Tag Archives: 3ds

LEGO: Lord of The Rings Available to Buy

I appear to have gotten myself some kind of a reputation around these parts for being the ‘LEGO Guru’. Yes, I’m a fan. Yes, I own most of the games (all the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Batman LEGO games *whistles nonchalantly* ) and I grew up playing with the famous plastic bricks, as is now my daughter. So yes, you could say I’m some what of a fan.

So when I did my first piece about the Lord of the Rings trilogy being immortalised in brick form, my heart leapt in joy while my stomach flipped like some tumbling acrobat. Happy days! Watching the trailer a few months ago, this game seems to break a few of the usual LEGO rules which TT Games started in the second Batman game. The tongue-in-cheek humour isn’t there so much, it’s a lot more obvious now. But the main thing is voice actors. And it’s actually pretty cool. As usual, TT Games came out fighting and it looks like they have another smash-hit in Lord of the Rings. Does this mean that there will be more of the game like Harry Potter and Star Wars? I assume so, but we will just have to wait and see.

For those of you out there chomping at the bit for this game- you can buy it now in the US and on November 23rd in Europe. Ah, you were attempting to buy Christmas gifts this year? Pfffft. I don’t think so…

New Paper Mario Trailer

A new trailer has been released for Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Watching the trailer through, it seems as though the game is a little more tricky than I once believed. It still looks like a very fun game, and I’m still going to be one of the first in line to buy it but I once believed that it would a bit of a simplistic game and aimed more towards the kid buyers of the market.

Having said this, obviously it shows that I have never played any of the Paper Mario games before this one and I’m really looking forward to it. So without further ado, here’s the trailer I promised. Enjoy :)

http://youtu.be/oh-_1LYJXvQ

Fractured Soul Brings Platform Shooting to 3DS With a Twist

3DS owners that have been itching for a new side-scrolling shooter will be pleased to know that Fractured Soul will be materializing into our world on September 13, 2012.

Available through the eShop for $11.99 (U.S.), Fractured Soul takes the traditional formula for the genre and throws in a couple really unique looking concepts. Utilizing both screens, players will guide the main-character through a dangerous space station as he tries to escape as evildoers take over. With his unique ability to shift between parallel dimensions, players can phase through booby-traps and bullets instantly with the press of a button.

Using his unique dimension bending talents, our mystery man will be tested while fighting through 5 zones. In addition, there will be unlockable challenge levels to really push players to the limit.

And for all the speedrunners out there, online leader boards will keep track of who the fastest in the land is.

Happy 20th Birthday!

It’s everyone’s favourite racing game- Mario Kart! How many times have you played the game, trying to beat your score or even beating your little sister? Which was the first version of the game that you ever played? I can remember the first one I played, and it was Mario Kart 64. Which for me is still one of the best versions that Nintendo have ever released.

Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and first released in 1992 on the Super Nintendo or SNES, the game opened to a massive welcome addition for the franchise. It went on to be one of the best-selling SNES games, and seeing many variations afterwards. The idea of the game is that you drive like a bat out of hell on a little go-kart with Mario sitting atop it and racing against your friends like Luigi, Princess Peace, Bowser, Toad and other alike. Using the power-ups and speed-ups to propel you faster along the course, it was almost like a Nintendo version of Pole Position in the beginning. With up to a possible eight people racing on the track, the idea was to come first in the race and win the cup. To do this, you had to slow down your opponants by tossing out Koopa Shells and laying banana peels on the track. Each race is on average about three laps long. In multiplayer mode, you can challenge friends for the three cups available- the Flower Cup, the Mushroom Cup and the Star Cup. Once those three were collected, the Special Cup was then unlocked and available for you to get.

The series of games were:

  • Super Mario Kart (1992, Super Nintendo)
  • Mario Kart 64 (1996, Nintendo 64)
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit (2001, Game Boy Advance)
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash! (2003, Nintendo Gamecube)
  • Mario Kart DS (2005, Nintendo DS)
  • Mario Kart Wii (2008, Nintendo Wii)
  • Mario Kart 7 (2011, Nintendo 3DS)
There have been variations on each game, with Mario Kart Wii giving the ability to use motorbikes and Mario Kart 7 having hang gliders and submarines- as well as the usual go karts.

I’ve personally never owned any of the games, but I’ve played Mario Kart 7 a couple of times and I’ve been giving some thought to downloading a copy of Super Mario Kart on the Virtual Console. Have you ever owned any of the games? And if so- which ones?

 

Too Much Mario?

Nintendo is replying to claims that they are releasing too many Super Mario Brothers games back to back. This of course all comes after the recent release of New Super Mario Bros 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Before that, there was the release of Super Mario 3D Land. And after this we of course have Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon for the 3DS; Super Mario Bros U for the infamous, yet vague Nintendo Wii U on the horizon. With still no release date in sight.

Is it a case of too much, too soon? Nintendo doesn’t seem to think so. They have stated that they only release an SMG franchise game once per console. So keeping that in mind, we’ve already had a Super Mario Land and a Super Mario Bros- with Paper Mario and Luigi’s Mansion left to roll out for the console. The only thing we’re missing is a Smash Bros, it doesn’t usually get released on the DS/3DS handheld console- but the same was said with LM, so it seems that the idea is to never say never when it comes to Nintendo. They always seem to have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Of course, Nintendo have been trying to design two side-scrolling platformers at the same time, NSMB2 and SMBU. Did they think that it was a wise idea to have both of them on the market around the same time? Some people are a tad old-school and prefer the comfort of the 2D side-scroller, where others prefer the newer 3D variety. Me? I like both of them, even though the 2D is almost like a blast from the past for me. It takes me back to Saturday afternoons with glasses of milk and Nutella sandwiches- it’s pure nostalgia. Nintendo thinks exactly the same:

“What we have in the sidescrolling games is a goal, and to reach that goal you’re jumping and flying and collecting items and attacking and defeating enemies—and you have this sort of almost in a managerial sense a checklist of the things you have to do to get from here to here. I think that structure is something that really goes beyond cultural and language boundaries, which means we are really presenting Mario games to consumers as a ‘Nintendo-representative’ game that you can only play on a Nintendo platform.”

Even with the saddening delay of Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon- there are hints of the game inside NSMB2, with mini mansions to play though in the worlds. No ghostbusting, just purely collect the coins and run away. It’s a nice holdover though until the full-fat version is released in 2013. I personally, cannot ever get enough Mario as he’s someone I’ve grown up with since childhood and I don’t care how many games Nintendo continues to release- I will still be first in line to buy them. I love the little guy and his adorable brother. I’m glad that Nintendo changed the name though, as I’m not sure how popular he would be today if he was called ‘Jump Man’.

 

GKick Review: Kingdom Hearts 3D

FACT SHEET
Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance | Available Now
Nintendo 3DS | Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios| Developer: Square Enix

It’s been a while since I picked up this game, actually almost two weeks but there is just so much to it that I didn’t know where to start. Being someone that has only played about five minutes of the original KH game on the PS2- I didn’t know if I was well suited for the job of reviewing the 3DS version, but I decided to throw down the gauntlet and give it a shot. Having played the game on the brand-new Nintendo 3DS XL, I could see that the game was far more suited for a larger console and wished that they could have released a version of the game for the Nintendo Wii too.

Starting up the game, you are immediately treated to an immense 3D presentation of the intro- which frankly, blows you away and presents the 3D graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS XL to it’s maximum. At this point I am wondering how much more improved the graphics can be, but I forget of course that this is a cut scene and in my years of gaming, I always know that those are much better than the graphics in the actual game. As someone who has never really played any of the games in the franchise, I am completely on the edge and wondering what to expect next. I know nothing of Sora or Riku or their backstories. I didn’t even really know why Square Enix had fused a Final Fantasy-type game with Disney characters.

But still I soldiered on, scratching my head at the many confusions about ‘key blades’ or ‘portals’. The main outline of the game is that Sora and Riku are aiming to become ‘keyblade masters’ and to complete this,  they have to unlock all the Sleeping Keyholes. Completing each world unlocks a keyhole, and at the end of each world there is a World Boss. There are also monsters called ‘Dream Eaters’. The bad Dream Eaters aim to steal your dreams and must be defeated. The good Dream Eaters are also called ‘sprites’ and are almost like Pokemon to help you along the way as companions. With these Sprites, you level them up as you would any other kind of virtual pet. There’s also an option to pet them like an animal from Nintendogs and to be able to take little 3D pictures of them using the built-in camera on the handheld system. But of course, only if you wanted to.

As I played more of the game, I discovered how fun yet frustrating this game could be. Something kept me playing though, the compelling music and the amazing graphics kept me glued to my portable console- playing hour after hour and day after day of the game. One of my favourite things about the whole game is the combat system, as it was very stereotypical of Square Enix games. The combat system is almost a good 50% of the game. Killing each Dream Eater using the Flow system was pretty cool too, sliding along rails and swinging between lamp posts like a cartoon version of Tarzan. My only downfall of the game though was the Drop system, I found it very irritating to be almost playing two games alongside each other. You have a set time on both Riku and Sora, playing in parallel worlds but different stories and different characters to accompany them along the way. After this set time, the Drop timer runs out and you are moved back to the other character, stopping you leveling up one characters quicker than the other. This can happen at any time, so if you’re in the middle of a boss fight and you are dropped out- you have to start the fight all over again when you play the character again.

Release Dates For Christmas 3DS Titles

All of you out there budgeting your way towards Christmas to afford all the games being released in the run-up to the holiday season have just been relieved of a title to purchase. The much-loved and highly-wanted Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon has been put back officially until 2013, as says the announcement on the Nintendo website. If you’re still hopeful for some quality Mario games to play at Christmas while everyone has had their fill of turkey and is watching sports on tv- you’re still in luck, I promise you.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star is set for a release date of 11th November, 2012 and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is slated for a release on 28th October, 2012. I’m personally still looking forward to Paper Mario, even though Luigi’s Mansion has been delayed a few months. So at least I will still have something to play!

New Super Mario Bros 2 eShop Pricing

It’s been confirmed in the last few days that the Nintendo eShop pricing on the 3DS will be higher than the physical, retail copy. Now, I’m not sure how they work this one out as surely it would cost far more money to make the cartridge, the box, print all the leaflets and box liners…

But what do I know? Average retail price for the retail version is £29.99 and the eShop version is selling for a whopping £39.99. That’s an extra £10 a copy. Yes, Nintendo are giving you a massive 100 Club Nintendo stars for the digital purchase, but is that enough compensation considering that it’s just a digital file at the end of the day? At least with the retail version you can sell it on, pass it to friends to play, and just general keep it on a shelf so should you ever stop playing the game- you can just pop it back into the box and put it on the shelf. Physical games are good like that.

I’ve no insight into pricing in the US, but as soon as I get wind of anything- I’ll be sure to pass on the news.

GKick vs Nintendo 3DS XL

Oh I do spoil you lovely, lovely readers.

Welcome to my meeting with the brand-new Nintendo 3DS XL. Since I am a UK resident, the console was released here a few weeks earlier than the US so I am coming to you from the future! 😉

On first opening of the box, you’ll notice the lack of a charger. This has already been well-documented by various news outlets but it seems that several retailers (including GameStop in the US) are packaging the new console together with the charger. Also, if you’re upgrading but not trading in, you can use the old 3DS charger for the new XL. The same charger from the DSi XL also works with the new console.

It comes in quite a small box, very little packaging in the box too which is always nice to see. Save the planet, and all that. Of course, the usual bits of paperwork are in there with the console. Depending on what colour you got, my review may be slightly biased. I bought the red version (it’s my favourite colour) and one of the very first things I noticed after removing it from the box was the instant greasy fingerprints you leave all over the console. It harked back to the days of my GameBoy Advance SP which also was a PITA for leaving fingerprints. And so again, I am forever cleaning it to remove them. With the old-style 3DS, you never really had that with it being so shiny. I mean in the sense that they weren’t so obvious to spot.

Opening the console for the first time, the hinge is definetely as strong on this one if not a little stronger. First impressions about the 3DS XL other than the fingerprint remark? Even with my tiny little girl hands, I found the console very easy to grip and I felt like my long fingers were no longer fighting for gaming space to try and press the buttons. I personally, always found both the screen and the layout of the 3DS a little small for me. I still believe that there’s too many buttons on it for a console that size. This is where the 3DS XL triumphs. The bigger console means that the buttons are more spread out, and if you struggle with eyesight issues and before you were always squinting at the screen- you no longer will have to with the 90% bigger screen.

And it’s really not a sales gimmick. The screen really is so much bigger than the original 3DS. And also the clarity and sharpness are improved too. Staring at the screen for a long period of time means that the 3D effect (should you have it turned on) is also not as harsh on your eyes either. Not that I’m recommending that you glue yourself to a console for a little longer each day, haha. As I mentioned before too, the 3D slider now has an audible click so you know when the effect is turned off or on. As always, Nintendo recommends that the 3D effect is not turned on for children below the age of 7- no matter how much they want to play Mario Kart in 3D.

The sound seems to be improved somewhat also. I always believed that it sounded a little tinny and cheap on the 3DS. With the inclusion of a newly-designed speaker system- the sound on the console now seems to be just as good with headphones or without. Of course, if you’re playing Nintendogs- do you really want everyone around knowing that you’re a grown adult playing on a cute puppy game?

The battery has also been beefed up on the new console. With the old 3DS, a couple of hours gaming with the 3D and the wireless turned on and you would find that your battery would drain faster than water going down the drain. With the new XL, Nintendo have been kind enough to put a smarter battery into their new console. I’m still on the first full charge of the battery, playing about an hour each day. And it’s literally only just had the red light flicker on to tell me to plug in the charger. I’m very impressed, as I’ve had the console for just under a week and only now is it asking for some more juice. This is what we always wanted to see on handheld consoles- it was very much a bugbear with the last edition. And as always, Nintendo listened and delivered.

Supposedly, the new console is meant to be heavier than the 3DS but with it being larger and more ergonomic- it felt like the weight was better spaced out over the whole console where I always felt all the weight was at one end on the old version. I personally like the extra heft as I feel like I’m holding something worth the money I paid out for it. If technology has proven anything to us, it’s that the general public don’t really like light things. The heavier the weight, the more you feel like you bought something that was worth the hundreds you paid for it. I don’t think the extra weight is distracting, but better balanced that the 3DS.

Even with the new additions to the console like the bigger screen- is it worth the upgrade? I traded in my 3DS for my 3DS XL and I believe that it was very much worth it for me. Having suffered from many years of staring at tiny little screens on the Nintendo handheld- right from the early days of the GameBoy with the black and green dot matrix screen. It’s a real treat to be able to play games like Super Mario Land 3D on the bigger screen and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm is a joy. I really love it. But, saying this other people have held the machine and have said that even though the console is bigger- it’s also lighter and thinner so it makes it harder for people with larger hands than me to grip it properly. And of course, you don’t wish to be dropping anything that expensive. Even if Nintendo are insisting that they’ve made this console a little more durable. So- I shall leave it with you fair readers. If it’s not available in your country yet- go to your nearest gaming store and see if they have a demo model available to play and make up your own minds. I fell in love with it from the first time I played it- but it might take you a little longer to warm up to it.

Good luck and happy gaming! :)

XL Sales Better Than 3DS

In the first opening week of the new Nintendo 3DS XL, it has sold 10,000 units just in the UK alone. There’s still about another week until the console is released in the US and hopefully Nintendo can continue the celebrations. It’s nothing compared to the Japanese figures, which sold in the hundreds of thousands. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the ten thousand strong sold in the UK was over the course of a week. The hundreds of thousands sold in Japan occurred over two days- which makes my head spin a little.  This is because the console was released in Japan on the same week as New Super Mario Bros. 2- which is not released for another two weeks here in the UK. The combination of Mario with a new Nintendo console is always a winner on the sales charts.

In the UK though, the launch of the Nintendo 3DS XL has helped to boost the sales of such Mario games as Super Mario Land 3D and Mario Kart 7. The latter also has a promotion on at the moment to find ‘Britain’s Fastest Family’ in their Mario Kart 7 competition to win the infamous shiny gold Leaf Trophy. Companies like HMV are promoting the 3DS and the 3DS XL with Mario Kart 7 for this sole purpose.

As someone who has contributed to the amazing first week figures, I personally am really impressed with the Nintendo 3DS XL and I will be writing a full review on it very soon.