesque show. They are a division of the Ocelot on a Leash Theater Company, and are from Philadelphia. The Busts and Trunks division caters specifically to geek culture, and the show they had put on Saturday night was entirely Doctor Who themed. They were incredibly awesome and varied in their performances, and my favorite performance was an Amy & Rory burlesque number to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” closely followed by a second favorite of a Captain Jack Harkness boylesque number.

Busts & Trucks Burlesque

Our Sunday was a bit more relaxed. Though we wanted to do more, we only went to a couple of other things, an awesome pastie-making workshop by the girls of Busts & Trunks, and another burlesque show, this time by The White Elephant Burlesque Society, who hail from New Jersey. I’m pretty sure I lost my voice from cheering so hard between the two shows. This show was a bit less nerd oriented, but still just as entertaining, with a variety in content; there was ballet, traditional Hawaiian dancing, chair and fan dancing were all used in their acts. One member of their troupe, Holly Ween, ate cookies like Cookie Monster while dancing to Lady Gaga. It was incredible.

Delicious, delicious cookies…

The weekend setlist for WEBS can be found here

All in all, I would have to say as a first time attendee, that Wicked Faire was a LOT of fun for everyone, regardless of what subculture you’re into, and I would definitely go back! I’ve also made tentative plans to attend Steampunk’s World Faire, which runs Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th, 2014 in Piscataway, NJ and is also run by Jeff Mach events. You, dear reader, should come along too.

Until next time, this is Sofie Sohan signing out! 

By Amy McGarey On 9 Jan, 2014 At 06:08 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Playstation Vita | With 0 Comments

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Yesterday, Sony President Andrew House announced at CES 2014 the new game streaming service PlayStation Now. If you remember from awhile back when Sony acquired Gaikai, the cloud-based game streaming service, PlayStation Now is the rebranding of that.

Sony plans to release PlayStation Now on tons of different devices, not just their well known consoles and handhelds. The service will be available on Sony Bravia TVs, and many other third-party internet capable devices such as tablets and phones. Available games for cloud streaming will be from the last three generations of PlayStation games – PS1, PS2, and PS3. Games available for demo at the Sony CES booth were The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, and Puppeteer.

PlayStation Now will have the capability of cross-platfrom gaming between the different available devices. Technically, when all devices have PlayStation Now available, I could play The Last of Us multiplayer on a Bravia TV with someone who is playing from their PlayStation Vita. PlayStation Now will have a subscription service as well as offering games “for rent.” There’s no word yet on how much the subscription fee costs or how many games will be available on it so far. You can also rent games individually, but you won’t have permanent ownership over the game. My best guess is that PlayStation Now will work like Netflix. You never get to own any of the movies or shows on there, but as long as you’re a paying member, you can play as many as you’d like.

At the end of January, there will be a closed beta on the PlayStation 3. Full release of PlayStation Now is expected to be this summer for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Availability on PS Vita will release later on. There is no current release date for third-party devices and Bravia TVs.

This article was originally posted on my blog, R2D2Cupcake, on January 8, 2014.

By SarahTheRebel On 28 Jul, 2013 At 02:21 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarDuring Comic-Con International, 343 Studios’ Frank O’Connor announced that Dark Horse Comics would publish an all-new ongoing series later this year based on Halo – not to be confused with the upcoming miniseries Halo: Initiation.


While the first miniseries ties directly into Microsoft’s Halo: Spartan Assault video game, Halo: Escalation will spin directly out of the events of Halo 4. The series begins when the UNSC Infinity is assigned escort duty for a diplomatic mission between the Arbiter and the Brutes, but has to fend off an attack meant to thwart the negotiations. Featuring Captain Lasky, Spartan Palmer, and a cast of recognizable characters, this ongoing series is poised to be an essential read for fans in search of new story lines set within the canon of the Halo universe!

Much like other Dark Horse video game tie-in titles that are written by the games’ writers, Halo will be written by Halo 4 lead writer Chris Schlerf, with Omar Francia (Mass Effect, Star Wars: Legacy) handling art for the first three issues, and covers by Anthony Palumbo (Dragon Age).

The first issue of Halo: Escalation arrives in stores on December 11, 2013!

By SarahTheRebel On 25 Jun, 2013 At 03:28 AM | Categorized As Conventions | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on

Ah, E3, the Christmas of the gaming industry. I had a ball attending press conferences, playing demos, and partying the night away with new and old friends. I expected a lot from this year’s E3, because of the Xbox One and PS4 reveal.


So, what did I think?

The Games

My first stop was Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, an upcoming third-person combat game from Tecmo Koei. Keiji Inafune, creator of Mega Man, is involved with the project, and it showed. I loved the new art style and the smooth, just plain fun combat mechanic. I didn’t love that the enemies are zombies and the main character is part cyber ninja, but I guess that’s what’s in style right now. I quite enjoyed slinging zombies at other zombies – there’s just something so satisfying about that. The game is in development for PS3, Xbox 360, and iOS and is set for an early 2014 release.


Next up was Transistor. Check out my preview, but the short version is: I loved it.

Saints Row IV is just wacky: I used a dubstep gun, black hole gun, and a lightsaber. That is, until I discovered a few more of my super powers. Then I just stomped on everyone’s face and threw people into cars. The graphics are fine, the gameplay took a little getting used to, but I assume that’s because they started the demo off with more of your abilities and no kind of tutorial. I mentioned before that I love the idea behind this new entry, and I can’t wait to play some more, but it is definitely a meta kind of game.


I also had the opportunity to experience Diablo III on the PS3. All players are on the screen at the same time, so it got a little confusing at times, and checking armor and weapons took over the screen for everyone, meaning this has the potential to be pretty annoying. On the other hand, this game is super fun to play with friends, and I can just imagine everyone on the couch with a beer having a great time murdering monsters together. The graphics looked great, and the gameplay was mostly streamlined. All-in-all, I think it’s a pretty great port. We snagged a Legendary and all got free PS3 skins too! You’ll just need to make sure you never play it with me, because I obsessively check armor and stats…

e3 showfloor

Next on the list was Tekken Revolution, which came out the day before I got my hands on it at E3, but whatever. The new Tekken game is free-to-play and a PS3 exclusive. There are a total of twelve characters in the game, but only eight are playable from the start: Asuka, Jack 6, Kazuya, King, Lars, Lili, Marshall, and Paul. Heihachi Mishima, Jinpachi Mishima, and Ogre are fought as bosses in the Arcade mode, but aren’t playable. The character models have been streamlined, and everyone looks slightly more sparkly and smooth, but there aren’t any drastic character redesigns. There are also minor tweaks to the combat, leaving me very satisfied as I throw an unblockable move in front of a smooth combo. I anticipate spending a lot of time with this one!

And finally, I played the latest demo for The Last of Us. While I do appreciate the strong and diverse case of female characters, I also recommend checking out this article for another perspective.

The Consoles

Mobile and social games had a very strong showing, and I actually won a MOGA controller at lunch, which was pretty exciting. I don’t play games on my phone though, so we’ll see whether this gets me into them, or if I decide to hold a giveaway. Leave your opinion in the comments!


As for the Xbox One and the PS4, I had mixed feelings about both. I disliked the lack of female characters shown at the Xbox press conference and the amount of footage shown that was simply trailers in all of the conferences.

While it may be too soon to argue which console is better, the Xbox One did not have a very impressive lineup of exclusive games to back up their lack of customer service with the whole DRM issue. On the other hand, most of the games being featured in the Sony booth were actually PS3 games. On my fifth hand, apparently the Xbox One games were actually being demoed on PCs, but I’ve since heard that’s normal practice.

The new console controllers both felt fine in my hands. The PS4 controller now has triggers and the L1 and R1 functions are now mapped to them, which made a few games hard to play at first until I got used to them. The thumbsticks are now concave in the middle, but since I’ve never had a problem with them being convex, that didn’t really matter to me. The Start button is gone, replaced by the Options button, which I guess makes sense nowadays when you think about it. I didn’t play any games that used the Touchpad, so I can’t share any details about how it works.

The Xbox One still uses batteries. Can we talk about that? Like, seriously…who still uses batteries? It felt lighter than the old controller, but mostly feels completely familiar. The rumble is new, with it actually only affecting specific parts of the controller. I don’t know how I feel about that yet. Instead of Start and Select, it has Menu and View.

The Show

Overall, I had a great time, and there was tons to see and do at E3. I particularly loved the focus on indie games, with both IndieCade and the section in Sony’s booth devoted to indie games. There were tons of announcements, talks, presentations, and surprise guests at each of the big booths. I also took a picture in a carriage monster truck, so I feel that E3 2013 was a success.

E3 Samsung Thur_0260


No GravatarToday, Nintendo aired their conference online, aimed towards both the gamers and the media, the conference was rather short, and rather unimpressive in comparison to Sony, but it did end not with a bang, but with an explosion.

After the smoke cleared, we got a first look on Super Smash Bros, set to be released for both Wii U and 3DS next year, showing some minor gameplay along with 2 newcomers to the series: Megaman, and Animal Crossing villager.


Trailer suggests a cel-shaded look for the 3DS version, while the Wii U seems to have character more akin the original Wii version, differences haven’t been really pinpointed, but we will keep you informed as we receive more information.

villager b

The game is set to be released next year, with no specified term.

By SarahTheRebel On 25 Mar, 2013 At 10:48 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Featured, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI know you all are eagerly awaiting our write ups on some of the cool things we saw at PAX East 2013! In the meantime, here’s a quick look at some of the most exciting news from PAX:

  • Blizzard Entertainment has officially announced their new free-to-play collectible card game HearthStone: Heroes of WarcraftThis new game is focused around 1v1 and also allows for matchmaking through This online capability will allow players to duel with other players, and will also allow for medal ranking boosts. There will be 300 cards based on the character classes from their game World of Warcraft (WoW) available at launch. You can purchase cards in packs for about $1 each.  The beta will be available this summer for PC, MAC, and even iPad gamers. The actual game will be available at the end of 2013.


  • Capcom has announced that they are resurrecting Duck ales and will be remaking the original game from Nintendo into a game available for PSN, Wii/WiiU, and Xbox Live that will be called DuckTales: Remastered.

  • Ms. Splosion Man, a long-awaited iOS game created by Twisted Pixel, will be released by the end of this month. Joystiq says this version will have power-up capabilities, one of which will let you skip levels if they are too difficult for you. The game is $10, and will also be available on Steam and Windows Phone.


  • Assassin’s Creed Creative Director Jean Guesdon and the team at UbiSoft Montreal talked about what motivated them to take the game to the sea. Jean Guesdon stated that the idea behind making the protagonist in Assassin’s Creed IV a pirate was the fact that it was an incredibly interesting time in history with compelling characters. One of the characters you can look forward to seeing in the new game is none other than Blackbeard. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be hitting the shelves on October 29, 2013 and is currently available for pre-order for $59.99.

  • Marvel Heroes will be released on June 4th. Marvel Heroes is a free-to-play MMO set in the Marvel universe. Marvel Heroes combines the core gameplay style of action RPGs and MMOs with the expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. In the game, players can collect and play as their favorite Marvel superheroes, and you can even go further and customize your character. It’s F2P and will have PvP at launch.

  • Mass Effect retrospective video was released today by Bioware. It includes memories from a ton of people who worked on the games.
  • Red 5 Studios discussed their MMO Firefall (currently in beta) and also announced the development of a brand-new channel devoted exclusively to gaming. The channel will be called Stage 5, and can be found both on YouTube and the Stage 5 website. The channel will soon be available in app form for iPad, Android, and Ouya. Read all about their thoughts on Firefall, the industry, and their new channel here.


  • The nineteenth EVE Online expansion, Odyssey, was announced today. A website has been launched, and it will be out on June 4th. Odyssey will focus on exploration and will “shake up the status quo.”


  • Dust: An Elysian Tail is coming to Steam and might be available as soon as next month. The game was originally only available on the Xbox Live Arcade. Creators Dean Dodrill and Alex Kain also discussed Dust 2, with both saying that they have lots of ideas for the sequel.


  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown will be coming to Mac on April 25th and will include all of the previously-released extra content for the game. It will also be released for iOS devices this summer, and will be a complete port of the console and PC/Mac game (minus some maps, due to file size limitations on iOS). Work on the port began a year ago, and the team is really happy with the touch controls. Price is unknown beyond being “premium priced.” 


  • Fuse will be released at the end of May – May 28th in North America, May 31st in Europe. Fuse is a four-player co-op shooter from Electronic Arts and Insomniac Games. You play one of four agents – Dalton Brooks, Izzy Sinclair, Jacob Kimble, and Naya Deveraux – each of whom has their own unique skills and weapons. You’ll be able to get it for PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • Blizzard announced that the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III will feature an in-game menu that allows players, both online and offline, to trade items between each other, as long as they are in the same game. This new system will be making up for the lack of the auction house from the PC version. Diablo III will also have online and offline co-op for up to four players on its console version. There is no release date yet.
  • Blizzard’s Rob Pardo talks to Chris Grant from Polygon about the company’s new game, Hearthstone. Check out the video.

  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger will bring a new spin to the series. Techland shows us a mix of myth and truth in this downloadable title. Some of the “based on real-life” characters you will see in the game are Pat Garrett, Wild Bill Hickok, and Billy the Kid. With arcade-like action, new environments, and an old west style, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger sounds very promising.

  • The Elder Scrolls Online boasts new character advancement. This new MMO is just what fans of Elder Scrolls and MMOs have been waiting for. The game will feature PvP, lots of action in the combat system, and skills that level with use. Build your characters the way you want with use of any weapon or armor, but also gain item-specific abilities with each one you choose. The game launches later this year.


  • Borderlands 2 has a new playable character: Krieg the Psycho. This melee-based character is based on the psycho enemies in the game. Your action skill for Krieg is Blood Axe Rampage, which allows the character to regain health while dealing damage with your Buzz Axe. Krieg will be out in May, and is a $10 standalone DLC. Read more about him here.


What was your favorite part of PAX East 2013? Let us know in the comments!




By SarahTheRebel On 22 Jan, 2013 At 09:04 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Previews, ROG News | With 1 Comment

No GravatarRed 5 Studios is kicking off Firefall‘s first public beta test this Friday, Jan 25, giving everyone a chance to jump in and play the upcoming MMOFPS for 48 hours. If you haven’t heard of the game, Firefall is an upcoming free-to-play MMO shooter set in a sci-fi universe 200 years in the future. The game features a polished PvP combat system perfect for competitions and an open world design.

Check out their latest trailer:

This test is apparently one of three open beta weekends scheduled for this year. There will be another in February and another in March.

“After successfully completing a few controlled stress-tests late last year, we’re excited to move into the next phase,” said James Macauley, Vice President of Development, Red 5 Studios. “This will be the first time that we’ve opened upFirefall’s servers to everyone. We’re really looking forward to gathering a bunch of new feedback and data that will help us build up to launch this year.”

Fun Beta Weekend Features:

  • Skillshot Contest (Video) – Record and submit an epic skillshot video for a chance to win a prize pack filled with Firefall SWAG and Razer™ gear
  • Skillshot Contest (Screen) – Screencap a stylish skillshot for a chance at being featured on the official Firefall Facebook page
  • Community Unlock – Play during the weekend to unlock an exclusive, customized Battleframe decal
  • Livestream – Join a special episode of Firefall Live on TwitchTV to see Athene and Reese owning the competition with their own skillshots 
By ericyo On 21 Nov, 2012 At 05:05 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, Reviews | With 2 Comments

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With the release of the Wii U last Sunday, Nintendo fans were treated to a new Super Mario Bros game. This is the thirteenth game in the Super Mario series. With the ability to play with up to 5 players, essentially this is the ideal game for both solo players and party players. The game took about 3 years to develop and was developed shorty after the release of  New Super Mario Bros Wii. This is the first time that we see Mario and company in HD and fans are excited to see it.

The game art on the box is nothing short of it’s predecessor. It almost looks the same expect the box is blue for the Wii U. The game disc are is very unique and looks great. The Disc has the rounded off sides as well. It looks as if all Nintendo Disc’s will be this way. I was a little excited at first because the book felt heavy and I was expecting to see a lot more info. But alas, the rest of the book was just the games 1st 3 pages in different languages.

So that plot is a bit different in this one, prepare to have your mind blown. Princess Peach is NOT kidnapped! I repeat NOT kidnapped. She is held hostage in her own castle…. what? I told you she wasn’t kidnapped. Finally Bowser changes the pace of things and switches up the routine. Bowser, along with the Koopalings, decide to invade the castle, using a giant mechanical arm to throw Mario, Luigi and the Toads far away from the castle. Mario and company must now travel across the land to and find their way back to the Castle and save Princess Peach from Bowser.

The game is almost identical to the same Gameplay as the Wii version with the exception of being able to play on the Gamepad. The goal to each stage is the same, reach the flag pole at the end of the level while avoiding death from all the hazards thought the stages. When playing with a group and one person on the Gamepad, the Gamepad player takes the roll of an assist. Essentially, the player of the Gamepad has the ability to create blocks for other players to land on stun enemies and other moving platforms.

Along with some returning items and abilities, such as the Fire Flower, Ice Flowers, Stars, Mini Mushrooms and Yoshis, the game also introduces a new power up item called the Super Acorn. When a player touches the Acorn, it grants the player a Flying Squirrel suit. The suit allows players to glide across long distances or slowly descend down vertical paths and cling to the side of the walls. Baby Yoshis were re introduced to the game. They haven’t been seen since Super Mario World. These Baby Yoshis can be carried around and each Baby Yoshi has a special ability based on its color, such as inflating in midair (Pink), blowing bubbles (Blue) to attack enemies and illuminating dark areas (Yellow). New Super Mario Bros. U features one large map containing all the game’s worlds and levels, similar to that of Super Mario World. Some levels have multiple exits that lead to the different areas on the map. So you defiantly get that nostalgia feeling when playing some of the levels since so many parts of the game give you that trip through memory lane.

The game bring two new modes of play to keep that replay value fresh and challenge the most seasoned and veteran players, Challenge Mode and Boost Rush. In Challenge mode there is a challenge where you have to get as many 1-Ups as possible without touching the ground and in Boost Rush takes you and others through an automatically scrolling level which increases in speed as players collect coins, with the goal to clear the stage as quickly as possible.

The game uses Miiverse as well, it allows players to post comments and frustrations from the game. Example, if you die so many times in one stage the game will ask you if you want to post up your frustration about the stage or if you beat a stage without getting hurt it will ask you to post up a warrior cry or something along those lines. The posts all go to the special thread made just for the game.

The game does a good job returning to the it’s roots, I felt many of the Super Mario games i grew up with mixed into this one.  Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3 is a huge influence in the game. Fans of both Nintendo and the Super Mario series will not be disappointed. On a scale of 1 through 10 with 1 being the worst the game gets a 8/10 from me. I’m sure many fans would agree that most Mario games have a small room for improvement. But the game stays true to it’s roots and colors and will be enjoyed by all.

By ericyo On 21 Nov, 2012 At 02:08 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
234602-Wii U Sign Header

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It finally arrived on Sunday November 18th! The Nintendo Wii U is the next generation console from Nintendo since the Wii’s release back in November 19, 2006. Many hardcore Nintendo fans have been long awaiting this console. The Wii U attempts to one again revolutionize the gaming world by introducing the “Gamepad”. That doubles as a tablet and a controller. The whole thing is getting mixed reviews of both positive and negative. I will go over both in this review.

Let us begin once again with the unboxing (see video above). The Wii U is a very slick looking system, mind you that I purchased that Deluxe version. Now i know why Mr. Iwata wore gloves in his unboxing, my fingerprints instantly were fully visible on the console and Gamepad. One thing that did catch me off guard was the power brick that came along with it. I haven’t seen something of this size since the Xbox 360. Also the Gamepad does also come with it’s own small power adapter along with a charging cradle similar to that of the Nintendo 3DS. The Deluxe version also did come with a game, Nintendo Land.

After set up, I was waaaayyy excited to get to get my gaming on. The set up menu is what you are 1st presented with along with the set up of your Nintendo Network ID.  Then it starts, what I feared. The Updated. I read from other users as I waiting to pick up my Wii U that there was an update that took anywhere from 30 minutes to and hour. Sure enough mine took one hour. So after an hour I was presented with another update for the other games that I purchased (Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U) which I was able to download in the background as I played.

Let’s talk about the Gamepad. The Gamepad feels very comfortable. I was able to sync the Gamepad to my TV with ease and was able to change the input channel and control the volume without having to walk 5 feet to get the TV remote control. The other awesome thing I heard is that you can essentially transfer the game you’re playing on the TV to the Gamepad. I was able to go to the bathroom with it (You knew you were thinking of it the 1st time you heard about it) with no problems or interference. I made it to about 100 feet or so before the Gamepad told me to go back. One thing I did notice is the battery life. The Gamepad is light but you can tell it was at the sacrifice of battery life, which lasted me 3 hours of solid gameplay. Overall the ability to switch my gameplay from the TV to my Gamepad so that my wife can watch her House Wives show, then plug in my headphones so that I don’t bother her with my video games is a great feature.

One thing that I was able to do is transfer the information over from my Wii to my Wii U before I even started any games. The process was very simple. Insert an SD card into the Wii U and head over the Wii channel, from there select the Wii Transfer channel. The Wii U essentially walks you through the whole process. Once the SD card is prepared by the Wii U and inserted into the Wii, you must download the Transfer channel onto the Wii also. After following more instructions you will see Pikmin, yes Pikmin, carrying your information from the Wii to the Wii U! After that is complete insert the SD card to the Wii U and continue the instructions from the Wii U. Everything, including some Wii Shop Points I had left transferred over, with no problems.

Gameplay on the Wii U essentially is like playing the Nintendo DS but with more power. You’re using the TV as your top screen and the Gamepad as your bottom touch screen. Every game will use the screen differently. Nintendo Land take place almost entirely on the GamePad, as an example. Others are mirrored, so you’re seeing exactly the same thing on the TV and on the GamePad – it’s distracting to see things happening on both screens, and I wound up constantly shifting my gaze because I’d see some movement out of the corner of my eye, Example is New Super Mario Bros U.

The load times are a bit on the annoying side. It’s a bit for the console to power up and then it takes about 30 seconds for each game and menu item to load. Can’t really complain seeing as how other systems take a bit more time. You can transfer Mii’s over from your 3DS and Wii memory, given that you transferred everything from the Wii. Due to the lack of Network IDs registered so far, I yet to have tested out the Wii U video chat feature.

Now we move on to Miiverse. Nintendo’s first attempt at a social gaming. Miiverse is full of other players from around the world seeking help, venting overall sharing peoples thoughts and feelings of a game that they are playing. From the Miiverse menu you have the ability to view your registered activity via the Activity Feed option. From here I can see my friends asking for help and commenting on specific levels in the games they are playing. Next we have communities, here you can find people from around the world that may share the same interest in a game that you are currently playing. You may friend a player from here (up to 100) or follow someone in a twitter like format (1000 only). You can also share messages with specific people. So private messages are finally possible. Under notifications you can see what everyone is commenting on and playing, along with a Friend Request section where you can approve or decline friend requests.

The eShop was also launched live with the Wii U, after the update, unfortunately Nintendo TVii will not be available until sometime in December. Amazon, Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube are pre installed apps that game along with the game. The one that I would like to point out is Netflix. As one comment pointed out in the Miiverse community “It feels as if Netflix was made for the Wii U”. The port over to the Gamepad is great and sounds great. Double it with some good headphones and it’s even more incredible.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the Wii U. The download times due tend to get annoying. Hopefully this is something that Nintendo does address in future with another system update. I’ve been reading around and the Wii U didn’t release with it’s small share of hiccups. Such as, a NeoGaf user accidentally accessing a mock debug mode and some users even reporting already having to send in their Wii U’s for repair. I haven’t experienced any problems so far and I hope I can keep it that way.

REAL OTAKU GAMER is using WP-Gravatar