Archive for the ‘Nintendo’ Category

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great introduction to tactical RPGs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge

It’s a bit odd that Mario’s first completely fresh appearance on the Nintendo Switch isn’t a traditional run-and-jump platform game but a novel foray into the tactical RPG genre. It’s even odder that Mario has to share that debut with Ubisoft’s incredibly annoying (yet ostensibly popular) Rabbids. Oddest of all, Nintendo’s iconic mascot largely takes a back seat to those over-the-top, screaming humanoid rabbits in the game.

Sure, Mario might get top billing in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. All told, though, it feels like Mario and crew were thrown into an existing Ubisoft game midway through the process. The game’s plot, to the extent that it exists, uses a stolen “SupaMerge” device that literally fuses crazified Rabbids with well-known Mario antagonists like Donkey Kong and Piranha Plants, while merging “good” Rabbids with good guys like Mario, Luigi, and Peach to create completely new unholy abominations. There’s also an intelligent Roomba named Beep-o that explains all this with a lot of wordy exposition that the other characters’ wordless vamping for the camera can’t really convey.

While Mario staples like coins and mushrooms make appearances, Ubisoft’s characters and design aesthetic seem to win out most of the time. Heck, the Mario characters can’t even jump without help from an ally, which is practically treasonous in a Mario game. This isn’t really a knock against a title that maintains strong (if silly) visual and gameplay themes throughout. Just don’t go in expecting a Mushroom Kingdom adventure in the vein of the Paper Mario or the Mario and Luigi games.

Take your positions

Anyone familiar with the positional battles in a game like XCOM, Fire Emblem, or Final Fantasy Tactics will recognize the same essential DNA in Kingdom Battle. While there are some perfunctory and simplistic coin-collecting and block-pushing puzzles forced in between the fights, the bulk of the game involves taking turns moving characters around a grid-based map so they’re in place to attack the enemy while avoiding the incoming counter attacks.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Mario, Nintendo, rabbids, Switch, Ubisoft | Comments (0)

SNES Classic Mini: Quick preview by someone who has never barrel rolled

August 22nd, 2017

Sebastian Anthony

I have an awkward confession to make: growing up, I never owned a SNES. I had a NES, but then no other console until the N64: my dad brought an Olivetti 8086 PC home from the office, and I was much more interested in learning how to use MS-DOS than play games. Imagine the collective chagrin, then, when I was first to receive the SNES Classic Mini, rather than Kyle, Sam, or Mark.

All this is to say: forgive me if I don’t do the SNES and its hallowed history justice. I am vaguely aware of what a barrel role is, but I have never performed one. The purpose of this story is to give you a good idea of what’s inside the Mini SNES box, and to tell you about a few other special features that haven’t been widely publicised. More in-depth coverage from one of the aforementioned Nintendo fanboys will follow.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, mini snes, Nintendo, SNES, SNES classic | Comments (0)

Expect more gaming nostalgia after Crash Bandicoot’s revival success

August 4th, 2017

Enlarge / Sweet hat, Crash.

Crash Bandicoot generally doesn’t get the same kind of love as classic gaming mascots like Mario and Sonic in gaming’s nostalgia-obsessed zeitgeist. So the success of the recent Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy re-release is taking even publisher Activision by surprise, and it has the company thinking about reviving other classic properties.

N.Sane Trilogy was the top-selling game globally for the month of June, Activision said during a recent conference call, despite being only available on one console for two days of the month. The game was also the most downloaded title on PSN for July, according to Sony, results that “outperform[ed] even our most optimistic expectations” as Activision put it. That success is even leading to what’s probably the first ever example of some popular Crash Bandicoot-themed memes.

“We knew that there was a passionate audience out there for Crash—full disclosure, myself among them—but we had no idea…” Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg said in an earnings call yesterday. “It’s hard to tell if that’s a vocal minority or that’s a real mass audience until you put something out there. Crash has surpassed all of our expectations by a pretty wide margin.”

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Posted in Activision, Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, Nostalgia | Comments (0)

Super NES Classic pre-orders start later this month

August 2nd, 2017

Is this an SNES Classic Edition in a normal-sized hand, or a normal SNES in a giant-sized hand? (credit: Nintendo)

Though it was announced over a month ago, US retailers have yet to begin offering pre-orders for the Super NES Classic ahead of its September 29 launch (though international pre-orders are already being flipped for inflated eBay prices). Now, Nintendo is promising via Facebook domestic pre-orders will start “late this month” at “various retailers.”

After insufficient supplies led to quick sellouts and high resale markups for the discontinued NES Classic Edition, Nintendo is again promising that more systems will be available for the Super NES Classic’s retail tenure. “A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day and throughout the balance of the calendar year,” the company writes. That follows on previous statements from Nintendo promising “we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.” The NES Classic Edition shipped 2.3 million units.

Nintendo’s announcement follows a retail fiasco last week in which Wal-Mart mistakenly offered Super NES Classic systems for pre-order then was forced to cancel those pre-orders. “We know this is incredibly disappointing to those customers and we apologize for the mistake,” the retailer said in a statement. The mistaken listing sold out within minutes late on a Friday night.

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Posted in Classic, Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, SNES, super nes, super nes classic | Comments (0)

Niantic cancels European Pokémon Go gatherings after Chicago fiasco

July 31st, 2017

Enlarge / Much of Europe will have to wait for Niantic’s planned Safari Zone events.

Niantic’s first attempt at a live Pokémon Go gathering in Chicago last week went so badly that attendees are organizing a class-action lawsuit after shoddy cell reception prevented most of the 20,000 attendees from playing the game during the paid event. In the wake of that fiasco, the Pokémon Go developers are postponing long-planned similar events in Copenhagen, Prague, Stockholm, and Amsterdam that were set for the coming weeks.

In a statement, Niantic said the European “Safari Zone” events originally scheduled for August 5 and 12 would be pushed back to some time in the fall “in order to guarantee the best possible gameplay experience for European Trainers.” Other events planned for France, Spain, and Germany will still take place in September, however, and a “Pikachu Outbreak” planned for Yokohama, Japan will still take place in August.

The Safari Zone events were billed as a chance for European players to catch Pokémon that rarely or never show up in the region and to team up for multiplayer battles against Raid Bosses. “As a special surprise, we understand that some Pokémon that are rarely seen in Europe will be appearing soon in certain European cities for a brief time,” Niantic writes by way of apology. “We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you understand that our priority is to ensure a great experience for Pokémon Go Trainers in Europe and around the world.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, niantic, Nintendo, pokemon, pokemon go | Comments (0)

Switch console flaw leaves Nintendo looking flat-footed

March 16th, 2017

Hack exploited a flaw in the browser – but Nintendo had said there was no browser on the console

Posted in Nintendo, nintendo switch, Web Browsers, WebKit | Comments (0)

Nintendo targets 3DS vulnerabilities in new bug bounty

December 7th, 2016

Bug bounty program focuses on hardware exploits

Posted in 3DS, bug bounty, Nintendo, Security threats, Vulnerability | Comments (0)