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By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Jun, 2016 At 06:56 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNintendo has announced that more Pokémon games will be coming to the Wii U VC starting on 6/23.

This Thursday, three Pokémon™ Mystery Dungeon titles come to the Wii U™ Virtual Console™ service: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team from the Game Boy Advance™ library of games, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky both originally Nintendo DS™ titles. Rediscover these great games or try them for the first time on your Wii U console, and look for more Pokémon Virtual Console titles coming later this summer.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team & Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

What if you woke up one day, and you were a Pokémon? What if all of a sudden you find yourself in a NEW world, where you can speak and interact with other Pokémon? The adventure begins when you and your partner Pokémon set out on rescue missions in a world ravaged by natural disasters. But, what is your true purpose and destiny in this Pokémon world? That’s the REAL mystery…

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Become a Pokémon and Save the World! In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky game, players become a Pokémon and team up with a partner Pokémon. Together the two set out on an adventure of exploration and discovery, ultimately saving the world from destruction. This game is a great starting point for players to enter the world of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and for returning players to discover even more secrets.

While I doubt that the mainline Pokémon games from the GBA and DS will come to the Wii U VC, I do hope we see more spinoffs such as Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Stadium and more. I haven’t played a lot of the spinoffs so I hope to enjoy these for the first time.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Jan, 2016 At 08:54 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNintendo has announced that the GBA remake of the original Metroid will finally come to North America on January 14. See the trailer below.

 

To quote Starcraft II’s opening cinematic “Hell, Its about time”.

 

No GravatarLOZ 4 Swords

Nintendo is giving away The Legend of Zelda:  Four Swords Anniversary Edition in the Nintendo eShop until Sunday, February 2nd at 11:59pm (PST).  This is available to owners of the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS.  The remake of the Game Boy Advance game , that came out in 2003,  supports up to 4 people in multi-player.

Hurry and grab your copy from the eShop as soon as possible before it’s gone!

Source:  Official The Legend of Zelda:  Four Swords website

By nekusakuraba01 On 16 Mar, 2013 At 04:24 AM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s been 3 weeks since the release of the Nintendo Gamecube, it’s one of those winter nights where you stay inside and decide to play a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Melee by yourself, because face it; your social life has been corrupted by this game, and you finally have a legit excuse to stay inside.

You finish Classic mode for around the 20th time, and after the credits roll, you find yourself challenged by a new character, you become excited and want to find out what sort of famous Nintendo star you will square off against.

ChallengerApproachingMarth(SSBM)

The match starts, and you find yourself fighting what seems to be a swordsman, you pause the game and stare at the screen puzzled, but you carry on. You defeat him, and you get that message: “Direct from Fire Emblem, it’s Marth, the swordsman supreme!”

You put the controller down and read the message a few times, trying to get what it all means, until you finally ask yourself.

“What the hell is a Fire Emblem?”

This question plagued more than a few gamers minds back in the day, some found the answer, some didn’t, and in fact, most didn’t know what Fire Emblem was… At least until 2003, when the first game (or so we were told) in the series was released.fire_emblem_gba_box_art

The game hit store shelves and received positive reviews, but it did not succeed in the sales department, still,  it did well enough, guarantying a sequel by the name of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (which sold quite a bit less I must say) a game in which we’ll focus today.

Sacred Stones

Released in 2005, this game wasn’t as highly praised as its first international outing, but it continued selling well enough, getting even more games out for the international market.

FireEmblem-theSacredStones_48

Without getting into any intricacies of the complicated plot, you control main character Eirika, a princess whose kingdom is suddenly attacked by a neighboring ally kingdom, after quickly running out of options, she flees her homeland along with a few of her knights, with the intent to seek help from their allies in the land of Frelia.

Field.

The game is an Strategy/RPG affair, you move characters on a grid based field, taking them closer to the enemy where you then can proceed to eliminate them using a variety of weapons such as swords, lances, axes, and even bows, there are a few extras such as healers, but normally, each item has a certain advantage over other weapons, adding more strategy to this already tense game.

SyreneDied

Why tense you ask? Because you have to be careful and not rush in, or you are very likely to get yourself killed. This wouldn’t normally be a concern, but if Fire Emblem is notorious for something, that certain something can certainly be the infamous “permadeath” which basically means that if one of your characters dies in battle; they stay dead for the rest of the game. There is no revive items here for you to use.

This is both a good, and a bad point for the game, and the series in general.

Quite a few players enjoy the excitement that comes with risk, and of course the satisfaction of surviving with all of your troops, it gives you a sense of triumph. But it’s also a double-edged sword, as many will despise repeating a Chapter because they lost a member. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was only a random member, but the game makes it so that you care for them enough by giving them a personality and slight backstory, not to mention including a few of each class, making them nearly invaluable, so you more than likely feel bad when you lose a certain member of your army.

The game knows this well and it will use it against you, as you may just restart the whole battle just to finish it with your team complete. It can be rather intense affair if you don’t know what you are doing, and you will probably regret going on the offensive carelessly.

The game’s graphics aren’t’t expectacular by any means, the sprites outside main characters are all generic, looking the same for every member of the class (fighters all look the same) static character portraits are different though, at least giving them each some sort of difference of their own.

The areas where the battles happen have a look of an over the top view map, showing the different areas in the field such as grassy fields (which can give you advantages) it is laid out a lot like a more complicated chess game where you have to find the best spot to move to, which is basically what it is:

A huge game of chess, where strategy is needed to survive.

Fire_Emblem_Awakening_US_Boxart

There isn’t much more to say about this game, and honestly, I can’t really recommend it to players nowadays, what with the superior Fire Emblem: Awakening being out for the 3DS (which has a difficulty mode for novices, so anyone can get into it). This game is worth a shot if you want to check out the Fire Emblem experience back then, but if you had to make the choice, the 3DS game is your best bet.

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Nintendo_3DSThe Nintendo 3DS has been out for nearly 2 years.

It’s a time in which it has slowly gained more recognition, depending less on the 3D it marketed with, and focusing more on the games, that as most of us know, is the main focus AND the selling point of any system.  Because some may not know this, but it had an abysmal start. A trend that other gaming devices followed, not learning from the mistake this particular handheld committed.

But we are not here to compare these systems, instead, I’d like to talk about what Nintendo did to dig themselves out of the hole they had sunk themselves into. It was an easy thing to do (albeit a somewhat risky decision) they lowered the price of the 3DS, allowing many to grab the system and increasing sales for an actual profit. But as it turns out, there was a small detail they hadn’t taken into account.

Only 4 months had passed since its original release, and of course, earlier adopters were furious.

3DS ambassadorSo Nintendo did something odd; they announced something called the “Ambassadors Program” a sort of way to appease to those fans they had enraged by doing something so unexpected by, well, responding with something just as unexpected by giving the loyal fans free games.

20 games were given to these “ambassadors”, 10 NES games with titles such as the original Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda were part of that deal, but that’s not the focus here, since most fans were looking forward to the other 10 of the bunch: The Game Boy Advance titles.

This will be a weekly article, reviewing those games released for the system, that ideally, play like their original GBA counterparts. This will also be encouraging you, the readers, to perhaps find them and give them a chance if you can.

Title screenIn any case, I will start today with my favorite game of the bunch – The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.

Originally released for the GBA back in 2005, Minish Cap was the last title in the series to use the over the top perspective it had been known for, and unlike previous Zelda titles, it did not get the publicity it deserved, thanks to the Nintendo DS taking it away, since the system had just been released at the time. But 7 years later, thanks to the power of downloadable content, many of us were able to relive, or in the case of many, enjoy for the first time, this Zelda adventure.

Intro
The story starts with Princess Zelda visiting Link at his home, where she asks him to go with her to the Picori festival, an event that is celebrated every 100 years in the land of Hyrule. You spend the time hanging out with Zelda in the festival, looking around some knickknacks here and there, until you finally get your shield.

After the festival draws to an end, and a tournament (that happened off screen) winner has been declared, a ceremony is held for the winner, who is given the privilege to touch the Picori Sword as a special price, this is a sword that rests upon a tomb of sorts. But as it turns out, the winner is actually an evil mage by the name of Vaati, who opens the tomb, releasing monsters into the world, and then proceeds to turn Zelda into stone, defeating our hero while he is at it.

The Zelda story is slightly different, but the good ol’ Zelda staple remains: save the princess, save the world.

swordThe game controls as well as any other Zelda title in the veil of Link to the Past, you move with the control pad, you assign items to buttons A and B, as well as having a roll with R to increase your speed and to dodge attacks faster, kind of like in Ocarina of Time.

ShrinkingBut there is yet another element included in this title, and that is the Minish Cap (you know? The one from the title) and is a pivotal item of the game. On your way to the first dungeon, you find a lone talking hat being attacked by a pair of Octoroks, after saving it, it joins you (by riding Link‘s head and giving him his iconic green hat), and gives you the special ability to shrink down in size by stepping in special stumps.


This ability alone adds a clever integration of puzzles on dungeons, or even in the world itself. Being able to go through small holes in houses and finding small creatures called Picori (the same from the festival), or even activate a switch from another room, an entrance that the normal sized Link would never be able to get into, this alone creates a new way to navigate the temples.

minnish
As always, there are items, like the usual Boomerang, to Bow and Arrows, and of course, to newer items such as the Gust Jar, an item which you get in the first dungeon that allows you to absorb dust, shells from enemies, or even travel in lily pads One thing I like about the items in this game, is that they are used outside of the dungeons they came from and are actually useful in getting to different areas, unlike other games in the series where once they are used in the dungeon, and then they are useless pretty much everywhere else… I’m looking at you Twilight Princess and Spinner.

lilipadOn the graphical side, this game brings the art style of the Wind Waker to the portable system, and it fits the game well, creating colorful environments, and even giving the enemies and NPCs a certain charm of their own.

The music isn’t necessarily memorable as it just is… There. Outside the classic Zelda overworld theme, a few tracks come to mind in terms of how memorable they are. It’s not the best Zelda music, but it has its moments.

As all Zelda titles, this game has some good replay value, whether it’s getting the usual pieces of heart, or getting Kinstone pieces, which are gems to fuse with NPC characters, affecting the world somehow, whether it is opening a secret cave, or paving the way to a piece of heart. You can also spend your time looking for the Tiger Scrolls, which allow you to do more advanced combat techniques. And lastly, the figurine collection minigame, in which you use shells and bet them to get new figurines that give some small backstory and details about the characters in the game. So as you can see, there are a few things that will keep you occupied even after the game is done

kinstoneAnother thing I’d like to add, is that this game was developed not by Nintendo, but by Capcom, and I must say they did a fantastic job with it. I hope they work on at least another title in the series.
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Now, while this game is great, it has its small share of flaws, or must I say nitpicks from my part. There are only 5 dungeons in the game plus the final dungeon, making it a bit shorter than others, not to mention its difficulty. I was not particularly confused on any of its puzzles, and heck, I did not die even once when fighting against enemies… UNLESS you count the time I attacked a cucco, it’s sort of sad that they are the most threatening enemy in the entire game.

Overall, this game is fun, and while it may be an easy game, it is a pleasure to play, not to mention that it is accessible to newcomers thanks to said difficulty. But if you are one who has not liked Zelda and its previous releases such as Link to the Past or Link’s Awakening, this won’t appeal to you. Still, I say you are missing something good here.

By nekusakuraba01 On 16 Sep, 2012 At 11:20 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games You Slept On, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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The Game Boy Advance is home to many great games, from platformers, to RPGs, its library is full of hit after hit, but alas, such greatness can lead to overlooked titles, hidden from sight by more well known games, and such was the fate of this title, a puzzle/platformer that even as a series, was overlooked by most gamers.

Empire of Dreams begins with our main character, Klonoa, waking up in the Kingdom of Jillius and is promptly captured and taken to the king himself, and he is charged for the crime of dreaming, a crime caused by a law created by the King himself, because he couldn’t dream, and so, decided no one could, but instead of being punished, he is tasked to defeat four creatures causing mayhem in the kingdom, and if he succeeds, he’ll be allowed to go free.

The presentation in this game is good for the most part, the graphics are clear, and the sprites animations are well done, the background does a good job of making you feel as if you are in a dream, and while the music is certainly not memorable it fits the atmosphere of the game well.

The game is divided into 5 Worlds, that have 8 “Visions” each, and every 4 or so stages, the gameplay is given a slight twist, in the usual stages you solve puzzles by using your platforming skills, but in others, you have to move fast, because the screen keeps moving and if you fall behind, you die.

 

Another stage lets you ride an air board while dodging enemies as you move, and one more that it’s the boss stage, in which you defeat the boss to advance to the next world.

While this game is a platformer, most of it is done to solve puzzles in the stages, you can run, jump, flutter in the air using Klonoa’s rabbit like ears to gain distance, and use the Wind Bullet, which allows to grab enemies, objects, and use it as a grappling hook of sorts, the purpose of the moving stages and the air board stages is to reach the end, but in the usual stages, you have to find 3 Hexagram shaped stars in order to open the door to leave.

On the way to exit each level are diamonds, that have no immediate value, but, you need them in order to unlock extra visions, that are more difficult to beat, but really not by much, as the game will probably be easy for most players.

Klonoa: Empire of Dreams is a platformer like no other, it’s fun, innovative, and while the series is likely dead due to poor sales, it’s good to remember it, and with that in mind, I would recommend this to fans of the genre, and it’s also a good choice for younger gamers to get into, but in the end, if you are looking for a fun experience, this is one that you will enjoy.