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Masayuki Doi, art director for Shin Megami Tensei IV
You might have read about this shirt if you spotted USgamer’s chat with Doi. Before our own E3 interview with him, a fellow from Nintendo stopped by to take a photo of the artist for social media promotion purposes. I don’t think the shot ever went online — maybe that’s still in the queue, or perhaps the tee was too hot to handle for the family-friendly company.
If you’d like to rock this Monica Bellucci design yourself, Dolce & Gabbana is selling the shirt for $275. There are much cheaper prices on eBay, but I presume those are counterfeits.
Speaking of replicas and wearing other people’s designs, I showed Doi my Animal Crossing: New Leaf character wearing one of his SMTIV samurai outfits, and he was absolutely delighted with the whole thing. Maybe I’ll have my character wear this Monica shirt too, since it will be cheaper to get it from the Able Sisters than Dolce & Gabbana.
PREORDER Shin Megami Tensei IV, upcoming games

Masayuki Doi, art director for Shin Megami Tensei IV

You might have read about this shirt if you spotted USgamer’s chat with Doi. Before our own E3 interview with him, a fellow from Nintendo stopped by to take a photo of the artist for social media promotion purposes. I don’t think the shot ever went online — maybe that’s still in the queue, or perhaps the tee was too hot to handle for the family-friendly company.

If you’d like to rock this Monica Bellucci design yourself, Dolce & Gabbana is selling the shirt for $275. There are much cheaper prices on eBay, but I presume those are counterfeits.

Speaking of replicas and wearing other people’s designs, I showed Doi my Animal Crossing: New Leaf character wearing one of his SMTIV samurai outfits, and he was absolutely delighted with the whole thing. Maybe I’ll have my character wear this Monica shirt too, since it will be cheaper to get it from the Able Sisters than Dolce & Gabbana.

PREORDER Shin Megami Tensei IV, upcoming games 
How PS Vita’s indie games kicked 3DS’s butt at E3
As I roamed the halls of E3 last week, searching out obscure gems and an elusive Umihara Kawase 3DS demo, I kept returning to a particular section of the expo: Sony’s PS Vita booth.
I didn’t care that Sony’s press conference did little to convince worried PS Vita owners that big hits are on the way, or that Phantasy Star Online 2 was a no-show, or that one of the primary reasons why I checked out so many of the handheld’s games was the lack of lines to try them out (it’s not like Killzone Mercenary or Dragon’s Crown draw the kind of crowds Nintendo’s major franchises bring in). Really, the booth was just that great.
Dozens of PS Vita demo stations filled the space, hosting rows and rows of big-budget and indie titles. I believe more than 30 PS Vita games were available to try out on the show floor, a stark contrast from Nintendo’s booth mere steps away, where the 3DS zone offered a scant selection of playable first-party titles (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and Yoshi’s New Island) on a limited number of units.

People often criticize Nintendo consoles for offering nothing beyond their first-party hits, and though it’s an assessment I don’t agree with, 3DS’s showing at E3 this year lent those arguments credence. Where were the upcoming Japanese RPGs? What about the quirky eShop games? Why didn’t we see even one of Square Enix’s three Japan-only Dragon Quest 3DS games at the expo? Maybe Nintendo put all of its focus on Wii U software for this E3, and purposely wanted to keep its 3DS offerings light?
While Sony packed its booth with almost every PS Vita game coming out in the near future, if you wanted to play the few third-party 3DS titles companies brought to the show, you had to seek out their demo stations scattered across the Los Angeles Convention Center. It didn’t help that big publishers tend to deemphasize their handheld titles, sticking a demo unit or two in a corner (there were several exceptions, like Atlus with Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Capcom with Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies).

My point is that Sony made an effort to demonstrate that PS Vita has plenty of games on the way — it’s due to receive up to 85 new titles by the end of the year. And the company also made the argument that PS Vita might have the strongest line-up of indies bringing their games to the system. I mean, just picking out a few ports that were available to play at E3, you have Hotline Miami, Lone Survivor, Runner2, Luftrausers, and Aban Hawkins & the 1,001 Spikes.
And Sony made a point to have the developers behind these titles available to talk to you about their PS Vita games. Derek Yu peeked over my shoulder to tell me how awful I was at his Spelunky port when I couldn’t make it past the first three stages. Then the fellows from Curve Studios guided me through Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark (formerly Stealth Bastard) whenever I got stuck in one of the puzzle-platformer’s obstacles.
Never mind that many of the games are brought over from other platforms; that didn’t make them any less fun to someone who hadn’t played them, or played them very little, before. And its not like there weren’t new and original PS Vita titles to play — Media Molecule’s Tearaway was charming, PlayStation C.A.M.P.’s Open Me curious, Richard Hogg and Honeyslug’s Hohokum intriguing, Ys: Memories of Celceta promising, and Roll7’s OlliOlli super fun.
The message from Sony and its booth was clear: if you don’t want to miss out on unique portable games, and if you want to play the best indie games on a handheld, you will need to own a PS Vita. I didn’t really have any takeaways from the 3DS side, unless you consider me enjoying the Zelda: A Link Between Worlds demo a strong declaration.
I talked to several developers about how Sony managed to bring so many indies to its portable, and they all mentioned the platform holder’s increased efforts in the last year to court smaller studios, whether it’s making it easy for them to create games on the system, or just showing them that PS Vita is the right ecosystem they want to release their titles to. They also told me that a big part of it is Sony has recruited key people who are passionate about games and about bringing quality releases to PS Vita.
That’s not to say there aren’t people like that at Nintendo of America — the company has actually come a long way in making its consoles more approachable to indies, doing away with archaic restrictions that prevented them from even creating games on its consoles, letting developers adjust prices and release updates, and making the eShop more friendly to people looking to discover new experiences.

Nintendo’s 3DS section at E3
I was also pleased to spot the company’s business development head Dan Adelman, who seems to have driven so many of those positive changes (or at least been the face for them), last week at Horizon, the “alternative E3 press conference” that featured announcements from indie developers like Capy (Sword & Sworcery, Below) and Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy). I don’t think he was there to secure exclusives or anything, but it’s nice that Nintendo is keeping an interested eye on the indie scene.
Still, if I was to base the status of these competing handhelds from what I saw at E3, ignorant of their hardware/software sales, I’d argue that Nintendo has a long way to go to catch up to what PS Vita is doing with indies.
When I visited Sony’s booth the first time, I thought, “Wow, it’s a shame few people are buying a PS Vita and will be able to play these games on a portable.” By my fifth visit (I only checked out the 3DS booth twice), I came away thinking, “I wish so many of these games would come to 3DS. Why aren’t they?”
[All E3 photos courtesy of JasonTheGamer]
Additional E3 3DS notes:
I never did find that rumored Umihara Kawase 3DS demo, presumably shown in a closed meeting room
Aksys didn’t bring Hakuouki: Memories of the Shinsengumi because visual novels don’t make for great E3 demos
Seriously, no Dragon Quest announcements?
No Level-5 announcements either
Style Savvy fans might want to check out Rising Star’s Girls’ Fashion Shoot (Nicola Kanshuu: Model * Oshare Audition 2 in Japan)
I wish I had time to try out Rune Factory 4's non-combat portions
Beyblade: Evolution was fun surprisingly; I’d never played any games in the series previously
I might have to buy Shin Megami Tensei IV for the localization
Hometown Story really does have that Harvest Moon feel — looking forward to this
D3P wasn’t ready to show the new Regular Show or Adventure Time 3DS games yet
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How PS Vita’s indie games kicked 3DS’s butt at E3

As I roamed the halls of E3 last week, searching out obscure gems and an elusive Umihara Kawase 3DS demo, I kept returning to a particular section of the expo: Sony’s PS Vita booth.

I didn’t care that Sony’s press conference did little to convince worried PS Vita owners that big hits are on the way, or that Phantasy Star Online 2 was a no-show, or that one of the primary reasons why I checked out so many of the handheld’s games was the lack of lines to try them out (it’s not like Killzone Mercenary or Dragon’s Crown draw the kind of crowds Nintendo’s major franchises bring in). Really, the booth was just that great.

Dozens of PS Vita demo stations filled the space, hosting rows and rows of big-budget and indie titles. I believe more than 30 PS Vita games were available to try out on the show floor, a stark contrast from Nintendo’s booth mere steps away, where the 3DS zone offered a scant selection of playable first-party titles (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and Yoshi’s New Island) on a limited number of units.

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“You had a 50/50 chance. You weren’t even close.”*

[Including the Animal Crossing series’ “Villager” in the next Smash Bros. seems perfect, but Daniel Feit argues that Nintendo bungled a key aspect with the character in this reprinted opinion piece.]

I spoke out about this on Twitter, but I want to elaborate on how much it bothers me that Nintendo elected to include a generic male villager from its mega-hit Animal Crossing franchise in the next Smash Bros game.

The first objection is the most obvious: this is a game chock full of male characters. Obviously a fighting game based on a video game company’s legacy is going to skew male; Nintendo doesn’t have a time machine to undo decades of sexist choices. But just look at this list of Smash Bros. characters; you can count the number of women on one hand. This was an easy way to offset that M/F ratio, and Nintendo blew it.

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Another fun shot from the Shin Megami Tensei IV demoI didn’t take many photos at E3 last week, but I made sure to get a couple shots from this demo because I always love the humor in Atlus’s localizations. I should have a lot more Atlus/E3 posts coming up this week!
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Another fun shot from the Shin Megami Tensei IV demo

I didn’t take many photos at E3 last week, but I made sure to get a couple shots from this demo because I always love the humor in Atlus’s localizations. I should have a lot more Atlus/E3 posts coming up this week!

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Dang the Neo Geo X Mega Pack is so thick

We mentioned before that Tommo is putting out five three-game packs and a 15-game mega pack for the Neo Geo X on June 25. I got to hold the packaging — meant to mimic the Neo Geo boxes that seemed like mini-suitcases when we were kids — at E3, and I loved the whole deal. Unfortunately the box’s interior isn’t finalized so I couldnt take shots of that.

The game card in each pack includes a Neo Geo X firmware upgrade promising “game save functionality, improved TV aspect ratio compatibility, improved sound quality,” and user interface enhancements. I asked Tommo’s rep if the upgrade will affect any of the hardware hacking people are enjoying with the system, and he said it shouldn’t, but no guarantees on that!

BUY Neo Geo x Gold, Neo Geo X games, and upcoming games

Hometown Story trailer

This is the new town game by Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada. Way cute! Looks a lot like Animal Crossing, with more of a supernatural angle and shop stuff.

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Sonic Lost World 3DS trailer

The 3DS version of this new Sonic game looks surprisingly similar to the Wii U version! And looks pretty cool! Although I imagine it has the potential to make you super sick in 3D.

I haven’t played a Sonic game seriously in forever, but kinda thinking about giving this one a try.

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds trailer

Animal Crossing villager and Mega Man in Super Smash Bros

Wii U/3DS, 2014. DAAAAAAAAAAANG

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Wonderful Dragon Quest fanart by Zac Gorman
This will be featured at iam8bit’s gallery show opening tomorrow in Los Angeles! More than 80 artists have provided pieces for the exhibit, which is nuts.
Square Enix has put out a list detailing a portion of the games it will show at E3 next week, but the tally doesn’t include any of Wii U or 3DS’s Dragon Quest games — there’s not even a mention of Bravely Default, though that may be because Nintendo is publishing it in the U.S. I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t hear anything about Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D, Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3, or Dragon Quest VII.
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Wonderful Dragon Quest fanart by Zac Gorman

This will be featured at iam8bit’s gallery show opening tomorrow in Los Angeles! More than 80 artists have provided pieces for the exhibit, which is nuts.

Square Enix has put out a list detailing a portion of the games it will show at E3 next week, but the tally doesn’t include any of Wii U or 3DS’s Dragon Quest games — there’s not even a mention of Bravely Default, though that may be because Nintendo is publishing it in the U.S. I’ll be very disappointed if we don’t hear anything about Dragon Quest X, Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D, Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3, or Dragon Quest VII.

BUY Dragon Quest games, upcoming games
  • Source magicalgametime.com

Nintendo Direct was bigger for 3DS than E3

Last night’s Nintendo Direct presentations just blew away what the company had to show at E3 for 3DS. Look at all these announcements that we got!:

  • Nintendo 3DS XL releasing to the States on August 28 fo $199 in Red and Blue
  • Namco Bandai will assist Sakurai and his team with the development of Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening ships in the U.S. next year
  • Animal Crossing 3DS and FE: Awakening ship in Europe first half of 2013
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D demo on the U.S. eShop now

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Netflix for Wii U demonstrated. Works exactly like how you’d want it to, and, in this early version at least, the app doesn’t appear to have the lag I’ve experienced on the Wii version since its “Just for Kids” firmware update.

I’m pretty excited that Netflix will (hopefully) be available at Wii U’s launch or close to it, as it seems like you’ll be able to immediately load the app from the tablet controller, which you can use as a TV remote.

It sounds lazy, but there are times I’ve decided not to use Netflix because I didn’t want to bother with finding a Wii Remote to power on the system, getting up to turn on my wireless sensor bar, then waiting for the app to load.

I’m also happy that Wii U will support Amazon Instant Video (and Youtube and Hulu Plus) since I use that all the time on my Kindle Fire, and want to get more use out of my $79 Amazon Prime subscription. Next up, HBO Go — which might be in the works, according to this report!

Preorder: Wii U stuff
See also: More Wii U news, media, Miiverse is the future
[Via NintendoWorldReport]