Thursday, 2 June 2011

What I Want to See from Nintendo at E3 2011

It's that time of year again, folks; time for E3 2011. Believe it or not, last year was the first year I'd actually watched the conference and, despite a slow internet connection resulting in infrequent pauses, what a year to hop aboard the bandwagon. 

Yes, I'd heard stories of the mediocre 2009 conference, and its simply atrocious 2008 predecessor, but I couldn't help but feel a little excited - after all Nintendo were about to announce a brand-new, glasses-free 3D enabled handheld to succeed the DS! 

Did Nintendo meet expectations? No. I'm sure I speak for most Nintendo fans when I say that they blew their competitors right out of the water, along with a couple of Augmented Reality fish which happened to be swimming nearby. Not only was the 3DS unveiled for the first time, a number of former Nintendo heroes all made a comeback: Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye, Kid Icarus; Golden Sun, Mickey Mouse and Star Fox - each with their own game, be it in the form of a remake, a sequel, or a brand-new game in the franchise.

Bearing the above points in mind, it's now time to find out...

My E3 2011 Predictions!

1. Information about upcoming Nintendo 3DS titles.
Thinking back to last year, Nintendo announced a number of upcoming 3DS titles, both first and third-party. Amongst them was Mario Kart, Kid Icarus and Paper Mario, which were joined by the likes of Metal Gear Solid, Professor Layton and Assassin's Creed. Since then, however, we've heard little-to-nothing of the games which could potentially be occupying our handhelds in the near future. Miyamoto says that he can't wait to show off Super Mario which was unveiled at the Games Developers Conference earlier this year, but what about the lesser-known titles from smaller companies?

2. New Wii games.
Yes, we have The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Xenoblade Chronicles slashing our Wiis later this year, but other than an unannounced Kirby game and... well, nothing; the schedule for upcoming Wii games is looking a little empty. Understandably, Nintendo will be hard at work on both their upcoming 3DS games and their 'new project' (shall we call it?), but what about exclusive Wii owners whose last dose of quality gaming came from Donkey Kong Country Returns and GoldenEye 007 at the end of last year? Surely Nintendo need to announce The Last Story for Europe if only to keep the fans happy; and while we're at it, how about a new F-Zero from SEGA?

3. Project Café.
Finally, the part you've all been waiting for. The successor to Nintendo's current home console is just a week away from being announced, but what do we want to see from the Wii's successor? A touch-screen controller? PlayStation 3 graphics? Maybe a HD remake of the already stunning Kirby's Epic Yarn in HD as a launch title? For me, the answer to each of these questions is a swift "NO". Yes, a touch-screen controller is as likely an innovation as any considering Nintendo's recent history, but with the undoubted inclusion of some Wii Remote features such as the speaker and the accelerometer; imagine the price! £50 for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk was pushing it. With the possible inclusion of an inwards facing camera, Nintendo are drawing the line very fine. You may also be asking "why no PS3 graphics?". If so, here's a brief overview: PlayStation 3 will be previous-gen. It may be nice to see Twilight Princess remastered in PS3-quality graphics, but as soon as the PlayStation 4 is released, Nintendo visuals will be behind the rest, as was the case with the Wii. Finally, you may also be questioning my lack of interest in HD remakes. If When the PS4 and the Xbox 3 arrives with immensely greater horsepower, where will all the great third-party titles be? You guessed it: not on the Wii 2.

So that's it from me. What're you expecting from Nintendo at E3 this year? Do you have something you'd love to see announced? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

56 Days With 0 Video Games

Today, I am beginning a challenge which I have set for myself, and it's a challenge which I never thought I'd find myself doing. That's right, I'm giving up video games for a whopping 56 days: 56 days in which I can't attempt to get through World 8 in Donkey Kong Country Returns, collect more Gold Rings in Pilotwings Resort, or even pass a bit of time on Chu Chu Rocket. With the Wii unplugged and the 3DS "taken away", I'm left with a laptop and a pile of revision - which brings me to why I've chosen to embark on this seemingly impossibly adventure.

56 days from today marks the end of my GCSEs, and to celebrate? I expect to indulge in some Black Ops Zombies, or some Super Street Fighter IV; but that's not really worth talking about, unless I want the upcoming months (which were already destined to last for an eternity), last even longer.

And to add insult to injury, the time in which I would usually be gaming will be filled by the delights of scrawling messy handwriting onto A4 paper, highlighting it, and re-reading it over and over again: revision.

Today hasn't been too bad. My first "gaming sesh" generally begins at around five o'clock, but I'll have to make do with reading the latest issue of ONM and the fourth book in the Darren Shan saga. That and revision, of course.

This time next week, I'll write another post about how things are turning out, and whether I've suffered any withdrawal symptoms!

Seeya then!

PS: Any donations to fund this admirable attempt at doing what was thought to be impossible would be greatly appreciated. ;)

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

My Blog and Nintendo Invader: What's What?

Hi there guys! Since there's been a fair few months between posts, I though that I had better explain my intentions - so here goes:

My Blog

If you want to read about what I've been up to, how things are going, and my general opinion on random topics, be it gaming-related or not; then come here for all of the said subjects. If you were wondering how often I'll update my blog, then I'm afraid that you'll be left wondering. I plan on writing a new post between once a week and once a month, depending on how busy I am; but only time will tell if I actually update this as regularly as I'd like - and of course, I have other commitments to... erm... commit to!

Nintendo Invader

A while back, I decided to experiment with Wordpress, and here's the outcome: Although I've posted very few articles, you can mainly expect Nintendo-related news stories; but time-permitting, I'd also like to post the odd review or preview - or maybe even get somebody else to write the reviews... but we'll have to wait and see.

So keep your eyes peeled in the near future for new posts on both my blog, and Nintendo Invader; follow me, and add me to your bookmarks. Thanks!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

First Impressions - Metroid: Other M

Metroid: Other M

Developer: Project M (Nintendo, Team Ninja)
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Release Date: 03/09/10
Genre: Action-Adventure
PEGI: 16+

First Impressions

Yes, I know that it's been out since last September, and I know that it's been reviewed by every reviewer out there, but seeing as I only got the game at the end of December (the 25th of, to be precise), I am taking it upon myself to give you my first impressions of the game, after accumulating a play-time of little over two hours.

Once you've sat through the shiny new cut-scenes in Other M (or skipped through them, for that matter), and started getting to grips with the gameplay, the first thing that becomes apparent is that Samus has surely been working out since Metroid: Prime 3: Corruption, as she is far more agile then she ever was, even her side-scrolling days of Super Metroid, which this game is a direct sequel to.

Not only have Team Ninja (Dead or Alive, Ninja Gaiden) and Nintendo shaken up the Metroid formula by making Samus far more talkative, added far more cut-scenes than was present in Prime, and made Samus run fast; the gameplay has also been majorly revamped, as Other M loses the first-person perspective of the Prime trilogy, for the most part. Although you play the game viewing Samus from a third-person view, and you hold the Wii Remote horizontally like a NES pad, no longer is this simply a side-scrolling platformer, nor is it a first-person adventure, but a unique mixture of both. This means you can run around using the D-pad, mashing the 2 button, utilising Other M's auto-aim feature; until you see something which might need scanning, or blasting with a good-old missile, that is - and that's when things get interesting. You simply flip your Wii Remote into a vertical position, point at the screen, and the game will move into first-person view. Fans of the Metroid Prime trilogy will be right at home here, as you see the world from behind Samus' visor, where you can point at enemies, or locked doors, lock onto them, and blast them to smithereens with your missiles. When you've done, return your Wii Remote to it's horizontal position, and the game will resume it's third person point-of-view.

Samus didn't realise that this purple beast was an enemy when she tried to give it a hug.
Although long-term fans of the Metroid series will probably be disappointed with Other M, fans of the action-adventure genre who have never experienced the superiority of other Metroid titles will probably get the most from this game - so fans fans of Metroid: view this as a standalone game, and not as a Metroid game, you will enjoy Other M. If you think it'll stand up to the likes of Metroid Prime, you'll be disappointed.