Wednesday, Jan 14
This farm's been passed down generation to generation
Here on Neoseeker, people value a properly tended farm. Our community is welcoming, accepting those in Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, or even non-farmers in say Fantasy Life. We want our simulator fans to feel at home. That's perhaps why we're so excited for the upcoming release of Story of Seasons on the 3DS. During this morning's Nintendo Direct, an all new trailer for Story of Seasons was shown which I think will encourage a lot of new players to give it a shot.
Story of Seasons is developed by Marvelous AQL and is the true successor in the Bokujō Monogatari series. For those unfamiliar, that's the franchise that up until recently has been known as Harvest Moon. There's since been a division between the Japanese developers and the North American localizers, resulting in the Harvest Moon series rebooting under new developers. Marvelous AQL, however, will continue making the same farming games that have been so popular over the years. This year, that game is Story of Seasons.
The trailer, shown to a very mellow and relaxing tune, welcomes players to Oak Town and then introduces some of the features that await them. These include character customization, a variety of stories to be discovered by interacting with NPCs, exploring towns, finding romance, and of course building and working your own farm. It's all quite a bit too adorable. It's almost like there's something going on behind the scenes at Oak Town. Okay, okay, I'm kidding, this isn't a horror games masquerading as a farming simulator.
Story of Seasons will launch exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS starting in March later this year. The game's currently going through the localization process at XSEED Games, so everyone can trust it'll be in top condition when it arrives later this year.
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The Odyssey ends for now, but the Mystery is only beginning
How another Etrian game slipped past our radar last year, I do not know. I'll blame the holiday fugue. Luckily Nintendo and Atlus are watching out for us, announcing today that their Etrian Odyssey spin-off dungeon crawler, Etrian Mystery Dungeon, is planned for release in North America on April 7. The first run of the game, including pre-orders, will package in the game's soundtrack, too!
Etrian Mystery Dungeon is exactly what the title implies. It mixes the character building and skill trees of the Etrian Odyssey franchise together with the rogue-like Mystery Dungeon. Oddly enough, judging from the early trailers, it looks a lot like what I'd imagine Etrian Odyssey would be with a third-person camera. Of course, that's an over simplification. Switching the camera won't add the endless replayability of a rogue-like, like you'll find in Etrian Mystery Dungeon.
Other than the gameplay changes, Etrian Mystery Dungeon is still 100% a Spike Chunsoft product. The chibi style of the more recent Etrian remakes will be returning, as well as the rather noticeable look of the dungeons (I swear I've seen this plant before). It'll have that same classic JRPG feel and sense of humor. It appears to be Etrian through and through. It's just great to see that team get to experiment a bit with the help of the Mystery Dungeon brand.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon will launch on the Nintendo 3DS starting April 7. Check out the gameplay trailer shown during today's Nintendo Direct for a better look at what the game has to offer. Oh, and Atlus revealed one of the playable classes in the game today -- the Landsknecht. That trailer may be fore the more dedicated Etrian faithful.
NetherRealm released a new Mortal Kombat X trailer asking the age-old question of who wants their spine ripped out next. Not in so many words, of course, but it's still there. On top of the gratuitous violence are brief highlights featuring Kitana and Kung Lao, two returning favorites who look better than ever.
There's no argument that Mortal Kombat X looks amazing, and every new character -- along with every makeover -- just lends to that fact. Kitana retains much of her iconic look, though with an updated outfit and less ridiculous fans (suggesting fans can ever seem like a serious weapon, hah). Of course, Kung Lao looks as amazing as ever with his deadly hat, but this leaves us questioning which weapon is more impractical: fans or a reed hat?
Anyway, check out the trailer, and remember that you've got until April to pre-order Mortal Kombat X to unlock Goro for free.
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Abraham Lincoln has a mission for everyone: buy more Amiibos
Of course Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. would show up in today's Nintendo Direct. Nintendo's been pushing this eccentric strategy game for some time now, which must mean they think they've got something special going on here. While Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. was relegated to the lighting round of upcoming 3DS releases, there were a couple of very special announcements for the game. First is that the game will launch on March 13, a month after the New 3DS becomes available.
Second is a much more exciting bit of news for Amiibo owners. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will work with all Fire Emblem Amiibo characters, so long as the player owns the upgraded New 3DS that works with Amiibos. If they're set onto the 3DS, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will unlock the Fire Emblem Amiibo character as a playable character in-game. Now Marth can fight side by side with Abraham Lincoln, just like the history books tell us.
For those unfamiliar, the currently available Fire Emblem Amiibos are Marth and Ike, with Robin and Lucina to be released soon. All four of these characters will work with Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a turn-based tactical action game that's highly similar to the recent release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Instead of space warriors, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. features historical figures and iconic figures in literature. Think Cowardly Lion and Tom Sawyer. Somehow they've joined a group of steampunk heroes to defend Earth from invading aliens.
Don't rip out your wallet just yet. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. won't be available until March 13. Keep in mind that if you want to use the Amiibo features, you'll need to upgrade to the New 3DS XL, which launches February 13.
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Quick, throw your 3DS away before you get addicted to this game
Many mobile gamers may already know and fear the name Puzzle & Dragons, the highly randomized and microtransaction match-3 puzzle game for iOS and Android. It's back and it's invading your 3DS handheld. Today Nintendo revealed that GungHo's Puzzle & Dragons Z title will be coming to Nintendo 3DS this May. More than that, it will be bundled with a spin-off titled Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition. The two games will come in one box.
Both titles have been previously released in Japan and are ridiculously successful. Japan loves their free-to-play, microtransaction-rich mobile games and they love their 3DS. It's only natural that with the two combined, a more successful hybrid would be created. It's curious that both Z and the Super Mario Bros. Edition would be combined, considering how consuming just one of the titles can be, but I won't complain about Nintendo not milking consumers here.
As mentioned earlier, Puzzle & Dragons is a match-3 game where the player matches tiles to "attack" enemies on-screen. Match combos will do more damage and certain colors matched will have their benefits as well. What Puzzle & Dragons Z does is add an RPG mechanic to the game. Basically, a protagonist wanders around in a rather Pokemon-esque fashion... while playing lots of Puzzle & Dragons. The Super Mario Bros. Edition will also be similar, but featuring a very Mario overworld and familiar Mario characters to recruit.
The, well, "issues" in the game are related to the partners that can be recruited. Puzzle & Dragons features what can only be described as a slot-machine mechanic for what partners a player can recruit. In order to recruit stronger partners, players will have to play the slot machine a good many times. With microtransactions, it's literally like gambling, but without any sort of currency for reward. In the 3DS versions of the game, the mechanics just add an amount of tedium and frustration. Highly addictive tedium and frustration, that is.
Puzzle & Dragons Z and Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition will launch in May on the Nintendo 3DS later this year. The two games will come bundled together in a retail package, with pricing still not hammered down. Expect more information in the months to come.
Perhaps not a killer exclusive, but an exclusive nevertheless
Every new platform needs its own hot exclusive title. For the New Nintendo 3DS XL that hot title just happens to be a 3D-enabled Wii RPG port. Today during the January Nintendo Direct live-stream, Nintendo revealed Xenoblade Chronicles 3D to western audiences. Unfortunately Xenoblade Chronicles 3D won't be available for the New 3DS' launch in North America, but come April every New 3DS owners will have a reason to head back out to the store.
This is a good decision by Nintendo, as odd as it may seem. Xenoblade Chronicles was not a particularly popular release in North America, launching late in the Wii's lifespan and available only in limited quantity. The disc is extremely hard to find these days and expensive when it is found. Nevertheless, early showings of sequel Xenoblade Chronicles X have made it one of the most anticipated titles coming up on the Wii U. A port of the original Xenoblade Chronicles on 3DS both capitalizes on the sequels anticipation and builds on it. Not to mention, it's probably an easy project in the grand scale of things and the dang New 3DS needed an exclusive anyway.
Very little will be changing in Xenoblade Chronicles as it's ported to the smaller screen. The 3DS game will, of course, feature 3D visuals, will include the map on the second screen of the handheld, and will also add a mode in-game that allows players to look at the 3D character models. Oh, and there will be a jukebox mode to listen to in-game music. Let's not forget that the game also comes with a huge RPG too.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is planned for release in April exclusively for the New 3DS. It needs that extra horsepower! The New 3DS itself will be available to purchase on February 13 for the price of $199.99 (plus the cost of an AC adapter).
It wouldn't have been a Nintendo Direct without a little bit of Zelda. During today's live-stream, Nintendo revealed the release date for their upcoming 3DS port, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D. The Nintendo 64 title with a 3D polish will be arriving on the 3DS on the same date as both Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and the New 3DS XL model are launched in North America. February 13 is going to be a bit of a Nintendo blood bath. Majora's Mask approves.
Nintendo wouldn't let such an occasion go by for Majora's Mask without a little bit of a celebration though, would they? To commemorate the launch of the latest Nintendo handheld iteration, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask will be getting its own New 3DS XL special edition. Now, let's note right away that this is not a bundle and that Majora's Mask is not a New 3DS XL exclusive. The special edition handheld is just something cool Nintendo wants to do for the fans... and maybe sell a few extra New 3DS XLs along the way.
The Majora's Mask New 3DS XL will feature a golden front and back cover, layered with a special design featuring several masks on the front of the handheld. As for the inside, while it isn't shown in the pictures it's almost certainly the plain black matte of the more standard New 3DS XL.
Pick up The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D and the special edition New 3DS XL starting February 13 in North America. Majora's Mask will retail for $39.99 and the special edition New 3DS XL will cost $199.99, which is the same price as the standard versions of the New 3DS XL. Note that the New 3DS XL will not come bundled with Majora's Mask -- it's just got fancy art.
It appears that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate may be arriving in gamers' hands a little sooner than previously expected. During this morning's Nintendo Direct live-stream, Capcom took the opportunity to announce that their handheld monster-hunting action game will launch on February 13. That's either in the standard, $40 edition or the $60 fancy Gore Madala statue edition.
Release dates for highly anticipated games are outstanding, but Capcom wasn't done with the surprises. They also revealed a special partnership with Nintendo to offer an exclusive New 3DS XL Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate bundle. Ringing in at $229.99, or $10 cheaper than buying the two separate, the bundle includes a uniquely painted version of the New 3DS XL (on its launch day) and a copy of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. It's not said whether it's a digital or hard copy of the game.
As shown in the header image, the special edition New 3DS XL will feature a silver metallic finish with blue art and the title of the game featured on the top cover. There's also a bit of art on the bottom side of the 3DS, too. The inside of the New 3DS XL isn't shown, likely because there's no significant additions to it. As best as we can tell it's the same on the inside as the standard black matte New 3DS XL handheld.
After the Nintendo Direct ended and all of the excitement was beginning to dwindle, Nintendo then dropped an all new Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate trailer on their Youtube channel. A cinematic trailer, to boot! I'm constantly impressed by just how colorful and lively Capcom aims to make Monster Hunter appear. It stands in stark contrast of a lot of action games -- especially western-made action games -- these days.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and its New 3DS XL bundle will both be available starting on February 13. The standard game will retail for $39.99, while the New 3DS XL bundle will be g oing for $229.99 -- a $10 discount.
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It was the announcement that every Fire Emblem: Awakening fan was begging for. During this morning's Nintendo Direct live-stream Nintendo announced an all new project: Fire Emblem (working title). Yes, an all new Fire Emblem game exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS. Developed by the same team behind Fire Emblem: Awakening, the new tactical RPG asks, "players to make decisions that will affect the game’s world in new ways."
Unfortunately, since Fire Emblem is a rather localization-heavy game due to all of its conversation text and recorded audio, there's no western release date as of yet. The Japanese version of the game, however, was announced for release during this summer. Fire Emblem: Awakening took 10-12 months to localize in 2012, so let's hope Nintendo has grown a bit more efficient since then. They should realize just how excited western audiences are for Fire Emblem now, shouldn't they?
Wow, a summer release in Japan? That must mean it's rather far along in the development process, right? Indeed it is, because Nintendo showed off a long, beautiful trailer featuring several seemingly significant characters. At the center appears to be a female protagonist, a sad looking girl who dances wearing a veil at the start of the trailer and then seems panicked at the end as she searches for someone who has faded away (a transforming beast character?).
Expect more information on Fire Emblem (working title) in the months to come as we approach its launch in Japan. Let's all show our excitement and push Nintendo to localize this game for western audiences in 2015! 2016 is too long to wait for what could be the best game on 3DS this year. In the mean time, check out the lovely trailer.
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Nintendo, as rumors have led us to believe in the past week, has officially announced the New 3DS XL for release in western regions. Note that I said just the New 3DS XL, as the smaller standard size New 3DS and its fancy faceplates will not be released in North America at this time (Europe still gets the normal New 3DS though). Expect the New 3DS XL to be available in North America starting February 13 for the cost of $199.99.
The New 3DS XL features only small upgrades over its standard 3DS XL predecessor. The most significant of these upgrades is a small, second joystick on the right side of the handheld. Upgraded hardware to make the New 3DS XL more powerful is also worth noting. Other, smaller feature upgrades include ZL/ZR shoulder buttons, NFC functionality to allow the use of Amiibos and "super stable 3D via face tracking technology."
There are a couple of other important details worth noting before everyone rushes out to preorder their New 3DS XL. First off, everyone should know that the New 3DS XL does not include an AC Adapter. That's right, out of the box gamers will not be able to charge the battery of their new handheld. Existing adapters from both the 3DS and standard DS family will work with the New 3DS, but those who are buying their first 3DS or trading in an old one will have to drop more than the $199.99 price tag implies.
Also, everyone is going to want to know what colors will be available for the New 3DS XL, right? According to today's Nintendo Direct, the New 3DS XL will be available in both red and black colors. However, there are a couple of special editions on the way too. A The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask New 3DS XL will cost the standard $199.99 and not include the game, while a special Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Bundle will cost $229.99. Both special New 3DS XL editions have exclusive looks.
Look out for preorder information for the New 3DS XL from your local retailers in the coming days and weeks. I've also been told that Canadian preorderers should know that the Majora's Mask special edition of the New 3DS XL will only be available at EB Games.
Note: The only currently New Nintendo 3DS XL exclusive title currently announced is the 3DS remake of the Wii RPG Xenoblade Chronicles, planned for release in April.
Edit: Added New 3DS XL introductory trailer.
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- Xbox Games With Gold adds Rayman Legends for Xbox One in March, promises two games in April 
- Bethesda reveals plans for their first E3 press conference on June 14, but what's in store? 
- Destiny update 1.1.1 shoves matchmaking into Weekly Heroic Strikes, solo runs no longer allowed 
- MechWarrior Online continues pushing toward greater accessibility, Player vs. AI mode in consideration 
- The Order: 1886 launch trailer is still reminding everyone it's exclusive to PlayStation 4 
- Rise of the Tomb Raider screenshots offer closer look at new frozen environments and updated Lara 
- Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance trailer stars at NIS' 2015 press event, meet the heroes 
- Surprise localization reveal from NIS America is Wii U/3DS platformer Rodea: The Sky Soldier