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That holiday 2DS bundle ain't lookin so hot anymore
In a surprise announcement during a Japanese-exclusive Nintendo Direct, Nintendo stated their plans to release new 3DS hardware in Japan starting in October. Early indications are that this "New 3DS" will receive a significant power boost, with a CPU upgrade confirmed and rumored boosts to RAM and VRAM. That's not all though, because the New 3DS will also feature a small analog stick on the right side of the screen, removing the need for a bulky analog stick peripheral.
The handheld does have some smaller changes as well, featuring rearranged "Start" and "Select" buttons, built-in NFC which one would assume is just for Amiibo functionality, "new" 3D functionality and a pair of additional shoulder buttons. Screen size has also been boosted for the regular 3DS, with both screens jumping 1.2x in size. The New 3DS XL screens remain the same, however. Oh, and the quad-buttons on the right are now color-coded, for what it's worth.
One other big announcement also accompanied the new hardware reveal. Accompanying the launch of the New 3DS will be Xenoblade Chronicles, ported to the handheld and exclusive to the upgraded version of the 3DS. Let me reiterate that this handheld Xenoblade Chronicles will not work on any 3DS or 3DS XL (or 2DS either) other than this New 3DS. No other exclusive games have been announced, nor have plans for further exclusives been confirmed, so hopefully old 3DS handhelds won't become obsolete any time soon. Don't worry though, odds are Nintendo won't even localize the damn thing.
Plans for the new 3DS hardware coming westward are said to be in the works for 2015. Meanwhile, Japan will get the New 3DS starting October 11. Reasons. Just, uh, maybe reconsider picking up a new 3DS this holiday season.
Shulk > Bowser, Link and Marth, you heard it here first
I have a secret that I have to admit. I never played Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii. Despite supporting Operation Rainfall and the localization of Xenoblade Chronicles as well as other JRPGs, its release slipped through my periphery. By the time I rediscovered the title it had already sold out in large part and GameStop was busy charging twice the price for new copies. Luckily, it seems that a majority of other Operation Rainfall supporters had their money where their mouths were.
Not only is the sequel Xenoblade Chronicles X being developed for Wii U (and being pushed as a headlining title no less), but today during a Japanese Nintendo Direct Shulk was confirmed for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Wii U and 3DS roster. Shulk, a very standard JRPG looking fellow, wields a particularly JRPG looking sword and even his Smash skill summons a party of fellows in order to pull off an epic RPG combo attack. One might even think Shulk comes from turn-based origins.
Shulk's selling point, however, is his sword -- the Monado. With the Monado Shulk is able to buff himself in four different ways, though each buff also comes with a debuff. Jump, Speed, Shield, Buster and Smash will, respectively, increase jumping power at the cost of defense, increase speed at the cost of attack strength, increase defense at the cost of movement speed, increase attacks at the cost of launching ability, and increase launch power at the cost of overall attack strength.
Shulk also claims to read the future, though it will take a particularly strong Super Smash Bros. player to be able to persuade anyone that's a game feature.
Also announced today was a special deal for fans who purchase both Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. After registering each title with Club Nintendo, players will unlock a special edition "Premium Sound Selection" soundtrack for the games. The digital album will feature "music taken from and inspired by the games." Just hit me with that Donkey Kong Rap and I'm all yours, Nintendo.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS will launch on October 3, which is just a bit more than a month away! Wii U-only fans will have to wait a bit longer, with the console version of the title still only tentatively planned for the holiday season. Everybody, please take a moment to tell Nintendo that we don't want any delays here. We're quickly approaching a dangerous time here. If Nintendo doesn't dedicate to a release date soon.. well, enough said.
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Another year, another Adventure Time game born from a partnership between Cartoon Network and developers WayForward. While neither of the two previous games have been spectacularly well received, erm, well, why not make a third game? Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom will be released in November later this year, shipping another action/adventure title full of classic Adventure Time humor for the whole family.
Three princesses from the Nameless Kingdom have been kidnapped and so it's up to Finn, with help from his faithful bro Jake, to rescue them and to discover who the kidnappers really are. With three unique temples and a final dungeon to be explored, as well as mini-adventures featuring the Ice King, Marceline, LSP and more, hopefully everyone feels like they're getting their money's worth.
Don't get me wrong, I respect the folk at Cartoon Network funding smaller development of interesting games like they're making. Still, as a huge Adventure Time, I think it would behoove them to try and find a partnership somewhere that could lead to some great, super high quality games. Imagine Platinum Games making an Adventure Time title like they're doing a Korra game? That would be unbelievable. For now, we're kind of stuck with these rather extravagantly priced action/adventure titles.
Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom will be released this November for the Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and about time, the PC.
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To kill a Titan is a task one should never take lightly. Or, you know, you should just kill as many of these pesky Titans as possible in order to absorb their delicious souls. Somewhere in between those two statements lies Titan Souls, an quirky 2D game that spring from the 48-hour Ludum Dare game jam. Apparently 48 hours was just enough to persuade developer Acid Nerve that this game needed to be fully developed. Publisher Devolver Digital agreed.
Now Acid Nerve is ready to share some of that experience with the world. Today marks the release of the first gameplay trailer of Titan Souls in its current form. Press and industry members were able to get a hands-on title at E3, which led to us adding it to our own awards for the convention, but Titan Souls are just meant to be shared. What we have here is a Shadow of the Colossus-style guantlet of boss battles. A game that trims the fat of clutter enemies to focus on the big, extreme, and highly challenging fights that leave their marks on players.
It's almost ingrained into me that the types of experiences Titan Souls is forming its entire game around are the ones I need to look forward to. They're the beast at the end of every Zelda dungeon, the plunge after every roller coaster climb, the thrill that gamers live and love for. In a short, demo burst I found this exhilarating, but a full game? I can't say for certain. What I can say is that each and every boss shown in this trailer will meet their doom at my hand. 'Ware, Titan. I am coming for you.
Titan Souls is planned to launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in early 2015, though fans can try a demo version of the game out at PAX Prime.
It's time to draw some Pikachus. All of the Pikachus. Pokemon Art Academy now has an official release date, so everyone better start clearing their late October schedules. Pick up the 3DS-exclusive drawing and painting training game starting October 24. Pokemon Art Academy will offer a variety of tutorials and guides to drawing a large variety of Pokemon, as well as provide digital tools to create a wide variety of art. Plus, artists can share their pictures on the Miiverse!
Okay, so sharing on the Miiverse isn't exactly every artists aspiration, especially considering the majority of the images there are of Luigi stamps placed into awkward and often terrifying positions. Luckily Nintendo realizes that not everyone wants their art limited to such a service and so has opened up sharing to the 3DS' SD card as well. Gamers can then take those SD cards wherever they please and post their art anywhere they like.
Whether someone is a professional artist or just sketching stick figures in the corners of the notebooks, a game like Pokemon Art Academy unites us all. There's a glorious community for sharing Pokemon fan art, because Pokemon is for everyone. Sharing that enjoyment with others is a part of enjoying the game. Just look at our wonderful Pokemon community as evidence.
Pokemon Art Academy will be available starting October 24. Just... try not to draw just Pikachus, okay?
Where do Pokemon go when they die? Into the Youkai Watch
Youkai Watch, Level-5's quirky ghost capturing game, may be coming westward in 2015 according to a translated interview with Akihiro Hino via Zakzak.co.kp. Level-5's CEO and believes that the west will get caught up in the same "whirlwind" of excitement that Japan is currently experiencing. The franchise is in line to become Japan's next Pokemon-level phenomena, finding success in games, manga, toys, television shows and even a movie.
Similar to Pokemon in all the right ways, Youkai Watch is about a young boy who cleanses and collects monsters and spirits with his special watch. He, and no one else, can see these spirits. The boy will have to use his new-found powers to battle angry spirits and help keep his town and friends safe.
The most difficult part of bringing Youkai Watch, often referred to as Ghost Watch, to the west would of course be manufacturing the toys that go hand in hand with the game. Imagine a bulky watch-shaped toy in which small collectible discs representing different ghosts can be kept. It wasn't the game that launched Youkai Watch into the spotlight, it was these toys in tandem with the cartoon.
Have no worries, prospective youkai collectors, because Akihiro Hino also confirmed that an agreement has already been made with a western toy manufacturer. This means that the west won't be seeing a limp, Capcom-esque digital-only release of Youkai Watch. Rather, expect a full blown culture invasion of game, toy, and one would imagine cartoon as well.
Level-5 is well known for their Professor Layton games and movies, their Inazuma Eleven soccer games, and an assortment of other titles that gamers hold dear to their hearts. It's Youkai Watch and none of those other properties that threaten to make Level-5 the next major competitor in Japan's gaming industry. Expect more information, hopefully including an official announcement rather than a loose translation, in the months to come.
It was first leaked on Tuesday that Audino would be recieving the Mega Evolution treatment next in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. The announcement came as a result of an official Korean Nintendo site accidentally posting the evolution. The implication was that an official announcement had to be just days away. That's now been confirmed, as Nintendo and Game Freak have released an official trailer showing Audino's Mega Evolution.
The trailer comes as a part of Nintendo's Gamescom presentation, where Junichi Masuda was giving a presentation at the convention. Masuda was a programmer on the original Pokemon games in the mid-90s, and a Nintendo composer all the way back into the late 80s. While the content of his presentation, likely a Q&A for the convention audience wasn't revealed, his surprise trailer has been pushed online to the official Nintendo Youtube channel.
Two fingers to the Key Stone in the Mega Ring bracelet on her wrist and Audino evolves into the adorable Mega Audino, a Normal/Fairy-type Pokemon described as a Healer:
"Mega Audino emits a soothing pulse from its body that reduces hostility in others. This powerful pulse calms any who come in range. Additionally, any creature that happens to come in contact with its second feelers will fall into a deep sleep.
When it Mega Evolves, this Pokémon gains the Fairy type. It has the Healer Ability regardless of what its Ability was prior to Mega Evolving. Its Defense and Sp. Defense are both improved, making it a good supporter in Double Battles and the like."
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be released on Nintendo 3DS starting November 21. When does Mega Slobro get his own trailer?
Another Super Smash Bros. veteran has returned to the roster. Kirby's alter ego, his shadow, his black knight, Meta Knight has been confirmed for Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Super Smash Bros. 3DS. Considering Super Smash Bros. 3DS is just a month away from release in Japan, Nintendo must be running out of fighters left to reveal. Kirby, however, can rest easy knowing that he, King Dedede and now Meta Knight will each be returning.
The anti-hero was essentially confirmed yesterday, when Sakurai's picture of the day showed a Mii Fighter in Meta Knight's armor. Considering the fighters mimic the playstyles of other fighters, to an extent at least, it made sense that Meta Knight was just awaiting his official reveal. It will be interesting to see exactly what the Mii Fighter's Meta Knight armor means in terms of gameplay. Maybe it's just a skin for the sword fighter and doesn't carry with it any other gameplay ramifications?
With potentially few roster spots, the question become who is left? There are a number of extremely important champs from Smash history that will cause riots if left off of the list. Ice Climbers? Falco? Dr. Mario? For all that is holy's sake, Ness and Jiggly puff still haven't been confirmed! Nintendo has some explaining to do in these weeks to come. Well, at least we all know Wario will probably wrangle one of the last spots for himself.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS will launch October 3 in North America and Europe, with Super Smash Bros. Wii U to follow that up with a holiday release. That is, if it isn't delayed as Nintendo so loves to do.
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A couple of great Mega leaks for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire this morning. Introducing Mega Slowbro and Mega Audino. Unfortunately our site was having issues this morning and I wasn't able to post them immediately, but I'm able to remedy that right now with the bonus of some extra details. Mega Slowbro and Mega Audino were both leaked via the official Korean Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire website. The official post has since been removed.
The internet never forgets though and as a result we have the official art for both Megabro and Megadino, a handful of in-game screenshots and their early details too. Mega Audino, for instance, will evolve from a Normal type into a badass Normal/Fairy type with the Healer ability. Mega Slowbro, fitting his stupid demeanor of slowly being devoured by a Shellder, does not change type as he evolves. However, Mega Slowbro does gain the ability Shell Armor. ... sigh. Damn it all, Slowbro.
It should be noted that yes, Mega Slowbrow is a Slowbro evolution and not a Slowking evolution. Both are branches off of the same Pokemon tree. I think Slowking is what happens when Slowbro's innate psychic abilities activate and he uses the parasitic Shellder for additional power, whereas Mega Slowbro is what happens when the psychic ability doesn't kick in and the Pokemon simply continues being devoured alive.
No further Pokemon Omega Ruby or Pokemon Alpha Sapphire details today, everyone. It's just the leak and the scant details that snuck out with it. Hopefully we'll have some more official details soon straight from Nintendo, like which stats will get boosted with each Mega's evolution.
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Nintendo of North America has a lot of catch-up to do
Earlier this week Mega Altaria, Mega Lopunny and Mega Salamence were revealed in the usual CoroCoro scan leaks from Japan. More Megas in Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire is good news for both you and me. Those leaks also confirmed some new details about Pikachu's cosplay contests, such as new skills depending on which costume Pikachu is wearing. It was an amazing drop of information, but it lacked being official... until now.
Today, Nintendo's official Youtube channel rushed the gun and released all-new game footage of the three new Mega Evolutions, the costume contests, Pikachu's cosplay skills, and a few surprises too. Needless to say, it's all so beautiful. Mega Altaria's majestic clouds, Mega Lopunny's ripped muscles, and Mega Salamence still has arms! I saw them, I swear!
For those looking for additional information on the Mega Evolved Pokemon: Altaria's largest boosts will come to both its Attack and Special Attack stats, though its Defense will also increase; Lopunny learns the Scrappy ability, and gains a huge boost to its Attack and a smaller boost to its Speed. Salamence's Defense will get the most reward from Mega Evolving, but it will also gain the Aerilate ability which turns Normal-type moves into Flying-type moves.
As for surprises... first, I have to mention that Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will launch with a distribution event. Starting November 21. Shiny Beldum will be available via in-game Internet distribution -- that's the Pokemon that evolved all the way into Shiny Metagross. The Pokemon will of course be holding its Mega Evolution stone upon delivery. Note that it says "in-game" here, which means it's for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire early adopters. Shiny Beldum is basically a pre-order bonus. Oh, and this is confirmed for both the USA and Canada!
Another fun surprise includes the reveal of Horde Battles coming to Hoenn. The gang-fight style ambushes of multiple Pokemon popping out of the tall grass and asking you to smash their faces in was both received well and poorly in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, depending on the type of trainer you were. These battles were great for leveling, great for hunting down certain types of Pokemon, but take forever to just beat up and keep on your way. Hordes of trainers has also been confirmed, though what that looks like in practice...
Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire will be available starting November 21 later this year. Hopefully there will be a Mega Evolution for everyone's favorite Pokemon
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- Nintendo declares August to be National Princess Peach Month, stay pretty in pink to celebrate 
- 12 Super Smash Bros. Amiibos confirmed for the holidays, $12.99 price point may slow collecting 
- Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal PAX trailer leaked, Shadow steals the show 
- Nintendo reveals upgraded 'New 3DS' with second analog stick, boosted hardware 
- New 'Tropes vs Women in Video Games' episode continues with topic of violence against women 
- Assassin's Creed Unity needs more development time, delayed until early November 
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor trailer introduces the lovable and disgusting Ratbag, an orc ally 
- Nintendo gives in to evil, Hyrule Warriors has retailer exclusive pre-order bonus skins for Zelda and Link