Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Monster Hunter 4 Trailer

Hey, NinTemplers.  Here's the latest trailer for Monster Hunter 4.  A vague Japanese release date of "2013" has been announced.  It still remains to be seen when us westerners will begin pouring our lives into the latest installment of white-knuckle loot collecting.

But, whenever it's coming, I can't wait!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

3rd Person Talks with Gamestop Manager who Confirms a Reveal at the End of the Month

Well someone posted on Operation RainFall's Facebook page that at the end of the month that they will be having a big reveal for Pandora's Tower. 
Operation RainFall Facebook.

There hasn't been much on the Pandora's Tower front as far as confirmations goes lately but the end of the month is a week or so away so it couldn't hurt to wait it out.

Thanks for the heads up Evan.

Site Chat Tonight!

6pm EST.  See you there, gamers.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nintendo Direct airing later today at 11pm EST

So it seems like Nintendo is doing another Nintendo Direct today. I think this is pretty cool.

It seems that the main focus of this Nintendo Direct will be Wii and 3DS according to NintendoEverything.

Nintendo Direct link Japan Nintendo direct

Also it seems that Nintendo of Europe is doing a Nintendo Direct as well.

European Nintendo Direct  This Nintendo Direct will take place a hour after Iwata's Japan Nintendo Direct. The European one will focus on the 3DS

Just updating this real quick. Just announced that NOA will have a Nintendo Direct tonight at 12 am EST and 9pm PST. It will focus on the 3DS,DS and Wii.

NOA Nintendo Direct

So to recap Japan's will be at 11pm EST/ 8pm PST and Europe's will be 1 hour later and so will NOA's.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Site Chat Tonight!

Tonight is Site Chat night.  Will you be there?

8pm EST.  Be there or be somewhere else.... just be yourself ^_^

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday's Site Chat / Happy Father's Day!

Tonight's chat will proceed at the usual 6pm EST time for anyone who is available to participate.  I will be in the midst of some family gatherings for Father's Day as I'm sure others will as well.  So, if you can't make it, no biggie.  If you show up late (as I might), that's cool too!

Here's a video game/Father's Day memory from NinSage (that's me!).

Around the time Zelda II came out, I was reading through an issue of Nintendo Power that talked about Zelda I.  I saw how awesome it was but I had never played it aside from 10 minutes at a friend's house.  So I decided then and there "I want Zelda II!"

My mom was not around that day, no idea why.  So I asked my dad if he would take me to the store and buy it for me.  My dad had never purchased a game for me before, and hasn't since! haha!  Anyway, he had some yard work to do so he said if I went with him to the store, helped him load up the supplies and then helped in the yard, we could also pick up Zelda II while we were out.

I agreed to that deal and it was just really rewarding to do a little work for my game and also have one of the few times my dad's life crossed over with my gaming life =)

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sophia's Take on Nintendo's E3

by Sophia
Contributing Author

Now that E3 2012 has come to a close and with the dust now starting to settle, it is my intent to add perspective to the varying amount of negative emotions combined with a whole host of likely over reactive doomsday predictions for Nintendo and the Wii U. It appears the general consensus is that all three console developers had lackluster showings, but with the most venom directed towards Nintendo.

Coming into E3 we had a vast array of hopes and dream about what Nintendo would reveal in regards to Wii U, many of which did not come to fruition. As is the case with expectations, they have a tendency to go unfulfilled, especially when it comes to the highest of them. Nintendo, for better or for worse, decided to dedicate E3 to the near future, primarily the launch window of the Wii U, and the upcoming game lineup for 3DS. This has ruffled a few feathers because many wanted to see (myself included) post-launch games, which Nintendo did not touch upon. The focus of Nintendo remained on the launch of the Wii U and the games that will be released within that time frame.

If one can get past this disappointment, you can look with a more objective eye at what was shown at E3. For example, a game that many have wanted for years and have expressed their excitement for, was Pikmin 3, is now a Wii U launch game, but for whatever reason the excitement level for this anticipated sequel has dropped for people who once were disappointed by the game’s no-shows at previous E3s. Pikmin 3 appears to be shaping up nicely and should be a solid edition to the Wii U launch lineup. A few other positive unveilings were Rayman Legends, which apparently is an exclusive, ZombiU, and Lego City.

Before I approach the games themselves, I wish to discuss the features of the Wii U system itself. Prior to E3 many were concerned about the Wii U’s control pad, specifically whether more than one could be used. That fear was put to rest at E3, when Nintendo revealed that you can use two controllers at once. One area that appears to be up in the air is what the Wii U will have, out of box, in regards to storage space. It is not much of a stretch to assume that it will be flash based, and if I were a gambling woman I would be willing to bet it will be in the 4GB or the rumored, 8GB range. The irony is that solid state storage is the future, and Nintendo is just ahead of the curve. So once again I fail to see why, let’s say for arguments sake, 8 GB of storage is a problem, it is enough storage for more casual gamers, and if one wants to upgrade the memory they have two straightforward ways of doing so. One must remember that every extra added into a system will create cost that will likely be passed onto the customer, and 8GB sounds like a fair compromise without the bottlenecks the 512 MB of flash memory that the Wii had, but we shall see what Nintendo does in regards to included storage. At least Nintendo isn’t locking users into old technology like the PS3 and Xbox 360, which revolved around traditional hard drives that are more prone to failure. It truly depends on ones perspective!

I would cover Nintendo’s internet strategy, but there just is not enough known about it to give a fair analysis, positive or negative, so that will likely remain a concern until the system launches. Instead let us move onto what is likely people’s biggest concern and that is the graphical abilities of the console. It is here that I think Nintendo dropped the ball, not in regards to power but in regards to showcasing fresh looking games that take advantage of the system. Many of the titles we viewed were 3rd party ports, and beyond those we also received a glimpse of Rayman Legends in action, which is more reliant on artistic creativity rather than horsepower, ZombiU, which is still relatively unknown, and Nintendo’s more basic looking games like Nintendoland and Lego City. Even Pikmin 3 lacked graphical oomph (though it was still a great looking game). With all that said, if one were to sift through the rumors the system’s graphical abilities are a bump up from 360/PS3, it is just that we don’t know by how much or how well PS4/Xbox 3 ports will translate to the system. One thing that we must keep in mind though is visuals are starting to plateau and that we’ll likely see the most impact in things like AI, physics, and other “in the background” improvements rather then what we see directly with our eyes. Likely you won’t see drastic differences between multiplatform games when it comes to the images on your screen, and in general there won’t be near the gap we seen between Wii and PS3/360. But once again, all of this is based on theory; no one knows quite how things will go when Sony and MS release new consoles, even the detractors.

We must keep in mind though that with every bit of added horsepower, every jump in gigabytez of a flash drive, or increases in other features, you have additional costs that will either be passed onto the customer or eaten by the console maker ( something Nintendo cannot do too much of or they would go belly up fast). Nintendo, despite all of their success, is assets are vastly less then Sony or Microsoft, they just can't afford to take the enormous financial hits those companies can and have in the past console generation. Unless people want a $400-500 console from Nintendo sacrifices have to be made not only for the customer but for Nintendo’s financial stability as well. It truly is a balancing act for them.

One thing that is being overlooked about Wii U tech is that the Wii U GamePad is likely expensive to produce and is an impressive piece of tech. The pad is integral to the success of the Wii U since Nintendo cannot compete directly with MS or Sony, as historically proven with the GameCube and N64. They need to do their own thing and differentiate themselves or they'll get buried since they can't afford to compete with Sony/MS's competition to see who can take the most losses on each console sold. Either you accept that “Nintendo Difference” or you buy MS/Sony systems. For me, I enjoy Nintendo's own games too much to let it bother me, the Wii U is likely more powerful then the 360/PS3 and, while it won't be PS4/Xbox 3 powerful, at least I know Nintendo won't be either A) Pricing themselves out of a customer’s budget since they can't take major losses B) Taking major losses on each system sold and therefore putting themselves on the path to extinction.

To wrap up this analysis, I want to squash the doomsday predictors in regards to the Wii U launch lineup. One must realize that launch lineups seldom equate to success down the line, as shown by the PS3, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS. Even the 360 demonstrated this to an extent, at launch it really only had three unique games , Condemned, Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero. All there which were a mixed bag, especially Kameo and PD0. Nintendo for their launch window has Pikmin 3, a game that has been anticipated by fans for years now, Lego City, a Nintendo published title that appears to be more of an open world sandbox Lego game, NintendoLand which sounds like a fun title that I predict will be bundled with the system and has the chance to be the Wii Sports of Wii U, Rayman Legends, apparently an exclusive, and ZombiU which looks to bring us true survival horror, through the utilization of the Wii U GamePad, whereas other franchises seem to be shifting more towards action oriented games such as the mainline Resident Evil series and possibly Dead Space 3. Platinum Games is also creating an exclusive (Project P-100)and it appears we’ll be getting another WarioWare esque game as well. I don’t know about you, but that seems to be a solid lineup of exclusives for a system launch. Always keep in mind though, that no matter how Wii U does at launch, it will be how Nintendo continues to evolve the Wii U with new games that will truly define its success. Those predicting immediate failure are jumping the gun. Even if Wii U had a terrible launch lineup and/or a slow sales start, it would hardly be a predictor of its success as seen in more recently examples, such as the 3DS and even the PS3.

Did Nintendo demonstrate the importance of the Wii U GamePad? That appears to be up for debate and will likely starts to clear up only when people are able to try it outside of E3. So far from the impressions I’ve seen, NintendoLand’s games utilize it well even if they are more proof-of-concept like Wii Sports was, and supposedly in ZombiU it adds to the immersion and tension of a survival horror experience. We shall see, but it is hardly time to declare Wii U and its GamePad a failure. All I know is that while Nintendo’s focus at E3 may have disappointed some, it is hardly worthy of doom and gloom. We have what appears to be a promising launch lineup with likely a couple of gems, solid hardware, a fresh controller innovation that holds exciting possibilities for anyone open minded and not set in their ways, and above all else the promise of Nintendo’s own franchises for the future. Nintendo will never please everyone, all they can do is continue doing what they know, and hope that in time 3rd parties and more importantly, customers come around. What they cannot do is try to compete directly with Microsoft and Sony in the graphical arms race, or simply play copy cat in regards to games that are popular from with two competitors. Perhaps I am off base, but gaming has evolved beyond graphical abilities for me, and it is innovations like motion control, the Wii U GamePad, etc. that make gaming interaction exciting for me. Otherwise, I might as well switch to PC on a more permanent basis.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Site Chat Tonight!

It's Wednesday.  That means at 8pm EST the NinTemple Site Chat will begin!

A fair amount of new information has actually trickled out since E3 ended so there should be plenty to discuss.  See you there!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So Choice

by Esnel Pla
Contributing Author

There's no time video gamers think more about the future than during E3. During these four days we all hope, as a community, to be wowed by new experiences. While Lucasarts' Star Wars 1313 and Ubisoft's Watch Dogs gave us unexpected tastes at where a new generation of home consoles gaming may go, this year, all eyes were on Nintendo and their Wii U. Pikmin 3 was their introduction to the new world of tablet gaming and while the game was stated to have a variety of control methods, on the show floor, one was limited to using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.  The Wii U's GamePad was propped up before the player displaying a map.

While this disappointment to those at the show is indicative of Nintendo's overall missteps during E3, many cried foul. Many don't seem to be enthralled at the idea of using the Wii's original control scheme with its successors hardware. Personally, I'm elated. Short of plugging in a keyboard and mouse, the Wii U will always be capable of the ideal control method. Having more control options is always a good thing. Certain games have always been better with certain control methods. What's better than a d-pad for platformers? An arcade stick for fighters? A paddle for Breakout? And what did we use the Wii remote for?

After the Wii's waggle honeymoon, when the machine was flying off of store shelves and third-party shovelware were flying onto them, game design using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk hit its stride. Pointer controls were refined and shown to be the most intuitive way to aim something - second only to the keyboard and mouse. Red Steel 2, Goldeneye 007, and The Conduit all offered fast and natural controls and Resident Evil 4 and the Metroid Prime Trilogy showed that these controls could easily be adapted from the twin-stick layout. Not only could the Wii Remote be the perfect way to aim, it was an amazing way to control an army.

Pikmin on the GameCube was a delight. While the design behind Pikmin offered a new way to control real-time strategy with a conventional controller, on the Wii, Pikmin was a revelation. Through Nintendo's New Play Control! brand, the original game found a new home and one that it was better suited for. Olimar and his army were a dream to control with IR aiming and nunchuk movement. It was as impressive as stepping into Samus' Power Suit with the same tools.

While the GamePad is full of potential, and that potential was definitely on display with Ubisoft's ZombiU and NintendoLand, the Wii has taught gamers that certain control methods are better suited for certain games. A game like Rygar, another port, proved that conventional controls are often a benefit over shoehorned motion controls. Little King's Story, on the other hand, was only steps from perfection, not utilizing the uniqueness of the device it was made for.

I feared, before this E3, that the unique controls of the Wii would be forgotten. I was afraid we'd lose the amazing controls of Metroid Prime 3 and New Play Control! Pikmin, but now I'm glad we can play Pikmin 3 will the original Wii's controls.

As a Nintendo owner since the NES, I'm used to having plenty of pieces of plastic hanging around. Over those years, there have been plenty of useless novelties.   However, the Wii U is looking like no matter what kind of game you're playing the best possible control scheme will be an available option.  That realization seems to be going over a lot of people's heads, but personally, I'm very glad to see that going forward.

Brutally Honest

I'm not the only one who noticed that E3 2012 was not just filled with more shooters than normal, but was also just more brutal overall.  With each subsequent throat stab I got more and more turned off to this direction in gaming.  For the first time ever, my wife had to look away at various points during the week's conferences and her disgust peaked when she said "this makes me feel like I'm going to be sick" during the God of War: Ascension trailer.

For me, the low point was when a man begged for his life during the The Last of Us trailer, then got shotgunned in the face while a little girl looked on.

Then there's the Tomb Raider reboot that I might actually be interested in playing if it weren't so focused on being a woman-beating simulator.  I hope Abbie Heppe is paying attention to the ludicrous and unnecessary suffering Lara endures in what we've seen from the game so far.  Those clever kids over at Penny Arcade know I'm talkin' about...

In any case, I was very happy to see many others take objection to this trend.  Please frequent their sites and heap praise upon them:
(Note: These are not the rants of parent groups who don't play games or outside news entities trying to rustle up another batch of scare tactics. They're people like us.)

Lastly, let me leave you with this video that I thought hilariously captured the sentiment I'm talking about ...

I think we can do better than this.  Your move, games industry.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday's Site Chat


You may have noticed a new coat of paint around here.  How do you like it?  There are still some small, small kinds to work out, but, I'll get to the bottom of them soon.

Tonight will be our regularly scheduled Sunday Site Chat.  Remember, the Sunday ones begin as early as 6pm EST for anyone interested.  Sadly, Maxi is feeling sick this week so if he's able to join us at all, it will be late.

Also, just as a quick announcement that we have some new contributing writers working on some content so keep an eye out and give 'em a warm welcome when that time comes!

I should be in the Chat tonight no later than 7pm EST.  See you then!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

NinSage's E3 Wrap-Up!

Here are my reactions to Nintendo's week of E3 events.  I never hit the panic button, I frequently pulled the awesome lever, but I also flipped the disappointment switch.

My reaction was a mix of joy and disappointment.
GP's Bulborb's reaction was hunger.

Nintendo Direct
  • Wii U Pro Controller - I kid you not, I have always wanted the twin sticks on a traditional controller to be above the d-pad/buttons.  I can't wait to get my hands on one of these.  I will probably trade in my CCPro just like I did when I traded in my CC for the CCP.
  • Miiverse - I am extremely looking forward to this more social, yet actually practical, experience.  I love Miis when they are used properly (Find Mii, Puzzle Swap).  So, I'm really looking forward to this.  Plus! I felt that note leaving from Dark Souls was one of the best game concepts to come out of the 7th console generation.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Limited Edition Confirmed for The Last Story

Well XSEED has confirmed that there is a limited edition for The Last Story. All preorders that have been made and and others up to the launch of the game will have the bonus.

Here is  XSEED forum topic about this.

Here is the Nintemple Forum topic for the game.

As for where you can preorder The Last Story.

Best Buy

For Brick and Mortar shops I am sure all of the above will work and these ones too.
Toys R Us.

Finally a trailer for the game.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

E3 - Day 1 Reactions

So, day one of E3 2012 is in the books.  That means we've seen two of the three big conferences.  Microsoft and Sony presented today, leaving only Nintendo for tomorrow (Tuesday).  As is my usual, annual tradition, allow me to run down the highlights and lowlights from day one as I saw them.

  • Halo 4 - A year after its announcement and, hey, it's still Halo.  When will folks acknowledge that other companies milk their franchises as much as, if not worse than, Nintendo does?
  • Splinter Cell Blacklist - I love a good stealth game.  What I don't love is when that stealth game feels the need to become a quasi-action, cover-based shooter with ultra violence.
  • Kinect/SmartGlass on Madden 13 - Calling the plays? um, I guess that's cool for the folks who are so in to Madden they know every play by name.  But what happens if your opponent yells out a crappy audible and then "hike"? hmmmm.  Drawing your own routes is nifty though.  Always felt that should be done more in football games.
  • The Kinect can recognize Spanish.  A quiĆ©n le importa?
  • You can watch real sports and listen to music on your XBox .... just like on your computer! Except that one doesn't require a second subscription fee!
  • Black Ops 2 - Now blacker and opier than ever!!

  • Watch_Dogs - Looks astounding.  If the protagonists are diverse in character and not just "tough guys" then I will definitely look in to getting this game one day.  Thank god someone (besides Nintendo) is looking to make games that are at least a little different.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - I would absolutely get this game if it comes to a console I own.  The action looked fun and simple.  Did I mention fun?  Ya know... like how games should be!
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted - Yup.  I'm interested in this one too.  Why? The idea of the entire game essentially being a leaderboard against my friends.  That is perfect for a genre of this type.
  • Rayman Legends - Wasn't crazy about the first one.  Not crazy about this one.  BUT! I know that everyone who isn't me loves these new Rayman games and the Wii U GamePad control looks like it will be really fun for two or more people!  Also, gotta give it up for the visuals.  Hand-drawn 2D is by far my favorite look. 
  • Beyond - I really have a soft spot for low-action plot-driven games.  I'll be keeping my eye on this one!
  • Sony All-Stars Battle Royale - Sony does what Ninten-already did.  Have they no shame?
  • Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation - Honestly? I think it looks better than the flagship AC3.  But, consider I'm the source, that's not saying a whole lot.  The female protagonist looks cool though.
  • Wonderbook - You wouldn't see anything if you look at the book itself.  The visuals are only on the TV.  So, why not just buy your child a video? Or, y'know, a game?  Also, I would love to see the firestorm if Nintendo tried to sell one of these things.  Yet, I'm sure mainstream gaming media has already begun forgetting it.  Meanwhile, the Nintendo vitality sensor still gets used as a punchline on a near-monthly basis.
  • The Last of Us - Was there an Ellen Paige sale in the video game voice actress department?  Ah well, at least both her games look pretty darn good!  Though, from the team that brought you Uncharted, I gotta say, without even thinking, my first thought when I saw the protagonist was "oh, another Uncharted game."  That's not very creative character design, folks!

OK.  That's all for day one.  Overall? Meh.  Ubisoft had, by far, the best conference, so, what does that tell you?  Microsoft was apparently trying to top Nintendo 2008 for the most embarrassing E3 ever and Sony only showed one game we weren't aware of before the day began, not to mention the Wonderbook debacle.

The bar is pretty low, in my opinion.  Let's hope Iwata, Reggie and Shiggy can clear it with their new tablet-y goodness!  See you in 11 hours!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chat Open!

Hi all.  It's 11:30am EST and the E3 press conferences will be starting momentarily.

I'll be in and out of the Chat all day if anyone wants to join me and discuss any news!

I will also be posting feedback on Microsoft and Sony's conferences later today.  Let it begin!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nintendo Direct at 3pm PST and 6pm EST on June 3rd

Well, this is surprising. Tomorrow there will be a Nintendo Direct before everyone's E3 conferences.

Here is where they will be having it:
It begins at 3pm PST and 6pm EST.  For Europe that will be 23:00 GMT

It is later in the day so there is a better chance that people may be able to catch it live.  If you are able to, why not stop by the chat before then and discuss it with us while you watch?