As predicted, today’s portable Virtual Console release is Kirby’s Dream Land, the debut of the pink character (or white, if you go by the Game Boy box). It’s not Gargoyle’s Quest, but Tinkle Popo is well loved here, too.
Other eShop/DSiWare releases today: Chillingo’s Trials HD knock-off Moto eXtreme, Skyworks’ Boardwalk Ball Toss (really?), Circle’s curious action RPG The Lost Town: The Dust, and Cosmigo’s Hearts Spades Euchre.
Nintendo put out something else last night: a new DSi V.1.4.3 update promising the predictably vague “behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance”. Those behind-the-scene changes include new measures to block a selection of popular flashcarts, including the SuperCard DSTwo, Acekard 2i, and iPlayer.
It’s interesting that even with the 3DS out, Nintendo hasn’t scaled back its efforts to fight piracy on the DSi models, slowly hacking away at known exploits. Now if only the company would include substantial improvements to the DSi experience with these firmware releases.
“Thanks for being such incredible fans! Unfortunately, there continues to be no plans for NOA to release these 3 games right now.”—
Nintendo of America’s response to recent grassroots efforts by gamers to release Japanese RPGs Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower to the States (the former two are announced for Europe but not the U.S.).
I presume NOA is too busy working on other Wii localization projects like Zangeki no Reginleiv, Fatal Frame IV, Captain Rainbow, and New Play Control! Pikmin 2 to work on these RPGs right now, right? Right? :o(
Sometime around Thursday at 8PM EST, depending on whether or not the Viddler servers are up, Kotaku will “premiere” its next episode of the localized Game Center CX. This week’s Retro Game Master is Season 8’s Super Fantasy Zone challenge, in which Arino attempts the Mega Drive’s Defender-style cute-em-up.
You can see a trailer on Kotaku — sadly, I couldn’t figure out a way to embed it here, so my ability to advertise for their show is impaired. (Ahem.) And if you’d like to play along, Super Fantasy Zone is out on Virtual Console.
Along with “actively pursuing” a portable Virtual Console release for GBC platformer Shantae, WayForward Technology is working on another eShop release from its Mighty series, Mighty Switch Force.
Developed by the studio’s Contra 4 team, the 3DS eShop game mixes platforming, shooting, and block-switching elements, as well as themes like “T-rexes with eye lasers, wall-eyed fishmen, jet-pack cats, popcorn explosions, belly dance transformations, vocaloid J-Pop ballads, hottie pirates, and whipping puppies with your hair”.
Like most of the studio’s original properties, Mighty Switch Force features a female protagonist, an “artificial person” named Patricia Wagons seeking to apprehend the five Hooligan SIsters (“criminal masterminds who masquerade as ditzy girls”) while blasting their Space Hooligans with her pellet gun.
You know all those glitches from the N64 version of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that re-appeared in the recent 3DS remake? According to Ocarina of Time 3D’s developer Grezzo, it deliberately preserved those bugs!
Grezzo programmer Shun Moriya: One conflict arose when, as programmers, we wanted to get rid of bugs. But the staff members who had played the old game said the bugs were fun! We were like, “What?!” (laughs)
Satoru Iwata: Yes, that is an area of conflict.
Moriya: It wouldn’t be fun if your friends couldn’t say, “Do you know about this?” So we left them in if they didn’t cause any trouble and were beneficial.
It’s been featured in a number of “Buy 1, get X off” deals already, and I’m unsure how any of you could have gone this long without buying it after how much we’ve raved about the game, but Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is now available with a $10 off discount at Amazon.
This week, along with Game & Watch Gallery, Nintendo sneaked a DSiWare spinoff of Kadokawa Games’ Wii RPG Earth Seeker onto the DSi Shop in Japan. Odekake! Earth Seeker is a collection of six minigames set in the universe of the console game (a human colony 1,000 years after landing and terraforming).
The minigames include making burgers, grilling skewers, marking maps, and doing … other stuff that I can’t really figure out. Anyway! The items you make in the DSiWare game will then be usable in the Wii game, in a nice but all too rare use of connectivity.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to get together with like-minded gamers, don’t forget that Giant Robot 2, Attract Mode, and Meatbun, and others are holding their bi-monthly Game Night event tonight, starting at 7PM.
While there, you’ll have an opportunity to play unreleased indie games (projected outdoors and playable in game stations indoors) like Haunted Temple Studios’ Advance Wars-style strategy title Skulls of the Shogun, and Revenge Labs’ fascinating 2D fighter Skullgirls.
We already deduced this a couple weeks ago, but Xseed announced that it is publishing Solatorobo: Red The Hunter, CyberConnect2’s extolled spiritual sequel to Tail Concerto, in North America this fall. While Amazon lists the DSi-enhanced game listed for September 27, Xseed hasn’t yet put out a firm release date.
I’ve heard nothing but great things about the action RPG, and I’m really happy to hear it’s in Xseed’s hands — the company did a great job with Retro Game Challenge, and I’m sure it’s doing some smashing localization work right now with Retro Game Challenge 2*.
Despite some initial technical difficulties with the video stream, Kotaku has posted the first U.S. episode of Game Center CX/Retro Game Master — well, it’s actually the ninth episode from the Japanese show’s fourth season, but no matter, it’s subtitled and released!
I didn’t see if the video includes some of the show’s tangential bits (the Japanese airing included a trip to an arcade in Ebisu), but I can see why Kotaku would cut those scenes, as they don’t relate to Arino’s game challenge, which this time is beating Ninja Gaiden.
New Love Plus for 3DS will let you import “your” Nene, Manaka, or Rinko from a previous Love Plus game, with all her memories of the precious relationship you shared. For a price. ¥200. According to 4Gamer, the reason there’s a charge associated with the data import is that Nintendo currently doesn’t offer third parties a way to distribute free downloads on the eShop.
The 4Gamer article also has lots of screens demonstrating the photography capabilities of the 3DS game. You can now use the gyro sensor to move the virtual camera around, allowing you to photograph — gasp! — your girl’s shoulders. You can also shake the system to blur the photos, for that realistic shitty-photo experience.
On June 22, Japan’s 3DS eShop will get two new Virtual Console games: the crummy Game Boy version of Double Dragon (which Europe got this week and we’ll likely receive tomorrow), and Game & Watch Gallery, which has remade Game Boy versions of Fire, Manhole, Octopus, and Oil Panic, along with more “authentic” style recreations.
Technically, three of these games are already available on 3DS: Oil Panic is on the Club Nintendo-only Game & Watch Collection, Octopus is on Game & Watch Collection 2, and Manhole is available as a DSiWare download. But none of them are the Game Boy version — or the Game Boy version of the Game & Watch version. I love seeing different versions of the same game on Virtual Console.
Despite early reports that the show would be dubbed — and that it would be the first season — a new preview on Kotaku reveals that the first episode of the website’s English-language run of Game Center CX will be subtitled when it “airs” tomorrow, mostly. In the trailer, a new English voiceover provides narration, while star Shinya Arino is subtitled. Good news, since his jokes and increasing exasperation are, like, the whole show.
The episode shown in the trailer also isn’t the first episode from the Japanese run at all — it’s season four, episode nine, in which Arino takes on Ninja Gaiden. So Kotaku didn’t just license the first season of the show after all. I guess it’ll be a sort of “best of.” Too bad for people trying to keep up with all the assistant directors!
Feel like checking out Ray Barnholt’s labor of love, Scroll magazine? That actually wasn’t a question. Feel like it.
Thanks to "one too many printing gaffes," Barnholt has reduced the price of the downloadable edition of the Dragon Quest-themed Issue 2 to “free forever,” providing an excellent opportunity to see what the magazine’s about.
I suspect that once people get the chance to e-thumb through an issue, Ray will see increased sales in the future, because Scroll is totally great and makes you feel good about enjoying video games. If you’re like me, you could use a bit of a reboot in the fandom department after E3.
Speaking to Kotaku during E3, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime claimed the two biggest issues holding the 3DS back from DS-like sales based on Nintendo’s “consumer information”: a lack of Nintendo franchise games, and a lack of a functional web browser.
The first issue, Fils-Aime said, is taken care of by yesterday’s launch for Ocarina of Time 3D, and “We’re going to follow with a steady drumbeat of Star Fox and Kid Icarus and two Mario titles and the Luigi title.”
The second issue is something Nintendo addressed with the June 6 update — there’s totally a browser, and an online marketplace. “We’ve just done the first network update. We’ve got the eShop up and running. We’ve got the 3D movie service still on track for the summer. We’ve got Netflix still on track for the summer. So I think we’re well underway to having that addressed as well.”
Of course, being a Nintendo online service, there’s a long way to go before that issue is addressed adequately, if it ever is. And then there are all the other problems that many would argue are the 3DS’s real biggest problems.
It’s a price match for a similar deal other retailers are running, so I’ve no idea how long this will last. If you’ve been waiting for any kind of discount to justify purchasing an expensive 3DS, here’s one for you!
Nintendo of Japan will release a new 3DS app this week that delivers TV content from Japan’s Fuji TV channel and Nippon TV — though it doesn’t include Fuji’s show Game Center CX, clips of which are available separately through Japan’s eShop.
The “Itsu no Ma Terebi” (SpotPass TV) service, first announced on September of last year, will begin June 21, delivering free 3D television content (with ads), including scintillating, can’t-miss shows like (titles roughly translated by me) Daily Animal Calendar on TV, View a Random Selection of Trains 3D, Magic Classroom 3D, Ido-ring! 3DS Sumo Stadium (idols sumo wrestle), Daily News Pop, Choukoku-no-Mori 3D (views of the Hakone Open-Air Museum five days a week) and ENJOY! SPORT.
If you think “oh, this definitely means we’ll get a similar TV service in Europe/North America” allow me to refer you to the Wii’s “Wii no Ma” video on demand service, the home shopping channel available within the Wii no Ma channel, the Digicam Print Channel, the food delivery channel, the TV guide channel, etc.
"Anthem of a Misguided Youth" by Benjamin Briggs. This arrangement, originally posted six years ago, seems made for dudes like me trying to choose which Legend of Zelda remake to play on their 3DS this weekend: Link’s Awakening DX or Ocarina of Time 3D.
Briggs explains the feeling he tried to convey in this mix of “Gerudo Valley” and “Ballad of The Wind Fish”:
"The main theme I was trying to get across with this piece is the fact that the Gerudo people are all thieves, not knowing any differently.
This is their anthem. All of the sorrow, guilt, and weight of immorality is balanced with a sense of sisterhood and acceptance, which is what I tried to convey with the ‘happier’ sections of the piece.”