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Nintendo Consoles News

Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct to air April 24 at 11:00am PT

10 comments Rory Young - 6:15pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Let's hope the voice acting isn't horrifying

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Heads up Wii U fans, Nintendo has a quick Nintendo Direct event coming up tomorrow. Yes, they've snuck one in to surprise us. This one will focus entirely on the upcoming Wii U exclusive Xenoblade Chronicles X, which after the delay of Zelda Wii U will now be the major platform release of 2015. Tune into the Nintendo Direct starting tomorrow, April 23 at 11:00am PT. 

Nintendo has actually done quite a few Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Directs in the past few months, but they've all be exclusive to Japan. That's because the game will be released on April 29 in the Japanese region. Meanwhile, a North American release date has yet to be announced. My guess would be that we won't see it arriving until this holiday season, due to the Wii U's thin release schedule, but maybe we'll be surprised tomorrow.

As for what we should expect, well, there's a lot of the game that has yet to be shown to the west. The event will likely jump around to all sorts of content, but I'm certain they'll touch on just how big the open world is, the giant mechs that the player can battle in, or perhaps a closer look at the Earth's obliteration, or maybe the huge multiplayer battles. Or maybe Nintendo will just delay the game onto the next console. Now that would be a surprise.

Check out the official Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct tomorrow at 11:00am PT over at the official Nintendo Direct website. Maybe we'll have a live-blog if there's enough interest!


Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven to launch June 2, 3DS RPG from the Rune Factory team

3 comments Rory Young - 11:10am (PST) Like (2) Share

The subtitle of "Maiden Heaven" really says it all, doesn't it?

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The team behind Rune Factory and Story of Seasons, now comfortable in their new home as part of Marvelous, has a new 3DS RPG that everyone can look forward to coming out soon. Today Marvelous and the localization team at XSEED Games announced that Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will be released on June 2. With anime-styled characters, a unique combat system where enemies can be flung into their allies, and hours and hours of play, Lord of Magna might be worth looking into.

At the same time, while Lord of Magna is supposed to be an RPG, XSEED hasn't really shown us how epic of a storyline we should expect yet. I think it has something to do with the player being an innkeeper and suddenly becoming the master of five fairy girls. Oh, Japan. What sort of epic adventures the party can look forward to will hopefully be further explored between now and June.

As expected from the awesome folk at XSEED, Lord of Magna's first run will be bundled with a CD holding a selection of 28 songs from the game. XSEED is basically the only team that does this, which may be why they're the best at this sort of thing. Once the first run of copies has sold out the soundtrack will not be bundled with the game again, so make sure to pick that up early if you want the bonus. 

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will launch on 3DS starting June 2 for the price of $39.99 in both retail and digital form. Europeans and Australians can also look forward to the game starting June 4, though only in digital form.

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Guitar Hero Live's 'Behind the Scenes' trailer goes backstage

1 comments Rory Young - 11:37am (PST) Like Share

This six-button guitar idea is growing on me

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As a follow-up to last week's Guitar Hero Live announcement, FreeStyleGames and Activision released a "Behind the Scenes" trailer to provide some added depth to the reveal. The reveal of another Guitar Hero game being in production alone was enough to get people excited, to get people curious. Yet there's much more to Guitar Hero Live, as it's shaking things up in terms of form and content -- it's even changing up the plastic guitar. Most importantly, it left people with questions.

Enter the Behind the Scenes trailer. While the trailer itself doesn't introduce any new information features or content for fans to get excited about, it does give a closer look into the features that have already been revealed. Primarily the trailer focuses on the live-action campaign, the music video "TV Channel," and the new guitar design. Hopefully the backstage tour showing filming and "GHTV" sections give everyone some perspective on what the team's trying to accomplish in Guitar Hero Live.

What seems to be the most important portion of the trailer to me is the closer look at the guitar and the reasoning behind the changes. The guitar in Guitar Hero Live will feature six buttons, or two rows of three. Gameplay will feature the same music notes scrolling down-screen, but only in three rows instead of the standard five fans have grown to expect. The different between the top and bottom rows will be noted by either a white or black color to these notes.

Why the changes? It's actually pretty simple -- the 6-button configuration allows for both easier and harder difficulties, while also fixing a glaring issue that prevented a lot of players from getting the entire Guitar Hero experience. I'm talking of course about the infamous pinkie button, which sadly many Guitar Hero player couldn't and would never be able to reach. With just three rows of buttons, players won't have to stretch that way. Meanwhile, with six buttons and two rows, finger positioning for very hard difficulties will only get more complicated, more challenging. The best of both worlds, but the question remains whether audiences are ready for such a dramatic change.

Guitar Hero Live will be launching later this year on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and mobile devices. Apparently only PC gamers have been deemed lacking in rock and roll.



Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations to bring Ooo into 3D, arrives in November

3 comments Rory Young - 11:22am (PST) Like Share

Ice King in 3D is actually quite unsettling

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When one thinks of Adventure Time, one thinks of action, mystery, fun and of course adventure. When one thinks of what one would like from an Adventure Time video game, it's those things as experienced and explored from the player's perspective. Publisher Little Orbit has experimented with doing this in 2D up to now, but as of today it looks like their aspirations have now grown to 3D. Introducing Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations.

Yes, Adventure Time is being made into a 3D action-adventure game! It could only get better if it was open-world, but maybe that'd be best to save for a sequel. Finn and Jake Investigations sees our heroic duo taking on the career of their investigator parents, solving mysteries like detectives themselves. They'll be interrogating the curious citizens of Ooo, fighting off dastardly enemies, solving puzzles and exploring many familiar settings from the Adventure Time cartoon. And of course, it's all in 3D.

While the gameplay from Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations will have to be proven with some deeper video features, I'd say that we can at least recognize how spot on the 3D visuals of the game are. It's actually getting me a bit stirred up to see places like Finn and Jake's treehouse in 3D, as a place the player will get to explore. I mean, let's keep expectations in check. Vicious Cycle and Little Orbit aren't known for their ambitious work. Still, just from first impressions this could be the start of something really cool.

Adventure Time: Jake and Finn Investigations is a 3D action-adventure game coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS starting November later this year. Hopefully the game is great and the sequel is a full on Banjo Kazooie adventure platformer.

Note: Working on getting the early gameplay footage uploaded. It's of much higher quality than the screenshots, which for some reason are very grainy. 

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Leaked images confirm Mickey, Mulan, Tron and Pixar's Inside Out part of Disney Infinity 3.0 line-up

3 comments Rory Young - 4:27pm (PST) Like Share

Come on, Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Edition

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With Disney Infinity becoming an annual franchise after last year's Marvel Super Heroes release, fans are already speculating as to what the theme of the 2015 release of the game will be. While Disney Infinity 3.0 doesn't have a title yet, though it's largely speculated to be Star Wars themed, a Chinese retailer has leaked what's assumed to be the first wave of figures for the release. 11 new figures will be joining the already large pool available to Disney Infinity players, most which shouldn't be too surprising.

The 11 figures all fit into the category of recent big Disney releases, announcements, or ongoing content.

  • Headlining the 3.0 wave of figures will be Disney's perennial mascots, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It's more of a surprise that they've lasted this long without being added! Mickey and Minnie are starring in what must be monthly cartoon shorts on Disney's "DisneyShorts" Youtube channel.
  • Next up is Mulan, who we just learned will be starring in her own live-action film (official announcement pending). Disney's has also unlocked the vault to offer the Mulan Blu Ray, DVD and digital movie for the time being.
  • Olaf is still popular from his Frozen days, but now we know Frozen 2 is in the works as well. I wish the silly snowman would just melt, but his Disney Infinity figure looks solid enough.
  • Pixar's upcoming film, Inside Out, will see all five of its emotion-themed protagonists join Disney Infinity. Meet Joy, Disgust, Sadness, Fear and Anger are all getting their own figures.
  • The biggest surprise of hte group are two characters from Disney's Tron franchise. Both protagonists from the 2010 film Tron: Legacy are getting figures, Sam Flynn and Quorra. It might have something to do with the Tron: Legacy sequel starring Quorra named Tron: Ascension that begins filming this October.

That wraps up the 11 figures that have been leaked. Keep in mind that these are Disney Infinity 3.0 exclusive characters, meaning they won't be backwards compatible with the original game or Marvel Super Heroes. It's also important to note that these are not going to be the bundled-in figures with the game either, meaning they'll likely be sold individually. The main Disney Infinity 3.0 theme has yet to be unveiled (come on, Star Wars).

Expect further details on Disney Infinity 3.0 in the months to come, as well as official confirmation regarding the different figures that will be part of the game's release.

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March NPD Number Crunch: Battlefield Hardline, Bloodborne lead a month of stingier sales

3 comments Leo Chan - 6:02pm (PST) Like Share

PS4 retakes hardware sales crown as both it and Xbox One continue to outsell predecessors

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From the smouldering crater left by February's moonfall emerges new frontrunners to lead video game software sales in the U.S. for the month of March. According to NPD, Battlefield: Hardline and Bloodborne convincingly earned the top two spots in the monthly software top ten charts for U.S. retail sales. Many of February's top sellers have since fallen off the charts, though unsurprisingly most of the incumbents are multiplatform releases.

That said, March still witnessed a fine showing for platform exclusives like Bloodborne, MLB 15: The Show, and Mario Party 10. Square Enix's Final Fantasy: Type 0 HD barely breaking into the software top ten should also be a pleasant surprise for fans, considering the title isn't really a numbered flagship release in the series.

March 2014 (which saw the launch of Titanfall) may have been a tough act to follow even for March 2015's new titles, as monthly (physical) software sales would decrease 3 percent year-on-year to $395.4 million USD. That said, eighth-generation console (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U) software sales as a whole still managed to grow 58 percent compared to March 2014. U.S. retail sales for the gaming industry as a whole would fall 6 percent to $963.7 million.

The PS4 succeeded in reclaiming the crown for top-selling gaming machine of the month from the New Nintendo 3DS XL. NPD notes that both the PS4 and Xbox One continue to outsell their predecessors for the seventeenth month in a row. Unfortunately, total hardware sales dropped 21 percent year-on-year to $311.1 million last month, but this was attributed to the steep decline in sales for previous generation consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) as opposed to the current offerings.

March 2015 Top Ten Software Sales
  Game Publisher Platform Release
1. Battlefield: Hardline Electronic Arts Xbox One / PS4 / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC 03/2015
2. Bloodborne Sony Computer Entertainment PS4 03/2015
3. Grand Theft Auto V Rockstar PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 11/2014
4. Mario Party 10 Nintendo Wii U 03/2015
5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Activision PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
6. MLB 15: The Show Sony Computer Entertainment PS4 / PS3 / Vita 03/2015
7. Minecraft 4J Studios PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 11/2014
8. NBA 2K15 2K Games PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC 10/2014
9. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection 2K Games PS4 / Xbox One 03/2015
10. Final Fantasy Type 0 HD Square Enix PS4 / Xbox One 03/2015

Rumor: Super Smash Bros. update 1.06 hides files for Street Fighter's Ryu and Fire Emblem's Roy

26 comments Rory Young - 3:25pm (PST) Like Share

Tekken, SNK, Tatsunoku, Namco and now Super Smash Bros.

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A 3DS tinkerer on Reddit has uncovered something special for Super Smash Bros. fans to think about. While decrypting the code for the fighting game's latest patch, 1.05, several sound files were discovered which were previously not there. Some of these were tied to DLC characters Mewtwo and the recently revealed Lukas. In addition to these two DLC characters, two other unannounced characters also had sound files added: Ryu from Street Fighter and Fire Emblem's Super Smash Bros. veteran Roy.

Is it possible that Nintendo accidentally pushed some files tied to upcoming DLC releases? It certainly seems so. After the sound files were converted to something we could listen to outside of the game, it's hard to deny. The sound files are in fact victory tracks. As in, the songs that play when characters win a round of Super Smash Bros. The existence of these tracks implies that somewhere Nintendo is at least experimenting with making these characters playable.

I've got to flag this story as a hard rumor right now, however, as shinyquagsire23 is so far the only person able to verify the existence of the files. He is, however, confirmed to be a rather well known 3DS "tinkerer" and can be verified as such just by his Reddit comment history alone. Without some secondary sources though, I'd recommend maintaining some healthy skepticism.

Even should the decrypted data be verified from Super Smash Bros. 3DS' 1.05 patch, it's best to keep in mind that nothing is official until it comes directly from Nintendo or Capcom. That Ryu might be added to the game behind closed doors does not mean that he can't be cut and left on the development floor. Same with Roy. Maybe Nintendo will decide to rush out some DLC from the community vote, rather than these guys.

Now that we've covered our bases regarding how Ryu and Roy are just rumored characters -- how awesome would it be to get them? How crazy would that be? A Street Fighter character being added to Smash Bros. is a cross-over that I think everyone in video games can support. Not to say Roy isn't a great addition as well, but come on, he's no Ice Climbers. Hopefully we get some official confirmation from Nintendo or Capcom soon!


Hoopa Unbound discovered in Pokemon Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby, mythical Pokemon's true form

33 comments Rory Young - 12:38pm (PST) Like (1) Share

I at first wrote Hoopa Unborn, which might change the dynamic quite a bit

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With the latest Pokemon movie finally coming to theaters in the west, it makes sense that that Pokemon Company would try to capitalize in the excitement. Introducing Hoopa Unbound, an all new form for the 720th Pokemon in the Pokedex. Details regarding the mysterious Pokemon Hoopa and its newly discovered form are unclear, though odds are you're going to want to hold onto your copies of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire to find out more.

What we do know about Hoopa's Unbound form is that it will be a Psychic and Dark-type Pokemon. This is an alteration of Hoopa's standard typing, which is Psychic and Ghost-type. Those are the important changes, as least. The less important being Hoopa's growth of a total of 6 arms, an increase in height to 6.5 meters and weight gain up to half of a ton. The Djinn Pokemon doesn't mess around, so when Hoopa gains the Magician ability everyone best watch out.

Hoopa's acquisition is still a mystery, or at least that's what Nintendo and Game Freak are enforcing after a buggy way of discovering the Pokemon in-game was patched out. Odds are we'll find out the way to discover Hoopa, as well as Hoopa Unbound, closer to the launch of Pokemon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages later this year. Will it be a simple distribution (like Diancie) or will there be some in-game tomfoolery? Hopefully Game Freak makes it fun.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Pokemon Omega Ruby are currently available for the Nintendo 3DS. While Hoopa may not yet be unlocked, expect more news on the Pokemon in the weeks and months ahead. Nintendo loves to drag these things out, so at least we won't be starved for new bites of information.


Activision's Guitar Hero Live reboot mixes first-person FMV concerts and a network of music videos

6 comments Rory Young - 12:04pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Our time has come again, kings and queens of the plastic guitar

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Activision couldn't just stand around and let Harmonix reboot the plastic peripheral-based rhythm genre without them. Today Activision announced a reboot of the Guitar Hero franchise. Introducing Guitar Hero Live, developed by the DJ Hero studio FreeStyleGames, a modern pressing of the reset button the the guitar-playing franchise that kicked off an era of popular music games. While not reinventing the wheel, Activision is hoping Guitar Hero Live's changes will kick off a new era of music games.

Two core experiences are being advertised for Guitar Hero Live, one being the core experience of the base game and the second intended to give longevity to the experience. Let's start with the former. Guitar Hero Live is, well, live. The "single-player campaign," if we can call it that, is essentially a first-person "live-action" experience. The player will be put on stage and play in front of a "live audience." It can almost be said to be a full-motion video game, though I imagine it's a bit cleverer than that.

The second half of the Guitar Hero Live equation is the music video library, which Activision is calling the Guitar Hero TV network. It's a collection of "continually updated" official music videos spanning all sorts of genres which players will be able to play through. Examples shown include Best Days of My Life by the American Authors and Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. This mode will include multiplayer features for local players or asymmetric leaderboards the world over.

Campaign changes and music videos are all fun and good, but let's get to the dramatic changes -- Activision is changing the guitar. Yes, the classic color-coded, 6-button guitar is changing. Guitar Hero Live's guitar will be designed to take into account for what must have been a rather large complaint -- small hands can't reach all of the buttons. With the new guitar, the buttons will be in two rows rather than just a single one. Three buttons on top of three buttons, rather than six wide. It's so simple, but so smart.

Lucky for me, I never grew tired of the Guitar Hero franchise. I was playing all the way up until the end and excited for more. It's great to have it back. I will say some of the new changes have me extra excited though. The addition of first-person sounds really fun, especially with the possibility of VR headsets coming into play down the line. I'd love to experience an actual concert experience in full 3D, but that may not become a reality just quite yet -- especially with no PC support.

Guitar Hero Live is tentatively scheduled for release in autumn later this year. Expect the plastic guitar game to come to all manner of platforms (except for PC) including PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U and even mobile and tablet devices.

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New Nintendo 3DS gets Unity support

9 comments Leo Chan - 11:37am (PST) Like (2) Share (1)

First and third-party 3DS developers can now unite under Unity

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Unity Technologies confirmed during the keynote speech at its developer conference in Tokyo today that the Unity game engine now supports New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL. The engine will allow developers to take advantage of the platform's hardware and software features. This also will provide budding and current game developers who leverage Unity for their apps and projects with the opportunity to explore Nintendo's latest handhelds as potential release platforms.

The announcement only makes mention of the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 3DS XL, which isn't too surprising considering these were designed to contain a bit more blast processing than the no-so-New 3DS handhelds. However this could serve to widen the gap between the two 3DS families even further, as Unity-developed 3DS games may not be optimized to run on the older 3DS models.

Nintendo and Unity already enjoy a good working relationship, as the console giant previously made the cross-platform game engine the default software development kit for the Wii U.

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